Texas Vs. Texas Tech: Am I Crazy Or Do I Smell an Upset?
The world of college football revolves around the upset. Upsets gain teams recognitions, upsets make or break seasons, and upsets are the most exciting thing to watch because the fan in us wants the underdog to win unless we are fan of the bigger dog.
It also makes college football greater because a single upset can destroy the season which makes every player give it 100% in every game.
I love the NFL, but when I saw how the Indianapolis Colts just laid down and let the Jets and Bills beat them in the last two games of the season just made me furious.
They had a chance to go for the perfect season, and they just tossed it aside. College football won't allow that. No team is guaranteed anything.
That said, lets get to the reasons why I think that Texas Tech will defeat the University of Texas, making the Red Raiders 3-0 and Texas 2-1.
First: Texas Tech Has A Chip On Their Shoulder
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
Don't make a Red Raider mad. I know one gal there who is a freshman, and boy! Is she a feisty one. I've never met a firecracker like her. Sometimes I think she should dye her hair lava red. She isn't necessarily loud, but she has a snappy bite.
I'm pretty sure she knows who she is, so I'll leave her name out.
That team is going to be like that girl because check every poll available and Texas Tech is not in the top 25 rankings of any.
I can understand originally why because they have a new coach, and because the defense can be construed as suspect, but I disagree with the continuous omission of them.
I think they are better than a lot of teams in the top 25, and it is a shame to see them not on the list. Hopefully, when they knock of Texas, they can catapult themselves there.
The University of Texas however, has been ranked in the top 5 at times, and I wonder why when they have a brand new quarterback. Top 10 I can possibly see, but top 5?
I agree with the vast majority of the world that the polls are screwier than a Daffy Duck cartoon.
So, Texas Tech will be playing looking for attention. Tuberville has given them confidence now, and I think--no I know that he will preach to the players about how it is time that Texas Tech is seen as a real football school that can survive without Mike Leach.
Second: Texas Tech Has Not Changed As Much As Originally Thought
When Texas Tech's head coach, Mike Leach, was fired because of a controversial method of training/discipline towards Craig James' son Adam, not only was I furious, but my friends were too.
In my life growing up, at first all you saw was marroon and orange in jerseys. It was Texas A&M and Texas, plain and simple.
When Mike Leach came to Texas Tech, the popularity of the school increased to the point where it became a triumvirate by including a red to the sea of colors.
Texas Tech football grew an identity. They were a tough team that had an advanced passing attack that can suit any number of quarterbacks, and takes receivers that the big schools like Oklahoma and Texas turned away and uses them in so many packages that it is somewhat impossible to cover them all.
After the firing and the subsequent hiring of Tommy Tuberville, I thought the team's philosophy would change. Tuberville had ran a run-style offense at Auburn with a running back named Ronnie Brown, who now is one of the focal points of the Wild-Cat formation with the Miami Dolphins.
I was dismayed for my friends. Texas Tech doesn't have that kind of talent at running back. They just don't and to see the chance that what was working being broken was frustrating.
However, Tuberville has decided to adapt to Tech instead of the other way around. Texas Tech is ranked 11th in total passing yardage in the entire NCAA with 334.5 yards per game.
Now, they have gotten better at running the ball, averaging 112 yards per game, but they are 93rd overall in rushing.
So, to make it blunt, this team isn't going to be at a disadvantage of a brand new coach because the system has not changed that dramatically. Knowing the system is the biggest part of football because it means you have the ability to execute.
Execution wins games period.
Third: Analysis Of The Texas Longhorns
Bob Levey/Getty Images
I mentioned in the previous slide that the Texas Tech Raiders were 11th in overall passing with 324.5 yards per game.
Well, that is not just the only statistic that indicates that Texas may not be able to handle Texas Tech.
Lets review Texas first:
- Texas is 72nd in overall passing with 197 yards per game. That means that they do not rely on the passing attack as much as they did last year, and it shows. Texas is not as explosive as they were last year when they went to the National Championship.
- Texas is becoming more of a running team according to numbers, but they still haven't dazzled anyone. They are ranked 44th in the NCAA in rushing yards with 182 per game. Now, that is a lot. I'm not going to argue it, but it isn't like you can expect them to dominate with the run all day long.
- Texas has been swapping their starting running backs. First is was Cody Johnson, then is was Tre' Newton, now it looks like Fozzie Whittaker will be starting. I'm not sure if I can be as confident in their run game as I am with Texas Tech's passing game.
- Texas does have the better defense. They have allowed on 12 points per game which ranks them as the 17th best defense in the NCAA. Will Muschamp, the defensive coordinator, is one of the best in the business by far in my eyes. However, they played Rice and Wyoming. That's not exactly inspiring to me. If they had shut down Oklahoma, then they I'd feel twice as confident.
- Texas also lost a lot of players to the draft last year. Sergio Kindle, Lamarr Houston, and Earl Thomas all were selected in the top 64 draft picks. I think the defense is good, but I'm hesitant to say that that defense will impose its will on Texas Tech all day long.
- Also, Texas is ranked 39th in scoring in the NCAA with 34 points a game. That's good, but check the next slide. Texas Tech is better, and both teams have played the same type of opponent.
Fourth: Analysis of The Texas Tech Raiders
The Texas Tech Raiders also have a style of play that shows up in statistics. Let's take a look:
- As stated before, Texas Tech is 11th in the NCAA in passing with 334.5 yards per game. That's shows they are explosive with the passing attack, and can bury you in points if possible.
- Texas Tech is ranked 93rd in overall rushing with 112 yards per game. Now, they aren't as dominant at the run game, but 112 yards is not something to look down on. They can run the ball to set up the pass, and run the ball whenever teams are too focused on the pass. They are not one-dimensional in their offense.
- Their offense is 17th in the league in points scored with an average of 43.5 points a game. So, they average six touchdowns a game? If I'm a defensive back, I'm scared of looking like an idiot when Potts starts the downpour of footballs in perfect spirals.
- Defensively is where they are weak though. They have allowed 22 points a game so they are 62nd in the NCAA. However, it is early in the season, so it'll be interesting to see if they can handle the good offense that Texas provides.
Fifth: Comparing The Two Teams
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
So, by looking at the numbers at face value, and not turning this matchup into some accountant's assignment by boring you half to death, we can see conclude a few things:
- Texas Tech has more scoring ability. That is a tremendous advantage because if it gets to a shoot-out game where neither defense has come to play, Tech will win because they have more weapons, they are deadlier, and they don't have a quarterback in his first year of starting.
- From my own observation of Garrett Gilbert, the Longhorns quarterback, I am convinced that he has not become the game changer yet. He isn't a quarterback who I would turn to and say that it is up to you to throw perfect passes all day, and sometimes our line is going to be in trouble. He is just not that ready, and when you have a quarterback like that, it is tougher to win ball games because you have one less way to do it.
- To summarize the two previous points, I simply state this. Texas is a run team while Texas Tech is a passing team. Which one scores more nine times out of ten?
- Texas has the better defense than Tech. I'll give them that. However, both defenses will be keys in this game. Tech has a lesser defense going up against a lesser offense, while Texas has an elite defense going up against an elite offense. Which defense plays better is key. If Texas can score on defense or if Tech can force turnovers and stop Texas from controlling the clock with the run game, either team has a chance to win.
- I have a feeling that whoever screws up the most will lose. These teams even out that it feels like key turnovers, costly penalties, and blown assignments will decide this game. If both teams play a perfect game, it could come down to a classic last second game like they had in 2008.
- Overall, I just think Tech will overwhelm the Longhorns and their struggling offense. Texas will need to really get it together or win by the skin of their teeth to get past this one.
Last: The Homefield Advantage
In college football, the homefield advantage is much more psychologically effective than in the NFL. The men are younger, so they aren't as mentally prepared for it. The crowd is their friends, like real friends that they have coffee with on campus, so knowing you are playing for your friends is huge.
Texas Tech also has a reputation of being home to some of the loudest, most boorish fans in football. They are rowdy, some are drunk, and they love the Raiders WITH bias.
I don't think you can convince them of anything except Texas Tech is great, and that liquor is cool.
I know this because about a third of my high school friends are there, and I almost bought an application myself.
It is college students away from their parents. That's an advantage in itself. Granted, every school has that, but Texas is playing in Lubbock.
I can say this. My friends David, Kassidy, Kelly, Austin, Abby, Becca, Anna, Brian, Brooke, Amy, Colin, Darcy, Emily, Jeff, Kayla, Jessica, Taylor, Seth, and more are going to be there.
I don't think I can describe anyone of them as dispassionate and quiet during a football game.
So, am I right? Will Texas Tech beat the University of Texas?
We'll find out Saturday. In the mean time, GO COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!