Week 10 – Texas at Texas Tech

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 1, 2012


Week 10 Fearless Predictions - Texas at Texas Tech

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Texas (6-2) at Texas Tech (6-2) Nov. 3, 3:30, ABC

Here’s The Deal: It might not seem like it after the last few weeks, but the two teams are ranked and still in the Big 12 title chase. Texas Tech needs a few miracles to stay in the hunt, but Texas, despite all of its problems and all of its issues, is still in the mix with Kansas State still on the slate. Realistically, these two are jockeying for bowl position, but it’s still an important game.

Texas might as well have lost to Kansas. Case McCoy pulled the team out of the fire in a loss that might have been a deathblow to the Mack Brown era, but needing a last-second score to beat the Jayhawks 21-17 shows just how many problems the program is having. The defense was dying all season long, and then last week the offense decided to fizzle. Even so, at 6-2 the potential is still there to put it all together and come up with a decent season, but there can’t be a slip-up on the road against a dangerous Red Raider team that’s night-and-day better than it was last season when it lost 52-20.

The Red Raiders held tough with Kansas State for a half before getting their doors blown off, but they’re still bowl eligible and they still have plenty of talent and potential to come up with a big finishing kick. They’re probably not going to struggle with Kansas in the home finale next week, and with winnable games against Oklahoma State and Baylor to close out, there’s plenty to shoot for. Beating the Longhorns for the first time since the 2008 classic, and the second time since 2002, would be a nice start.

Why Texas Might Win: The Longhorns have the pass rush to get into the backfield on a regular basis and screw up Seth Doege and the Texas Tech passing game. Lost in the close call against KU was how the defense dominated and destroyed the miserable Jayhawk attack, allowing just 39 yards through the air. The run defense has been a bit too soft, and it couldn’t slow down KU’s James Sims, but Texas Tech doesn’t have enough of a ground game to take advantage. The Red Raiders can run the ball, but they can’t beat Texas without being able to throw and keep the chains moving. Defensively, Texas Tech hasn’t been a rock against the run lately and should be pounded on for close to 200 yards.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: The Texas offense isn’t working. Don’t let the big games against West Virginia and Baylor fool you – everyone comes up big against those two defenses – the offense failed against Oklahoma and sputtered and struggled against Kansas last week. The stats are misleading, and it’s up to Texas Tech to take advantage. If Seth Doege can take advantage of a secondary that’s giving up way too many big plays, it might be harder than it appears for the Longhorns to be able to keep up. The Red Raiders are 11th in the nation in passing efficiency, and Texas is 94th in the country in pass efficiency defense. The offense should move however it wants to.

What To Watch Out For: David Ash is the Texas starting quarterback – for now. The Longhorns’ problems can’t be put on his shoulders, starting off the year with a big first month, but he couldn’t seem to make anything work against Kansas completing 8-of-16 passes for 63 yards with two picks before getting pulled. Stepping in to save the day was Case McCoy, who completed 5-of-7 passes for 68 yards and a game-winning touchdown to bail the KU game out of the fire. Ash is getting the call this week, but if he sputters at all, watch out for the quick hook – the coaching staff knows McCoy can produce when needed.

What Will Happen: Will Texas eventually play up to its talent level? Maybe, but Texas Tech is too potent and too good to let a team that’s flailing so much come up with a season-turning win. Doege will have a big, big game in a wild shootout.

CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 52 … Texas 40
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Texas Tech -7 O/U: 67
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Man With The Iron Fists, 1 – Election coverage until Tuesday morning): 4