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A Closer Look: #17 Texas Tech Red Raiders

A closer look at TCU's next opponent, the #17 Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

I have a confession to make.

This isn't easy, but it’s a necessity, seeing how the Frogs play Texas Tech this weekend.

My wife, bless her heart, is a Red Raider.

And I've discovered this year that the week leading up to the TCU/Tech game is going to be unbearable for me for the foreseeable future.

Especially with the Raiders coming off of a nothing-less-than-surprising blowout win over West Virginia.

I've been hearing gems like, "You guys won’t know what hit you."

"We just beat the tar out of West Virginia, you really think you can beat us??"

The worst part of it all is that my wife is not a football fan. In fact, the only reason she’s needling me like this is because she knows it bothers me. She turns to friends for her ammunition.

So, while I’m trying to get past the verbal abuse I’m getting at home this week, know that I write this with exceptional fervor today.

The Facts: Texas Tech is 5-1, 2-1 in the Big 12 this season, and is ranked #17 in the BCS standings (#18 AP, #20 USA Today)

They've beaten Northwestern State, Texas State, New Mexico, Iowa State and West Virginia.

Their one loss was against Oklahoma, and the Sooners put a beating on them 41-20. The Red Raiders are 2-0 on the road this season (Texas State, Iowa State) and have, much to my dismay, been rather impressive to this point.

Currently they’re ranked 2nd in the Big 12 in defense behind TCU, allowing 16.3 points per game. When it comes to yards allowed, they’re actually the best in the Big 12, and fourth in the nation (243 ypg). That’s an impressive statistic, seeing how just a year ago they were second to last in the league, allowing 39.3 points per game, and almost 500 yards to opposing offenses.

This week, they’re reinstating linebacker Daniel Cobb, who was arrested and charged before the season for felony burglary (but was recently had the charges dropped after agreeing to a protective order). Cobb was third on the team in 2011 with 70 tackles, but had slipped down the depth chart in spring ball.

However, they’re losing shutdown cornerback Cornelius Douglas, who has two interceptions on the season.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, they’ll test the Frogs’ secondary just like Baylor did. Seth Doege is a good quarterback in a long line of good Tech quarterbacks. He’s second in the conference in passing yards with 1,891 (315.2 ypg), but he has a knack for throwing interceptions. He’s thrown seven interceptions this season, good for a tie for second in the conference.

Doege will be without a few key receivers on Saturday though, most importantly tight end and leading receiver Jace Amaro who suffered a chest injury against West Virginia.

Two other receivers, Javon Bell and Bradley Marquez have been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a broken foot and a right knee injury, respectively.

Amaro, Bell and Marquez have combined for 56 receptions, 835 yards and five touchdowns this season. This allows the TCU secondary to focus on Darrin Moore and Eric Ward, who are the #2 and #3 receivers this season respectively with regards to yards, but they’re #1 and #2 when it comes to receptions (29 and 24) and touchdown receptions (7 and 5).

So there’s my key match up to watch: Jason Verrett and Kevin White vs. Moore and Ward. If the Frogs can force some picks early, it’ll make the day a lot easier.

Go Frogs.