NCAA Football – Week 9
Two teams who have been huge surprises in the Big 12 and in the nation overall will meet Saturday afternoon in a key Big 12 showdown. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are 6-1 and ranked 17th in the nation. Kansas State is 7-0 and ranked third in the nation. These two teams have both walloped the West Virginia Mountaineers in the last two weeks. Can Bill Snyder’s team stay in the national title picture or will Tommy Tubberville’s team knock off another top five team?
Texas Tech is a different team this year. The Red Raiders have always been able to score points, but this year’s team plays strong defense. Who would have ever thought that after seven games this Texas Tech team would be eighth in the nation in total defense? That number would have been even better if it weren’t for Texas Tech’s triple-overtime tussle with TCU last weekend. The Red Raiders are giving up just 171 passing yards per game. It is amazing the strides that this defense has made in one year. This unit is allowing only 282 yards of total offense per game.
The Red Raiders still have plenty of offensive firepower. Seth Doege has racked up 28 touchdown passes in just seven games. Doege is completing 71 percent of his passes so far this year. Doege is terrific at spreading the ball around to all the team’s receivers, and the Red Raiders have lots of depth on the outside. Eight guys have at least 13 receptions for Texas Tech this year. Kenny Williams, Eric Stephens, and SaDale Foster form a trio of talented tailbacks for the team. The Red Raiders average 42.9 points per game.
Every year people underrate Bill Snyder’s team. Snyder has proven he is one of the best coaches in the nation, and this year is a perfect example of that. The Wildcats have plenty of talent, but they certainly aren’t loaded like a team like Alabama or Oregon. Still, they have been dominating opponents because of their team chemistry and consistency on both sides of the ball. Last week, Kansas State went to West Virginia and blasted the Mountaineers 55-14. With wins at Oklahoma and West Virginia, you could argue the Wildcats have the best road wins of any team in the nation at this point in the season.
Collin Klein is quickly become a Heisman Trophy front runner. Klein has been amazing all season for Kansas State. Klein is a dual-threat quarterback, but he is definitely more comfortable running the ball. Klein has rushed for 551 yards and 14 touchdowns so far this year. He has thrown for 10 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. John Hubert has gained 658 yards on the ground this year, and his success has taken some pressure off Klein in the running game. Tyler Lockett is a budding star at wide receiver for Kansas State. The Wildcats are averaging 42.9 points per game this year.
The one weakness that Kansas State has had this year is their secondary. Texas Tech should be able to put up points in this one. At the same time, I don’t think the Red Raiders defense can stop Klein and the Wildcats running game. Look for a high scoring game that goes over the total.
Kansas State 38 Texas Tech 30