The time has come for No. 18 Texas Tech to end their losing streak to the No. 23 Texas Longhorns. The Red Raiders have lost the last four meetings between the two schools, but this time things will be different.
The Longhorns haven't defeated a ranked opponent all season, and in their last two wins, the team has looked far less than dominant in dispatching Baylor and a lowly Kansas squad.
The Red Raiders aren't world-beaters, but they have an advantage in this year's matchup. There are three key factors that will drive the Red Raiders to victory and the possession of the Chancellor's Spurs.
I can't believe I'm using defense as a springboard as to why the Red Raiders are going to win a game, but it fits this matchup. Texas has been terrible defensively this season. They have given up 32.8 points per game, which is ranked 100th in the nation.
Even their six wins have primarily come in shoot-outs. They are scoring 46 points per game in their last four wins, but their opponents are scoring 33 per game.
That's precisely why they have struggled against ranked opponents. The higher up the food chain they travel, the more they run into balanced teams that are capable of making key stops.
The Red Raiders haven't turned into Alabama on defense, but they have demonstrated the ability to lock down at times. One key example was their ability to hold Geno Smith and West Virginia to 14 points on October 13.
The Longhorns were out-gunned by the Mountaineers 48-45 in their matchup.
The Red Raiders are allowing 25.8 points per game this season and 300 yards per game—the latter statistic is tops in the Big 12. These aren't stellar numbers on a national scale, but they prove the Red Raiders have the advantage in overall defense.
Part of the reason Texas has been lit up this season is their tendency to give up the big play. The Longhorns have surrendered a whopping 21 plays of 40 yards or more this season.
Imagine the pressure that places on the Longhorns' offense.
The Red Raiders have the team to take advantage of that weakness. Senior QB Seth Doege is having a remarkable year statistically. He's thrown for 30 touchdown passes with only eight interceptions.
The Red Raiders' offense generally uses a short passing game and they pick their spots to go deep. However, they have completed five passes of 40 yards or more and you can bet Doege will try to expose this flaw in the Longhorns' defense.
In previous years, home-field hasn't mattered for the Red Raiders, but this year it will. They are 3-1 at home including their 49-14 win over West Virginia this season.
The team and their fans have to know that this is the year to get off the snide against the Longhorns.
Jones AT&T Stadium will have a solid share of black and red support in the crowd, and that will be just another advantage that spurs the Red Raiders to an important seventh win of the season.
Texas Tech 47, Texas 32
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