FACTS & STATS: Site: Jones AT&T Stadium (60,454) — Lubbock, Texas.
Television: FS1. Home Record: Texas 2-2, Texas Tech 2-2. Away Record: Texas
1-1, Texas Tech 1-3. Neutral Record: Texas 0-2, Texas Tech 0-0. Conference
Record: Texas 2-3, Texas Tech 1-4. Series Record: Texas leads, 48-15.
GAME NOTES: A pair of struggling Big 12 Conference squads will try to get back
on the winning track on Saturday evening, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders play
host to the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Texas has experienced some growing pains under first-year head coach Charlie
Strong, as it sits at just 3-5 overall and 2-3 in conference action. The
Longhorns have dropped three of their last four contests, most recently
getting shutout at nationally-ranked Kansas State last Saturday, 23-0, to fall
to 1-1 away from home.
Texas Tech won its first league game of the season on Oct. 18 with a 34-21
home triumph over Kansas, but it regressed last weekend with an embarrassing
82-27 loss at TCU. It was the most points ever allowed in the Big 12 game. The
Red Raiders are a mere 1-4 in league play and 3-5 overall.
The Longhorns have defeated the Red Raiders on five straight occasions to up
their lead in the all-time series to 48-15.
The Longhorns have struggled offensively all season long, as they put up just
20.8 ppg and 348.2 ypg. Their woes reached new lows in their shutout loss last
week in amassing just 196 yards.
Tyrone Swoopes has had an up-and-down campaign in his first season as the
starting quarterback. He’s completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 1,495
yards (186.9 ypg) with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s also a
formidable rusher with 241 yards and three scores.
While Swoopes is a threat with his legs, Texas’ rushing attack as a whole has
been lackluster. It picked up only 90 rushing yards a week ago and average a
mere 3.8 yards per carry on the season. Volume has allowed Malcolm Brown (417
yards, four TDs) and Johnathan Gray (369 yards, two TDs) to pile up numbers,
but neither average more than 4.2 ypc.
Jaxon Shipley (48 receptions, 477 yards) and John Harris (43 receptions, 649
yards) are both in the midst of impressive campaigns out wide. Shipley has yet
to find the end zone, but Harris has picked up the slack with six scores.
Despite being put into vulnerable situations by its underperforming offense,
Texas’ defense has played very well this season in allowing only 24.4 ppg and
348.9 ypg, while forcing 14 turnovers (11 interceptions, three fumble
Jordan Hicks is one of the nation’s top tacklers with 101 stops and has made
plays all over the field with 9.0 TFL, 1.5 sack and two interceptions. Steve
Edmond (80 tackles, 10.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks), Malcom Brown (49 tackles, 10.0 TFL,
4.5 sacks) and Hassa Ridgeway (35 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks) have all been
active in the opponent’s backfield. Duke Thomas, Dylan Haines and Quandre
Diggs have combined for seven interceptions for a defense that has no shortage
Generating offense has not been the Red Raiders’ problem this season, as they
rack up 483.8 ypg while scoring 30.4 ppg, although the unit has repeatedly
shot itself in the foot with 18 turnovers.
The pass-heavy offense is usually orchestrated by Davis Webb, who’s been
perhaps the streakiest quarterback in the nation with 2,539 yards (ninth in
the country) and 24 touchdowns (tied for third) while throwing the second-most
interceptions in the country (13), but he’s doubtful for this contest with a
leg injury suffered late in last week’s loss. Patrick Mahomes (12-of-23, 119
yards, two TDs, two INTs) would get the call if Webb is unable to go.
Texas Tech is able to one-up the Longhorns’ with its dynamic receiving duo of
Jakeem Grant (52 receptions, 699 yards, five TDs) and Brad Marquez (47
receptions, 582 yards, seven TDs). When opposing defenses have keyed in on
those two, Reginald Davis has taken advantage with 26 receptions, 299 yards
and five touchdowns.
Although the Red Raiders are a throw-first team, they still have an effective
rushing attack. DeAndre Washington has turned 125 carries into 699 yards and a
score, while Justin Stockton (309 yards, four TDs) has been explosive in
averaging 8.8 yards per carry.
As proven with last week’s debacle, the squad’s porous defense has been the
main reason for its struggles, as it ranks 123rd in the points allowed (42.5
ppg) and 119th in yards allowed (507.4 ppg).
Pete Robertson is one of the few bright spots on the unit with 58 tackles and
eight sacks. J.J. Gaines has a pair of interceptions and Justis Nelson has 13
Texas Tech’s ability to win this game hinges greatly on Webb’s availability,
but with him unlikely to suit up, the Longhorns’ stellar defense will be able
to expose the Red Raiders’ freshman signal caller in his first-career start.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 28, Texas Tech 27