Week 9: Texas Tech at TCU

    Texas Tech (3-4) at TCU (5-1) Oct. 25, 3:30 Here’s The Deal: Texas Tech won in a somewhat stunning 20-10 defensive fest last year, and it won a 56-53

    October 24, 2014

    Texas Tech (3-4) at TCU (5-1) Oct. 25, 3:30 

    Here’s The Deal: Texas Tech won in a somewhat stunning 20-10 defensive fest last year, and it won a 56-53 shootout in 2012. The two former Southwest Conference brothers probably would’ve played each other had there been a playoff in 2008, and this time around, they’re each trying to come up with a key win. 

    Texas Tech is simply looking to get among the land of the living. Beating Kansas to pull up out of a nosedive is one thing, but after a rough four-game losing stretch, coming up with a season-changing road win over – maybe – the league’s best team would change the second half of the season. The Red Raiders get Texas and Oklahoma at home and have to go to Iowa State before closing out in Arlington vs. Baylor. The defense has to be better and the offense more explosive, but it’s a year of transition for Kliff Kingsbury’s bunch. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but if he can somehow win three of the last five games and go bowling, the year will be a success. 

    On the opposite end of the spectrum is TCU, who’s deep in the hunt for the Big 12 championship and possibly a College Football Playoff spot. In the key three game stretch, the Horned Frogs slipped by Oklahoma, lost in crushing fashion at Baylor, and blew out Oklahoma State. Now this ends a run of three home games in four, and then kicks off a stretch of three road games in four with a showdown at West Virginia. First, this should be a fun and wild shootout if the TCU passing game can stay hot, and if Texas Tech can get the passing game ramped up. 

    Why Texas Tech Might Win: The Red Raiders still have the offensive firepower to keep up the pace. It might not be the devastating attack of recent years, and the passing game has to work to get to 300 yards, but outside of too many interceptions – 13 so far – but it can still move. TCU’s secondary doesn’t give up too many big plays down the field, but it can be dinked and dunked on. The Baylor finish was an aberration, but if Davis Webb and the Red Raider receivers start to get into a groove, they can hang around by spreading out the Horned Frog secondary and working the outside like Petty did. 

    Why TCU Might Win: Texas Tech still isn’t playing much defense. Run all you want to on the front seven, and bomb away need when you must – the Red Raiders aren’t stopping any of it. The pressure should be taken off of Trevone Boykin and the passing game against a Tech run defense that’s allowing 4.7 yards per carry and hasn’t stopped anyone by Kansas and Oklahoma State. It’s not like the line is getting gashed for huge plays, but it’s getting run on for five yards a pop on a regular basis giving up 20 scores. Against Oklahoma State, the Horned Frogs got physical up front for 261 yards, and it should be able to do it again. 

    Who To Watch Out For: Lots and lots of penalties. Last year, Tech was flagged ten times for 89 yards in the win over TCU, and TCU was nailed 13 times for 115 yards. The two teams should put up big passing numbers, and this should be fun, but expect plenty of laundry on the field. TCU isn’t too horrible overall, but it’s good for about seven a game and got nailed with 12 penalties against Oklahoma and 110 yards against Baylor. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is a penalty disaster, even after sinning just four times against Kansas. The Red Raiders have been flagged ten times or more four times with 12 for 115 yards a few weeks ago against West Virginia. 

    What’s Going To Happen: It’s not going to be the shootout it should be. Texas Tech throws a lot, but its attack doesn’t go anywhere. TCU’s offense will do whatever it wants to. 

    Prediction: TCU 45 … Texas Tech 20 
    Line: TCU -23 o/u: 73.5 
    Must Watch Factor: 5: Dumb and Dumber To – 1: Manhattan Love Story … 3 

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