Texas (6-2) at (20) Texas Tech (6-2)|
Saturday, Nov. 3, 3:30 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Football Editor
GAME NOTES: Lone Star State rivals square off in Lubbock on Saturday, as the
20th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders play host to the Texas Longhorns in Big 12
After a 4-0 start to the season, Texas rose to No. 11 in the country, but it
promptly fell from grace following back-to-back losses to West Virginia
(48-45) and Oklahoma (63-21). Since then, however, the Longhorns have righted
the ship with two straight wins, including a come-from-behind road victory
over Kansas last week, 21-17.
Texas Tech lost a home bout to Oklahoma on Oct. 6 (41-20), but it responded
from that defeat incredibly well with two signature wins over West Virginia
(49-14) and on the road against TCU (56-53). The Red Raiders had their most
difficult test to date last week in facing No. 4 Kansas State, losing 55-24,
causing them to fall from No. 14 to No. 20 in this week's AP Poll.
"Last week's game was a disappointment," head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We
can't turn the ball over against a team that doesn't turn the ball over and
have a chance to win."
"Texas is a big game for us," he continued. "They've struggled up-and-down in
some areas as we have -- pretty similar, same record -- so pretty much similar
teams. We'll tee it up and see what happens."
Texas has dominated the all-time series with Texas Tech, winning 45 of the 60
previous meetings. The Red Raiders have not beaten the Longhorns since 2008.
The Longhorns rank in the bottom-half of the league in terms of total offense
(442.9 ypg), but they still rack up 41.5 ppg. In the high-flying Big 12, they
are one of seven teams that average at least 40 ppg (along with Texas Tech).
David Ash (215.8 ypg, .687 completion percentage, 12 TDs, five INTs) has been
the starter all season, but after throwing two interceptions last week, he was
replaced in the fourth quarter by Case McCoy, who sparked a comeback by going
6-of-8 for 109 yards and the game-winning touchdown to D.J. Grant in the final
minute. Head coach Mack Brown is sticking with Ash as his starter for now, but
knows that he can rely on McCoy if need be.
"Not much discussion, David has done a great job," Brown said. "We're lucky to
have two (quarterbacks). That's what we fought for in the competition in the
spring and summer. David struggled (last week), but the offense struggled. I
was excited for Case that he was prepared to come in. We feel like Case is the
guy we can use when needed."
Complementing the quarterbacks is a stable of talented running backs. Joe
Bergeron (450 yards), Johnathan Gray (427 yards), and Malcolm Brown (245
yards) have all shown explosion, but when the Longhorns get near the goal line
it's usually Bergeron doing the dirty work. He's plunged into the end zone 15
times on the ground, one behind K-State's Collin Klein for the league lead.
Mike Davis (34 receptions, 559 yards) and Jaxon Shipley (30 receptions, 334
yards) have been steady in the receiving game, hauling in four touchdown
The Texas defense (32.8 ppg) has been vulnerable this year, especially on the
ground (218 rushing ypg).
Alex Okafor is one of the conference's best defensive linemen, racking up 10
tackles for loss, seven sacks, and 16 QB hurries. Quandre Diggs has 10 passes
defended and three interceptions.
Despite tying a season-low with 24 points last week, Texas Tech is still more
than capable of scoring points in bunches (40.5 ppg).
The Red Raiders have traditionally gotten strong play out of their
quarterbacks, and Seth Doege has been no exception this season. He's one of
the nation's best signal callers, ranking seventh in the FBS in yards (2,540),
fifth in completion percentage (.707), and first in passing touchdowns (30).
He has thrown for 300 yards or more in all but two games this season.
Doege does a good job disrupting his passes to many different receivers as 10
players have recorded double-digit catches. Darrin Moore (43 receptions, 440
yards, eight TDs) and Eric Ward (41 receptions, 517 yards, 10 TDs) are among
the nation's leaders in receiving touchdowns.
Even with the high-powered passing attack, Texas Tech still finds time for an
effective running game, as Kenny Williams (504 yards), Eric Stephens (358
yards), and SaDale Foster (330 yards) each average more than five yards per
carry and have scored three touchdowns apiece.
After starting the season so well, the defense has been a major letdown over
the past two games, surrendering a total of 111 points. Even with back-to-back
duds, the unit's points allowed per game is respectable (25.8 ppg) and it
still ranks 12th nationally in total defense (300.0 ypg).
Cody Davis not only has a team-high 64 tackles but he's also picked off three
passes. The team doesn't get much pressure on the quarterback with just 12
sacks, led by four from Kerry Hyder.
Surprisingly, Texas Tech hasn't score more than 24 points against a Texas team
since 2008, but with Doege and company going up against a lackluster Longhorns
defense, expect that to change in this matchup. The Red Raiders have taken
huge steps backwards with their defense in recent weeks, and it'll surely get
burned a few times again, but at home, they will be able to hold off the
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas Tech 45, Texas 38
10/31 10:37:22 ET