College football is a hot mess right now. Of course the sport is always full of surprises, upsets, and interesting story lines every year. However, this season has been so weird that the only thing that I can compare it to is the mind of former Texas Tech head coach, and best selling author, Michael Charles Leach.
So while writing this preview, I’m gunna be honest here guys...I have no idea in Sam hell what is going to happen on Saturday when Mike Leach’s former team, rolls into the Fort to play the 4-3 Horned Frogs.
The Raiders have a losing record, but don’t let that fool you, playing against Tech is almost always a trap game. Sitting at 3-4 Kliff Kingsbury and the Red Raiders are looking to get back on track as they make a push to finish out the season strong and make it to a bowl.
We’re in a pretty similar boat. It would be nice to start getting the Frogs on the right track to see if they can still finish in the top of the conference. Despite coming off our worst loss since joining the Big 12, there are reasons to be optimistic about the Frogs down the stretch. The defense is playing better, we still have a player named Kyle Hicks, and we may see Turpin back in some sort of capacity this weekend.
Recent History of TCU-Tech Rivalry
Since joining the Big 12, TCU has split the series with Tech (2-2), which is a fair record considering that every time these teams have played each other in recent memory, weird things tend to happen.
In 2012, there was the 3OT thriller in Fort Worth, with Texas Tech escaping with the 56-53 win after Seth Doege thew for 7 touchdowns.
In 2013, what was quite possibly the worst CFB officiated game ever, Tech beat TCU 20-10 thanks to the previously mentioned refereeing (who were fired afterwards) as well as some Black Magic Fox Witchcraft. It is also worth noting that the Red Raiders looked like Dr. Pepper-ten cans in this one.
Then of course, TCU would get its first Big 12 win against Texas Tech in 2014. Where Trevone Boykin threw for 7 touchdowns - redemption - en route to
wrecking mauling the Raiders 82-27. The Frogs scored so many touchdowns in this one, that Amon G. Carter ran out of fireworks for the rest of the season.
Oh and who could forget last year’s 55-52 West Texas shootout in Lubbock. That game featured a light drizzle for about 15 minutes and then it was a wild one to say the least. There were a total of 7 punts on 29 drives, with points being scored on 17 of those.
Tech was up by 4 with 23 seconds to go, and on 4th and goal things went from 0...
Oh and then Tech almost won anyways, on some last minute Black Magic Lateral Witchcraft.
Texas Tech so far
The Raiders and the Frogs were two of the top teams not named Oklahoma that were picked to win the conference this year. With Patrick Mahomes accounting for all of the yards and the thought that the defense couldn’t possibly be worse, things were looking up in Raiderville. Alas, like the Frogs this season, it doesn’t seem that Tech is going to compete for the conference title this year.
Their first loss came on the road against Arizona State, where their defense allowed a record breaking performance from ASU’s running back. The lone conference win for the Raiders has been against Kansas, but since then the team hasn’t been able to beat any conference opponent. They’ve dropped their last 3 games against Kansas State, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. Last week’s game against the Sooners featured another performance by the defense that gave up 7 touchdown passes from Baker Mayfield.
Seriously what is the deal with 7?
Patrick Mahomes is a video game character
Watching Patrick Mahomes play is like watching someone play any of the NCAA video games (RIP). Where you just throw a deep ball and 9/10 times it results in a 70 yard touchdown, then on defense you kind of just put the controller down and wait to get the ball back. He has thrown for 3313 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. What’s most impressive about Mahomes’ play so far is that he’s doing all of this with the highest completion percentage he’s had in his career, at 68.3%. In addition, he’s added 237 yards and 9 scores on the ground.
If he doesn’t win Big 12 offensive player of the year then this conference deserves to be doomed.
Last week against Oklahoma he threw for a record tying 734 yards, and ran for 85 more yards which resulted in him breaking the record for most yards by a player in a single game. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand somehow his team still managed to lose.
With Patty at the helm of the Texas Tech air attack, I’m once again pretty nervous to play the Red Raiders, however with our defense showing signs of improvement I think we should be able to pull away late in the 4th (after falling behind I’m sure).
Mahomes can do it all, but he cannot carry his team back from the dark-defenseless abyss.
Make sure the offense has a pulse
As long as the offense can move, not the ball, literally move their arms and legs, we should be able to hang points on Tech in this one. Their defense currently ranks 127th in all of FBS. That’s second to last. They have given up 43.9 points per game, and allowed 533 yards per game.
The Tech defense is so bad that we should be able to pick our poison with what aspect of the offense we want to lean on more in this one, run or pass, speaking of...
Just feed Kyle Hicks
Whether it be letting him run up the middle, or a pass 3 yards up the middle, let the man get his touches. He makes plays, and the more we run the ball against the not so good Tech run defense, the less likely that Kenny is to make a dumb mistake, which is something we would really like to not have happen in this game given the opponents potent offense.
I want to see #HicksForSix touch the ball at least 25 times. Trust me I’m all for Kenny padding the Heisman stats, but I need to see our best player touch the ball as much as possible. Jamie even talked about it last game, how the two scoring drives that we had against WVU featured an emphasis on running the ball. In this one, we will be wanting to keep Mahomes off the field for as long as possible, so why not grind down the clock as well as carving up the opposition at the same time?
Yes we have an air raid offense, but that doesn’t mean we can’t run the damn run.
Kliff and company haven’t been able to win on the road this season, so that is something that we can take heart in at this moment. How confident you are in this one all depends on how much trust you are willing to put into the defense this weekend. If we can just get some crucial third down stops and make Tech punt around 6 or 7 times, then I’ll feel much better.
After all, Texada (who didn’t play against Tech last year due to his injury) is starting to come on strong like we wanted him to earlier in the season. He’s helped make his side of the field a lot less attractive for opposing quarterbacks the past few weeks. If Julius Lewis can play well, not necessarily great, in his second game back...I would be hard pressed picking against the home team. Also if some one finally found the Frogs pass rush, wherever they’re hiding this season, then that’d be grand as well.
I expect there to be points, I expect there to be fireworks, and I expect the home team to win this one close. TCU will fall behind early like they love to do this season, but then take advantage of one or two defensive stops to score the dagger. Frogs win 51-42.