Texas vs. Texas Tech: Complete Game Preview
Who: Texas vs. Texas Tech
When: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. CST
Where: Lubbock, Texas
Stadium: Jones AT&T Stadium
The stakes are high in this Big 12 showdown, as the No. 23 Longhorns (6-2, 3-2) and No. 18 Red Raiders (6-2, 3-2) are gearing up for what should be a chilly afternoon in the Texas panhandle.
With both Texas and Texas Tech with matching records and only four games remaining on the schedule, better placement for bowl selection is up for grabs.
Coming in as one of the surprises in the conference, Texas Tech returns home after getting roughed up by Kansas State.
The Longhorns are riding a two-game winning streak, but will face a much-improved Red Raiders defenses.
Depth Chart for Texas
QB: David Ash, Case McCoy
RB: Johnathan Gray, Joe Bergeron
WR: Jaxon Shipley, Bryant Jackson
WR: Mike Davis, Kendall Sanders
WR: Marquise Goodwin, D.J. Monroe
TE: D.J. Grant OR Greg Daniels, Barrett Matthews
LT: Josh Cochran, Donald Hawkins
LG: Trey Hopkins, Sedrick Flowers
C: Dom Espinosa, Garrett Porter
RG: Mason Walters, Thomas Ashcraft
RT: Luke Poehlmann, Garrett Greenlea
DE (Buck): Cedric Reed OR Reggie Wilson
DE (Strong): Alex Okafor, Shiro Davis
DT: Brandon Moore, Ashton Dorsey OR Chris Whaley
DT: Desmond Jackson, Malcom Brown
SLB: Demarco Cobbs, Tevin Jackson
MLB: Steve Edmond, Dalton Santos
WLB: Kendall Thompson, Jordan Hicks
CB: Quandre Diggs, Duke Thomas
FS: Kenny Vaccaro, Josh Turner
SS: Adrian Phillips, Mykkele Thompson
CB: Carrington Byndom, Leroy Scott
PK: Anthony Fera, Nick Jordan
P: Alex King, William Russ
Depth Chart for Texas Tech
QB: Seth Doege, Michael Brewer
RB: Eric Stephens, Kenny Williams
WR: Eric Ward, Bradley Marquez
WR: Darrin Moore, Javon Bell
WR: Alex Torres, Jordan Davis
WR: Tyson Williams, Jace Amaro
LT: LaAdrian Waddle, Rashad Fortenberry
LG: Alfredo Morales, Beau Carpenter
C: Deveric Gallington, Jared Kaster
RG: Le'Raven Clark, James Polk
RT: Terry McDaniel, Trey Keenan
DE: Dartwan Bush, Branden Jackson
DE: Jackson Richards, Pete Robertson
NT: Delvon Simmons, Dennell Wesley
DT: Kerry Hyder, Leon Mackey
LB: Terrance Bullitt, Micah Awe
LB: Sam Equavoen, Zach Winbush
LB: Will Smith, Blake Dees
CB: Cornelius Douglas, Bruce Jones
FS: D.J. Johnson, J.J. Gaines
SS: Cody Davis, Austin Stewart
CB: Eugene Neboh, Derrick Mays
PK: Ryan Bustin, Kramer Fyfe
P: Ryan Erxleben
What Happened to Texas Last Week
In grabbing a late win from the jaws of defeat, the Longhorns avoided potentially the worst loss in the Mack Brown era.
Instead, Texas peeled off a 21-17 victory over Kansas, with Case McCoy relieving David Ash at quarterback after the starter struggled through most of the first three quarters.
McCoy engineered scoring two drives and displayed a never-say-die attitude in converting some big plays down the stretch.
Defensively, the same issues plagued Texas across the board, efforts that are still waiting to be improved.
What Happened to Texas Tech Last Week
Texas Tech trailed 10-13 at halftime against Kansas State, but the Red Raiders were promptly steamrolled by standout quarterback and Heisman hopeful Collin Klein.
The Red Raiders held even with time of possession, but with three turnovers and six penalties amounting to 80 yards, the resurgent group just could not muster the firepower against one of the nation's top teams.
Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege did throw for two touchdowns, but a pick-six and fumbles from Doege and receiver Eric Ward did too much damage coming from an advantageous Wildcats team.
What It Means to Both Teams
Although both team sit 6-2 and 3-2 in the Big 12, the Longhorns are the worse team given their overall body of work.
With some uncertainty now lingering over Texas, the pressure of performance could swing the Longhorns' fortunes in a multitude of ways.
For Texas Tech, this game is by no means a walkthrough, but with the comfort of a home crowd and a chance to rebound from a tough loss to a really good team, the Red Raiders are in a strong position.
Equally, with the final games of the season approaching, extracting the most from each performance for placement in the conference is paramount.
Key Player for Texas: David Ash
Quarterback David Ash had one of his worst performances of the season, throwing for 63 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions on 8-of-16 passing.
How Ash rebounds against a quality Texas Tech defense will be telling about the true direction of where things may be going for the Longhorns.
With Case McCoy having posted better numbers in one-third the playing time, there could be extra pressure for Ash to come up with a decisively strong outing.
Key Players for Texas Tech: Kenny Williams
Sophomore running back Kenny Williams leads Texas Tech in rushing with 504 yards on 83 carries for an average of 6.1 yards per carry.
Against one of the country's worst running defenses in the Longhorns, Williams will do well to pick up at least 15 touches on the afternoon, testing the shaky tackles that Texas fields.
The passing game will have plenty of opportunity to shine, but how well it is balanced with the running game ultimately could prove to be a winning combination for the Red Raiders.
The Longhorns Will Win If...
Texas wins if it wakes up from its defensive blunders, which is unlikely.
Poor tackling, poor positioning and too many big plays have plagued the Longhorns defense all season, and against an ever-potent Texas Tech offense, Texas could be up against a wall for much of the game if it cannot hold the Red Raiders.
Additionally, if the Longhorns put up their best performance on the ground, then the foundation will be set for a potential upset.
The Red Raiders Will Win If...
Texas Tech wins if it sticks to its guns (Ha!).
The Red Raiders field a top 10 defense and an offense that can throw it around with the best passing units in the country.
The formula that has won them games this entire season should work against a defensively poor Texas that has won half of its games by six points or less.
Prediction: 41-30 Texas Tech
The Longhorns will want to keep it close, but with their defense prone to so many big plays, you have to believe that Texas Tech will have its fair share of them.
Offensively, Texas may not even be able to keep up against the highly-improved Red Raiders defense.
Turnovers will be the ultimate key for Texas Tech. Too many giveaways to a Texas team that has shown its ability to convert them into points will keep the Longhorns in a toss-up.