Having clinched bowl eligibility, Kansas now has three games left on the schedule to see just how far they can take this thing in 2022. Technically, the route to the Big 12 title game is still possible for KU, but it disappears with a loss to Texas Tech Saturday night. The question, largely an unanswered one, is just how good the Red Raiders are.
When talking about Tech’s inconsistency this year, it’s important to note that they, like much of the Big 12, have had to deal with injuries at the QB position. Three quarterbacks have attempted at least 30 passes for Tech, and two of those have attempted more than 165. So yes, it’s been a bit of a carousel. Last week against TCU, senior Tyler Shough struggled mightily after coming in for injured Behren Morton, completing just 9 of 22 passes for 84 yards with a pick to go with a single TD. Morton has been confirmed out again for this week’s contest, and head coach Joey McGuire has suggested that Shough will split time with sophomore Donovan Smith as signal caller. Smith has the most snaps at QB this year for Tech, but the results haven’t been consistent. He’s completed a respectable 66.4% of his passes, but averages just 6.8 yards/attempt and has been picked off 8 times.
As for just how good Texas Tech is compared to Kansas, I’ll turn to Bill Connelly’s trusty sp+ ratings system. He has Tech as the 9th best team in the Big 12, but still a respectable 50th in the country. Kansas is ahead, but not by much, sitting at 44th overall. Connelly has Tech as an offense-heavy team, with a top 35 offense but just the 71st ranked defense. KU has been better offensively and worse defensively in these ratings, ranking 22nd and 78th, respectively.
Kansas has a tendency to get themselves into shootouts, and this week may be no exception. The uncertainty surrounding the QB position, especially on a team that relies on its offense to keep them in games, is a point in KU’s column, where even if Jalon Daniels can’t go, Jason Bean has shown himself a reliable enough backup to keep the team competitive, even earning a win last week. On the other hand, having to make a trip to Lubbock after the emotional high of achieving bowl eligibility last week may leave Kansas a little flat, especially since Tech knows they have to win two of their last three if they want to find themselves bowling at the end of the year. I’ll give Kansas a slight edge, just because Tech appears to be searching for an answer at QB, while KU’s defense has looked much improved recently, especially after getting guys like Cobee Bryant, Kenny Logan, and Lonnie Phelps healthy last week.
Kansas 34, Texas Tech 31