Despite their last four meetings, the No. 18 Texas Tech Raiders will be able to take advantage of a reeling No. 23 Texas Longhorns squad to continue their faint hopes of capturing a coveted BCS bowl berth.
The Red Raiders come into Saturday's contest having gotten eviscerated by the Kansas State Wildcats in Week 9. However, it's actually Texas' win against the Kansas Jayhawks last week that signals the Longhorns' impending doom.
First and foremost, Texas Tech should be able to take advantage of Longhorns head coach Mack Brown's decision to start embattled quarterback David Ash.
The sophomore had been having a marvelous season before a second poor performance in three weeks against Kansas, with the first coming in the 2012 Red River Shootout. Facing a paltry Jayhawks defense last Saturday, Ash completed just 8-of-16 passes for 63 yards and had two interceptions before being pulled for Case McCoy in the game's final drive.
Left with the daunting task of coming in cold with immense pressure on his shoulders, McCoy did what his brother, Colt, oftentimes did and excelled. A junior, McCoy completed 5-of-7 passes, including a game-winning one-yard score to give the Longhorns a 21-17 victory.
Despite mounting evidence that Ash may not be the answer, Brown is sticking with Ash, and it could come back to haunt him on Saturday. Texas Tech comes into Week 10 with the Big 12's second-stingiest pass defense, giving up an impressive 178.75 yards per game.
Unless the Texas quarterback figures out a way to find his early-season form, it could be a long day for the Longhorn faithful.
Even more disconcerting is the fact that the Red Raiders will be able to take even more advantage of their counterparts offensively.
Through eight games, quarterback Seth Doege is slowly working his way into the conversation among Texas Tech's stable of great quarterbacks. The senior signal-caller has thrown for an astounding 15 touchdowns and 1,148 yards over the past three games, taking advantage of weak Big 12 defenses with ease.
Which team will win on Saturday?
The Red Raiders' passing attack should have no problems once again on Saturday, as Texas has continually shown an inability to stop opposing offenses. Of other teams in the Big 12, only West Virginia and Baylor have given up more points and yards per game than the Longhorns.
In fact, last Saturday's victory over Kansas was the first time since Week 2 that the Texas defense had allowed fewer than 30 points in a game.
Considering it pretty much goes without saying that the Red Raiders will throw the ball more than the nine times the Jayhawks did last week, the Longhorns' defense looks to be in a precarious position.
All told, Texas' loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout has seemed to put the team into a funk it cannot escape. We may see evidence to the contrary on Saturday, but I'm officially selling stock in this Longhorns team.
Look for Texas Tech to win relatively comfortably and there to be cause for big-time celebration on Saturday in Lubbock.
Final Score Prediction: Texas Tech 49, Texas 24