Texas Tech and Iowa State set to play in Ames on Saturday. Iowa State has been a much better team at home and have played some very close games against some of the Big 12’s best. The Cyclones have only lost by a combined 18 total points against Oklahoma, Baylor and Kansas State at home. Oppositely, the Red Raiders have been below average on the road this season, going 1-3.
In this matchup last year the Red Raiders set a Texas Tech offensive record for total yards, at the time, and defeated the Cyclones 66-31 in Lubbock.
Texas Tech will be without their starting offensive lineman, Justin Murphy, who recently announced his retirement from football due to ongoing injuries. Iowa State should have everybody good to go.
KICKOFF: Sat, Nov 19, 2:30 PM CST
WHERE: Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, IA)
WEATHER: Sunny and high winds up to 20 mph, high of 43°
STREAM: Fox Sports Go
TV CREW: Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis
BETTING LINE: Texas Tech -3.5, O/U 75.5
Iowa State Cyclones (2-8, 1-6)
Fresh off their first conference win of the season against the not-so-mighty Kansas Jayhawks, the Cyclones look to continue rolling against the Red Raiders.
Last game, WR Allen Lazard caught a career-high 10 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. The star wide receiver could be the key factor in this one considering Texas Tech’s secondary’s history. The Red Raiders have had no answers for star receivers this season, allowing 202 yards and two scores to Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook and 185 yards and a score to Oklahoma State’s James Washington. Lazard should have a big game against the weak Red Raider defensive backs.
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR IOWA STATE
Utilize Allen Lazard: Lazard is the biggest part of the Cyclone offense and needs to take advantage of the weak Texas Tech secondary. Some might say he is the only thing Iowa State has going for them offensively, so he must be employed throughout this game.
Hold Down The D-Line: Texas Tech has increased their use of the run game in the past few weeks, so if the Cyclone D-Line can stop their run game in their tracks they are in business.
Limit Turnovers: Texas Tech has forced more turnovers in the past three weeks of conference play than the rest of the year. Be patient with passes and hold on to the ball.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-6, 2-5)
After a heartbreaking loss in Stillwater last week, the Red Raiders look to bounce back in this favorable matchup against the Cyclones.
Texas Tech has been wildly inconsistent and can’t seem to get all sides of the ball to play well at the same time. It’s either the offense plays well and the defense plays bad or the offense plays bad and the defense plays well, except last week where the special teams lost the game. If the Red Raiders could get their whole team to play well at the same time this should be an easy win.
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR TEXAS TECH
Create Space For Running Backs: The run game was evident in the win against TCU. If the Red Raiders can throw the Cyclones off by running the ball for big yardage, a Texas Tech win could be the ending result.
Big Numbers For Mahomes: Mahomes has been the star of this Red Raider offense and possibly the best quarterback in college football this year. A big game for Mahomes always puts the Red Raiders in the contest. If he can put up big numbers like he has all season and not have a fluke game like he did against West Virginia, the Red Raiders should be one step closer to a bowl.
Keep Forcing Turnovers: One of the main reasons Texas Tech was in the game last week against Oklahoma State was the forced turnovers. David Gibbs is finally getting his young defense going and the Red Raiders are in must-win mode for a bowl bid. Turnovers can put this game out of reach early.
Texas Tech is hungry for another bowl appearance under coach Kliff Kingsbury. I think Texas Tech connects on just about everything offensively and their defense creates a few turnovers. Iowa State can’t use Lazard to their fullest advantage and run the ball too much. Final score 65-35 in favor of the Red Raiders. Mahomes finishes with over 450 yards and five total touchdowns. Tech fights for a 6-6 record and a bowl against Baylor next week.