Week 5 – Texas Tech at Iowa State

Posted Sep 27, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction – Texas Tech at Iowa State

Texas Tech (3-0) at Iowa State (3-0) Sept. 29, 7:00, Fox Sport Net

Here's The Deal: There's little margin for error in the Big 12, and for these two unbeatens, it's a must win to realistically be alive in the title chase. Is Texas Tech the real deal? It's hard to tell after blowing away Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico. The offense has been the Texas Tech offense, and the defense leads the nation in yards allowed and pass defense, but again, Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico. This is as easy as it will get for the Red Raiders until mid-November with Oklahoma, West Virginia, at TCU, at Kansas State and Texas up next, and while the team is good enough to win a few of those, it's time to prove it can handle the relatively average teams.

Iowa State has two good wins getting by a Tulsa team that might win the Conference USA title and an Iowa team that has a big name if not a good game. The defense has been terrific and the veteran squad is doing well enough to give hope that this could be one of the program's best seasons in years. Is this all for real? It's time to come up with an impressive all-around performance, especially at home.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: It's hard to tell too much because the competition has been so light, but on the plus side, the team and the offense are fully tuned. The first three games are like scrimmages to get the timing down, and quarterback Seth Doege comes in hot with a running game to help the cause. The defense isn't nearly as good as the stats, but it's far better than it was over the last few seasons and has the secondary to force Iowa State to be one-dimensional. Offensively, Texas Tech can put up big numbers on Iowa State, and can mount a quick comeback if needed, while Iowa State isn't built to rally if needed. The passing game is clicking at just the right time.

Why Iowa State Might Win: Iowa State is second in the nation in pass efficiency defense. Tulsa's passing game isn't efficient or effective, but it can put up big yards, and while Iowa's passing game is awful, James Vandenberg is a decent quarterback. Yes, the Texas Tech offense has worked, but the Cyclones are getting big seasons so far out of Durrell Givens, Jeremy Reeves and a secondary that's hitting everything in sight and keeping the big plays to a minimum. Texas Tech will complete passes, but it's not going to hit on many big plays, if any.

What To Watch Out For: Doege spent last year getting his feet wet again after going years without playing live football – he was hurt in high school and didn't start for the Red Raiders until his junior season. Now he looks more comfortable and is a far stronger decision maker throwing for 659 yards and 11 touchdowns with no picks over the last two weeks. He wasn't needed much against Northwestern State, even though he threw 34 times for 199 yards, but now he's on a run of 300 passing yards in four of his last five games and six in the last eight.

What Will Happen: Who's for real? They both are, but the Texas Tech offense will be just a wee bit sharper. The Red Raider D is about to get exposed by the effective Cyclone attack, but Doege will be red hot from the start as he carries the team to a big win over a real, live team.

CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 27 … Iowa State 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Texas Tech -2.5 O/U: 58
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ryder Cup 2012, 1 – SNL Thursday Weekend Update): 3