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Texas Tech Preview

Why God please no

Kansas v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Well, here we are again. Kansas plays a game of American football on Saturday morning, where they will try to not get killed by the second-worst team in the Big 12.

The Raiders are 3-6 overall, 2-6 in Big 12 play, with wins over West Virginia and Baylor. Tech’s three wins this year have come by a combined 10 points. That said, they were also competitive in most of their losses, only really getting blown out by Oklahoma. (Iowa State and TCU pulled away from the Raiders late in the second half of those matchups.)

So once again, Kansas has a tough task ahead of it. Not only are the The Red Raiders the second-worst team in the Big 12 standings, they are the second-worst Big 12 team in S&P+ at #89, with the #59 offense and the #102 defense. Meanwhile, Kansas comes in at #120, with the #122 offense and #112 defense.

So, we’ll find out what happens when a stoppable force (the KU offense) meets a movable object (the TTU defense). The Red Raiders defense has allowed over 470 yards per game so far this season, including over 190 rushing yards per game, while KU’s offense averages just under 265 yards per game.

Players to Watch

Alan Bowman, SO QB

When healthy, Bowman is a stud for Tech. In parts of three seasons for Tech (remember this year doesn’t count toward eligibility), he has played in just 18 games, but completed over 67% of his passes and already has 5,137 passing yards in his college career. Bowman was benched for most of October, but reclaimed the starting job after leading a second-half come-from-behind victory against Baylor on Nov 14. He should have a Heisman highlight type of day against a beleaguered Kansas defense that left multiple receivers open in the end zone against TCU just one week ago.

Erik Ezukanma, SO WR

Bowman’s favorite target so far this year has been Ezukanma, who just got named to the Biletnikoff watch list. He is giving OSU’s Tylan Wallace a run for his money in terms of pacing the Big 12 in catches, yards, and touchdowns.

SaRodorick Thompson, SO RB

Tech still prefers the passing game, which just makes the running game that much more deadly. Thompson is averaging 5.8 ypc so far on the season. Fortunately for him, Kansas allows 5.3 ypc, so... yeah.

Zech McPhearson, SR DB

McPhearson is responsible for six turnovers so far on the season, with 4 INTs and 2 fumble recoveries, and has scored a defensive touchdown. If he sees similar success against KU and Texas Tech gets extra possessions via turnovers, this game will be over quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Riko Jeffers, SR LB

Jeffers is second on the Raiders in total tackles, but first in TFLs with 8 so far this season. The Kansas offensive line has been, well, offensive, all season long, and with KU’s starting center Api Mane opting out and entering the transfer portal, it just got even worse.

Prediction

The oddsmakers have installed Tech as a 27.5-point favorite or thereabouts, depending on where you look of course. S&P+ gives the Raiders an 85% chance for the victory, and calls for a 38-20 Tech win, which would be solidly covering the spread.

Obviously, we haven’t seen anything out of Kansas this year to think that the Jayhawks can go up and down the field with Texas Tech. As fun as the Tech game was last year, you have to put on some really thick Jayhawk goggles to make a case for KU this year.

Kansas has yet to get into the end zone more than three times in a game this season, but even if the Jayhawks hit paydirt four or five times, Texas Tech may cover the Over (62.5) all by themselves. This is a series that, outside of last year, has not been kind to the Jayhawks overall. In the 11 matchups since 2008, Tech has never been held to less than 30 points by Kansas, and the three matches prior to last season saw Tech score an average of 56 points against KU.

Add in the #Motivation of revenge for last year, and you have the makings of a rough day for the KU Football Jayhawks. Texas Tech 59, Kansas 28.