Turkey Day For Texas & Texas Tech

Posted Nov 28, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Texas Tech at Texas

Texas Tech (7-4) at Texas (7-3) Nov. 28 7:30, FOX Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Thanksgiving is supposed to be about relaxing, gorging and family fun, but the pressure is ramped up in a big way for Texas who came up with a turkey last year against TCU – sorry – and has had to sit for two weeks on an ugly loss to Oklahoma State.

With Baylor to close out the regular season, a loss would really, really put the pressure on Mack Brown and his staff over the final week, but on the positive side, a win would keep hopes of a ten-win season alive. Losing to Oklahoma State is one thing – the Cowboys showed how good they are against Baylor last week – but a loss to the Red Raiders would be a disaster.

Texas Tech has hit the skids with four straight losses, getting blasted by Baylor two weeks ago. The offense kept up the pace for a while, but the defense couldn't come up with a key stop – or any stop – in the 63-34 loss. This is it for the regular season, and while the Red Raiders will be off to a bowl no matter what, a loss might mean the lowest rung on the ladder of eligible Big 12 teams.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: The offense is still working. The tougher schedule over the second half of the year has led to defensive problems, but the offense is moving the ball with at least 450 yards a game in against everyone but TCU. Granted, the last two games against Baylor and Kansas State were a little light, the passing game will throw for over 300 against a Texas secondary that's good, but has been inconsistent. The idea might be to let the Red Raiders have their yards, and then stiffen up when needed, but the Longhorn red zone D is among the worst in America.

Why Texas Might Win: What's been the biggest problem for Texas Tech over its slide? Run defense, run defense, run defense. The Red Raiders have allowed 277 yards or more on the ground in each of the last four games, all losses, accounting for the worst four games of the season against the run. Texas hasn't been able to blast away with the running game for a while, failing to hit the 200-yard mark in three of the last four games, but this might be the game to get it rolling. It's not that Texas can't get physical; it's just not able to crank out rushing yards in chunks. The coaching staff can't abandon the run if it's not working early on, and that means …

Who To Watch Out For: Malcolm Brown has to be more productive. With Johnathan Gray out for the year with a leg injury, Brown has stepped up over the last few weeks as the workhorse, with 20 carries or more in four of the last four games, but he's not going anywhere averaging under four yards per carry this year. Joe Bergeron has been a little more effective, but it's Brown who's handling a bulk of the workload.

What Will Happen: Can Baker Mayfield pull out a special performance? The freshman threw for 314 yards and four scores against Baylor, and he'll keep on chucking, but Texas will make amends for last year's ugly clunker against TCU on Turkey Day. The D will be fine, but the Longhorn ground game will take control.

Prediction: Texas 37 … Texas Tech 27
Line: Texas -4 o/u: 66.5
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 3
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