Gameday Preview: Texas Tech

Gameday Preview: Texas Tech

Rebecca May, BA ’91, Life Member, is a Texas ex-pat living in Oregon while rooting for the Longhorns. An attorney by day, she blogs about college football by night as a regular contributor to gridirongirl. This post contains the opinions of one contributing writer; they do not reflect the views of the Texas Exes’ staff, board, or membership.

Happy Thanksgiving week, football freaks! Hope you’re gearing up for some good eating with your family and friends. And also football. Great American traditions go together.

This week, the Texas Tech Red Raiders bring their lunatic Raider Red person to town—along with their football team—to take on the Longhorns at home. Now Texas has to shake off that loss to Okie State. However, did you see how they dismantled Baylor? Man, they laid a walloping down on them. Ouch. It helped me feel better about the Texas loss.

Tech has a 7-4 overall record, but they’re 4-4 in conference. Their last four games were losses, boom boom boom boom. Before the bye week both teams enjoyed, Tech got waxed by Baylor, 63-34. They also dropped games to Kansas State, Okie State, and Oklahoma. They lack an identity, but on some level, so does Texas.

One statistic leaps out at me: Tech ranks first among FBS teams in passing yards. Did you see any of their game against Baylor? Tech scored on their first three possessions. They were manhandling the Bears—for a while. Davis Webb has won the starting QB position in the recent games, which were losses. QB Baker Mayfield, a freshman, started against Baylor, but things went south in a hurry. Can Texas apply the same pressure as Baylor, disrupting their pass-happy offense?

In the OKST game, the Texas defense suffered mightily against the run. Tech is nowhere near as potent an offense as OKST. But Texas has had trouble with heavy passing teams. Long balls have stymied the secondary. The read-option offense has given Texas fits. If the Horns can bring heavy pressure on the QB, hurry passes, collapse the pocket, and predict accurately, things could get ugly in a hurry for Tech. Tech is nowhere near as physical as Okie State or Baylor, but if they get rolling, they could be hard to stop.

Tech’s defense has its own issues. If you look at the scores from their losses, you see opposing teams hanging a ton of points on them. Texas has its soft spots, but Kansas State scored 49 points on Tech. Oklahoma scored 38.

I believe the key for this game is the Texas offense. I have confidence the Texas D can bring the pressure on Tech. I am less sure what flavor of offense we will see on Thursday. As you’ve no doubt heard, there is more trouble in Longhornville, with Daje Johnson suspended for one game due to breaking team rules. The rule infraction wasn’t specified, but it’s likely severe if Coach Brown felt it necessary to further deplete the already thin offense. Looks like Kendall Sanders will take his place on special teams.

Texas still has some great players on the field for offense. The key is Case McCoy. If he’s on, the offense will be on. If he’s not, it could be the end of your happy tryptophan coma. I know the kid has heart—or moxie, if you’re not sick of hearing that. He’s got to bring his skills to the game as well. Here’s hoping the week off did everyone some good.

Game time is 7:30 EST on Fox Sports 1. To those of you going to the game, bundle up! Stay warm and scream your guts out. I’ll be watching from the comfort of the Pacific NW, with family and pets by my side until my yelling becomes too much to bear.

Have a safe and plentiful Thanksgiving, eat like nothing has calories, and enjoy the fellowship! Don’t forget to watch some football.

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.


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