NCAA Football – Week 10
It’s a battle of the state of Texas Saturday afternoon in Lubbock as the Longhorns take on the Red Raiders. Both teams have improved quite a bit in the past couple years, and they come in with an identical 6-2 record. Texas snuck out of Kansas with a win last week, while the Red Raiders were blasted by Kansas State in Manhattan. The Red Raiders are favored by more than a touchdown here.
There is a bit of a quarterback controversy brewing in Austin once again. David Ash played brilliantly through the first few weeks, but it was Case McCoy who came in and led the team to victory last week after Ash struggled. Mack Brown announced that Ash will start again in this one, but you have to wonder if McCoy will get some playing time as well. Both quarterbacks numbers are good so far this year. The Longhorns have a much improved running game, which has helped their offense immensely. Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron have emerged as the two leading runners for this team, and both have been very successful. Texas is averaging 41.5 points per game.
The Longhorns defense used to be the strength of the team, but not anymore. Texas has been awful on the defensive end so far this year. Opponents are racking up 211 yards per game on the ground against this team, which makes Texas’ run defense 111th in the nation (out of 124 teams). Jackson Jeffcoat was the team’s best defender and pass rusher, and he is out for the season. This defense is allowing 32.8 points per game.
Texas Tech blasted West Virginia and put themselves on the map a few weeks ago. The Red Raiders played pretty well in the first half against Kansas State last week, but the Wildcats blew them out in the second half. The biggest problem was that the Red Raiders lost the turnover battle by 3. Texas Tech actually outgained the Wildcats in the game, but those turnovers proved very costly. Seth Doege leads the nation with 30 touchdown passes on the year. Doege is completing nearly 71 percent of his passes, and he is a great leader for this offense. Texas Tech is 11th in the nation in total offense and 12th in points per game this year.
How is Texas Tech 6-2 this year? The primary reason is their much improved defense. This is a defense that was shredded on a weekly basis just a couple years ago, and now they are rankings as one of the best in the nation. The secondary has been especially tremendous. Opponents are mustering only 178.4 yards per game through the air. A couple of defensive backs are listed as questionable for this game, so that is something to watch as game time nears.
The Longhorns defense hasn’t been able to stop any decent offenses this year, and the Red Raiders offense is very good. At the same time, I like the Longhorns offense. Look for a high scoring game here that goes over the total.
Texas Tech 41 Texas 31