Texas Tech-Michigan State: Valero Alamo Bowl Preview

Jason Funk@@PaperJaseContributor IDecember 13, 2009

EAST LANSING - NOVEMBER 1:  Blair White #25 of the Michigan State Spartans carries the ball during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Spartan Stadium on November 1, 2008 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Texas Tech and Michigan State are getting ready to square off on January 2 in San Antonio.

These teams will cause a lot of interesting matchups all across the board.


Texas Tech's Taylor Potts is a terrific passer. His completion percentage is 65.6 percent and he has thrown for more than 3,000 yards. We may also see some of Steven Sheffield, who hasn't had as many opportunities as Potts, but is extremely efficient with a QB rating of 177.5.

Kirk Cousins for Michigan State is also a quality player, but doesn't have the weapons that Tech has. Both of these teams rank No. 1 in their respective confrences in passing offense. Tech has more down the field threats than the Spatans, so Tech gets the edge.

Running Backs

Neither team has a dominant running game. The Red Raiders rank last in the Big 12 while Sparty only ranks seventh in the Big Ten.

Larry Caper and Edwin Baker will carry the load for the Spartans since Glenn Winston and Caulton Ray have been kicked off the team since the start of the season. Caper and Baker both average more than four yards per carry though.

The Red Raiders have a trio of backs to share the load. Baron Batch leads the way with close to 800 yards this season. Eric Stephens and Harrison Jeffers will also tote the rock, as they have over 200 yards each.

This is a close one since neither team can seperate themselves as a clear winner, but Michigan State gets the nod.

Wide Receivers

Michigan State will be depleated in this department as two starters, B.J. Cunningham and Mark Dell are suspended for this game. That leaves Blair White as Cousins' only deep threat.

Texas Tech, on the other hand, has four receivers with more than 500 yards. Led by Alexander Torres with 791 yards, this team has a lot of deep threats.

This is easy, the Red Raiders win this category.

Offensive Line

Tech has the worst rushing offense in the Big 12, and are also No. 9 in sacks allowed.

The Spartan offensive line have allowed the least amount of sacks in the Big Ten. Their rush offense is No. 7 in the conference. Michigan State wins this category easily.

Defensive Front Seven

Neither team is particularly bad up front, but they aren't dominating either. Tech is allowing close to 140 yards per game on the ground. Michigan State allows close to 115 yards.

Both of these teams rush the passer as well. Texas Tech is first in the Big 12 in sacks and Sparty is No. 2 in the Big Ten in sacks.

This one is close but Michigan State gets the edge.


MSU has an atrocious pass defense, ranking last in the Big Ten. Tech should have a field day on them. Starting corner Chris L. Rucker is also suspended for the game, making it even worse.

Tech is pretty good against the pass, posting the fourth best pass defense in their conference. This goes to the Raiders in a land slide.

Special Teams

Kicker Brett Swenson is an All-American type kicker, and has range out past 50 yards. Keshawn Martin is also a dangerous kick returner, leading MSU to be the top kick return team in the conference.

Tech's kicker Matt Williams doesn't measure up and their kick return lacks the explosion of Martin. MSU gets this one.

Prediction: TTU 38 MSU 13

Potts and company will have a field day.


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