The epic battle for the heart of the Lone Star State takes place on Saturday, when the Texas Tech Red Raiders travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns.
Texas Tech had an interesting October, to say the least. It started with a win against Kansas, followed by two straight losses, the shocking upset at Oklahoma and then a 34-point loss last week to Iowa State. They are 5-3 this season, so they just need one more win to become bowl eligible.
Texas had its own struggles last month with a 2-2 record, but at least it was justifiable because the losses were to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Longhorns have had a nice bounce-back season, with five wins and being ranked No. 21 in the BCS.
Where: Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas
When: Saturday, Nov. 5 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Watch: F/X National Broadcast
Spread: Texas (-14.5)
That seems like a lot of points for the Longhorns to be giving, especially considering that they don’t have the most dynamic offense in the country and Texas Tech is known for its ability to score with anyone.
Still, the Red Raiders were held to just seven points by Iowa State last week, so it does give you pause as to just how good they really are.
With Texas Tech’s inability to stop anyone from scoring, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Texas put up at least 40 points in this game.
The only question is how much the Red Raiders score, and since the only game that they have been held to under 34 points was last week, I would be willing to bet that this game turns into a shootout that goes over 61 points.
Texas Tech Injury Report
Probable: CB Eugene Neboh (Groin)
Questionable: LB Blake Dees (Ankle)
Doubtful: CB Tre’ Porter (Head), UT Pete Robertson (Shoulder)
Out: S Terrance Bullitt (Shoulder), RB Eric Stephens (Knee), LB Tanner Foster (Knee), RB Ronnie Daniels (Suspension)
Texas Injury Report
Probable: WR Jaxon Shipley (Knee), DB Leroy Scott (Head), DB Adrian Phillips (Arm)
Out: WR John Harris (Foot), S Nolan Brewster (Concussion)
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
Texas Tech had its chance to prove that it belonged in the Top 25. The victory over Oklahoma not only got the team ranked in the USA Today and AP Polls, but also No. 20 in the BCS. All that goodwill went away with the loss to Iowa State last week.
They are going to have to work really hard the rest of the season to get back in the conversation for the polls, though their days of being ranked in the BCS are long gone.
Texas does not have any real hope of making it into the BCS, unless both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State collapse in November.
The Longhorns have been climbing back up the rankings since those two losses and could get back into the Top 25 in the AP Poll with an impressive win this weekend.
Keys To Texas Tech Victory
It is safe to say that Texas Tech was humbled last week and will be out for revenge in this game. Quarterback Seth Doege, in particular, needs to get back on track.
He went 16-for-32 with 171 passing yards and two interceptions against Iowa State, the first time all season he was held to under 200 yards and had no touchdowns.
This offense runs through him, so it is imperative that he gets back to being the player who threw for over 900 yards and five touchdowns in the previous two games.
The defense is terrible, so it is not even worth mentioning as a key to victory.
Keys To Texas Victory
The Longhorns have been adjusting their game plan in recent weeks to accommodate the fact that their running game is the best part of the offense and the quarterback has become more of a game manager.
Freshman quarterback David Ash has shown some promise, but he is still not where he needs to be in order to lead the offense. It would be good to see him have a good game against a terrible defense just to prove that he is taking steps forward.
The defense has been good all season, with the exception of the two games against the Oklahoma teams, so if they can get pressure on Seth Doege and force turnovers, which is what happened to him last week, this game will be over before halftime.
Texas Tech had its big win of the season already, and mentally checked out after getting it, so Texas will cruise in this game.
Longhorns 42, Red Raiders 28