Texas Tech 45 … at Kansas 34

Posted Oct 1, 2011

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Texas Tech at Kansas

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 5 - Texas Tech at Kansas

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Oct. 1 Texas Tech 45 … at Kansas 34
CFN Analysis: This was Texas Tech at its best and worst. After getting down 20-0 with a defense that can't stop the run, the passing game kicked it in and then came the breathtaking 24-point run to take control. Seth Doege settled down and spread the ball around to 11 different receivers, while Eric Stephens ran for 124 yards and two scores on a workmanlike 26 carries. The defense will be a problem all season long, and wasn't even close at times when the Jayhawks wanted to pound away, but the D came up with four takeaways to turn the tide. With Texas A&M's running game up next, the Red Raider passing game has to control the clock from the start, or else the offense needs to be ready for another track meet.

Kansas had perfect offensive balance with 239 yards rushing and passing, but the four turnovers and the lack of stops once the Texas Tech passing game got going was the killer. On the plus side, the running game was more than fine, with James Sims coming up with another strong game and Brandon Bourbon taking off for a good scoring dash, but blowing a 20-0 lead at home is never acceptable. With a rested Oklahoma State up next, the passing game has to connect on more third down plays and the secondary that got torched against the Red Raiders has to do a better job of jamming the receivers off the line.

(AP) LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Seth Doege passed for 366 yards and three touchdowns and Eric Stephens rushed for 124 yards and scored twice, helping Texas Tech come roaring back from a 20-point deficit and beat Kansas 45-34 Saturday in both teams' Big 12 opener.

Doege, who threw three touchdowns the week before against Nevada and set an NCAA record with a 90.9 completion percentage against New Mexico, was 29 for 46. The 6-foot-1 redshirt junior, playing his first full season since high school in 2005, was also intercepted for the first time this season but still turned in another virtuoso performance for the Red Raiders (4-0) to remain among the country's top passers.

Kansas' Jordan Webb, who also came into the game without an interception in his first three games, was picked off three times and each turnover led directly to a Texas Tech TD.

Doege connected with Eric Ward on a 40-yard scoring pass, found Jacoby Franks for a 13-yard TD toss and made it 45-27 late in the third quarter with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Ward, who had 71 yards on four catches. The Jayhawks (2-2) parlayed a bevy of big plays into 191 yards and three touchdowns on their first 15 plays of the defensively-challenged day. But then Doege and the Red Raiders got hot, scoring 24 unanswered points before Kansas got a 19-yard touchdown pass from Webb to Rell Lewis to take a 27-24 lead after a first half that lasted just 9 minutes short of 2 hours.

The Red Raiders, off to their first 4-0 start since beginning 10-0 in 2008, unleashed a 21-0 third-quarter blitz to salt away their 12th victory in 13 meetings with the Jayhawks.

Stephens tallied on runs of 8 and 1 yards before Ward's final touchdown catch following Cquilin Hubert's interception.

D.J. Beshears got Kansas rolling with a 56-yard return of the opening kickoff. Four plays later, James Sims broke loose up the middle on an 11-yard TD run. Terrance Bullitt blocked the extra point, leaving it 6-0.

On the Jayhawks' second possession, Brandon Bourbon broke into the Tech secondary on a counter play, slipped a tackle, and sped 51 yards into the end zone for Kansas' longest run of the year. Bourbon had 101 yards on 10 carries and Webb was 16 for 22 for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

Doege, who had thrown 122 passes this season without an interception, was picked off by safety Keeston Terry on Texas Tech's next possession and Kansas set up on its own 25. Beshears got 54 yards on a catch-and-run, then, from the 21, Webb connected with tight end Tim Biere.

He appeared to score, but fumbled at the goal line. Kale Pick recovered for Kansas in the end zone to make it three touchdowns on three possessions by the seven-point home underdogs.

DeAndre Washington got the Red Raiders' comeback started with a 1-yard touchdown run, capping a 7-play, 52-yard drive.

Then Webb, who had not thrown an interception in 61 passes this year, was picked off by safety D.J. Johnson. A chop block penalty shoved Tech back 15 yards to the Kansas 40, but Ward took Doege's pass at the 30 and weaved his way through a gauntlet of would-be tacklers for a second TD on the very next play.

Webb, who came into the game No. 2 on the Big 12's pass efficiency chart, threw a second straight interception to Johnson on his next pass. The Red Raiders needed six plays to cover 45 yards, with Franks scoring on a 13-yard reception for a 21-20 Tech lead.

Donnie Carona's 46-yard field goal put the Red Raiders ahead 24-20 with 7:54 left in a first half that saw the teams combine for 560 yards.

Texas Tech (3-0) at Kansas (2-1) Oct. 1, 12:00, FSN

Here's The Deal … Considering how strong the Big 12 looks, call this an elimination game. It might only be the opener for the conference season for the two teams, but this is one of the mid-level games that'll be a must-win to remain relevant in the race.

Kansas might have gotten blown away by Georgia Tech, but it looks far better overall compared to last year and was excellent offensively in the first two weeks. Now the Jayhawks try to get their first win over Texas Tech since 2001 in a must-win game with Oklahoma State and Oklahoma coming up next, and if the offense can run like it did over the first three games, and if the passing game can stay efficient, they'll have an honest shot at pulling off the upset.

It would help if Texas Tech plays like it did against Nevada.

Just when it seemed like the Red Raiders were going to be something truly special after pitching near-perfect games against Texas State and New Mexico, it took a late rally to get by a Wolf Pack team with one of the nation's shakiest secondaries. Now, after playing a team with a pulse, there's a big question about whether or not the Red Raiders are for real. With Texas A&M up next, everything has to be rolling offensively, while the run defense has to show it can stop someone after having problems over the last few seasons.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: Bombs away. The KU secondary wasn't even close in the first two games, giving up 325 yards to McNeese State and having problems slowing down Chandler Harnish and the NIU passing attack. The overall stats are a bit skewed because Georgia Tech has a strange way of hitting the home run on its big plays, and the running game destroy the KU linebacking corps with 604 yards and seven touchdowns, but the Jayhawk defense will be a work in progress.

This should be target practice time for the Texas Tech offense as it flies up and down the field, and it can even use a little bit of balance if it wants to. KU has a mediocre pass rush, and again, even though the stats are a bit misleading, it's last in the nation in total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, and run defense. Texas Tech's offense has just as much explosive power as Georgia Tech's, but in a different way, and Kansas might not have the pop to keep up the pace missing top receiver Daymond patterson, who's out for the year with a groin injury, and with great-looking freshman JaCorey Shepherd not in the mix after looking great over the first two weeks.

Why Kansas Might Win: Kansas should be able to run the ball. It might not be a high-powered ground game, and the offensive line is just okay, but Texas Tech doesn't have the front seven to hold up against anyone who wants to pound away on the inside, and doesn't seem to be able to handle backs who can bounce it to the outside.

Nevada is Nevada, and it's going to run against everyone, but Texas State's quirky attack was able to rank out 256 yards and even New Mexico had a little bit of success. Kansas is getting some decent production out of James Sims, Darrian Miller, and Tony Person, a promising group of backs with the quickness to make things happen whenever they get any room to move. Against Texas Tech, who's missing linebacker Cody Davis, they'll get holes to fly through.

Lost in the Georgia Tech debacle was that the offense actually worked for a half. Jordan Webb kept up the pace with the passing game, spreading the ball around well, and when the offense bogged down, Ron Doherty did a great job with the kicking game averaging over 47 yards per kick. While that gave Georgia Tech more field to work with and more stats to pile up, KU did a good job at getting solid field position.

What To Watch Out For: Texas Tech's leading receiver, Darrin Moore, is out with a knee injury suffered against Nevada, and that means Eric Ward needs to build on his two straight strong performances and Alex Torres has to show up. Ward hasn't put up big yards, but he's been great around the goal line with five touchdown grabs in the first three games on 16 catches. Torres was expected to use his speed and experience to become the No. 1 guy, but he's been nothing more than a cog in the system with just 12 catches for 136 yards. This might be the breakout game; it's his turn.

James Sims has been tremendous so far for KU. The sophomore started out the year with two straight 100 yard games, and while he only ran for 40 yards on 11 carries against Georgia Tech, that's only because the game got out of hand. He's a tough, quick 6-0, 206-pound playmaker who needs the ball in his hands at least 20 times. Over the last two years, Kansas is 5-0 when he runs for 100 yards or more.

What Will Happen: This will be a fun, wild shootout. Kansas will get a huge day out of Sims and the ground game, gouging Texas Tech for 250 rushing yards as a team, but Seth Doege will go ballistic. He'll put up 400 yards, spreading the ball around well against the mediocre KU secondary, but it'll take a full four quarters to finally put the game away.

CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 48 … Kansas 41
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Texas Tech -6.5   O/U: 67.5

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