On Black Friday, the Texas Longhorns (6-5) will host the Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-7) at 11 am in Austin. Texas leads the overall record at 51-7. The last four meetings have been decided by eight points or less. Last year in Lubbock, Texas pulled off the win with a touchdown catch by Lil’Jordan Humphrey in the final minute of the game. The Red Raiders have won their last two games in Austin, but they have never defeated Texas at home three times in a row. The Longhorns are favored to win by ten. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect from Tech Tech.
The State of Texas
Texas is coming off of two straight losses on the road; first to Iowa State and then to #14 Baylor. The Longhorns first seven games of the season stand in stark contrast to their last four games. While the Longhorns averaged 41 points per game in their first seven games, ninth in the FBS. They have averaged just 21 points per game in their last four games, tied for 94th in the FBS. Texas had a total of 14 three-and-out drives in their last four games. Out of their first seven games, they only had 12 total three-and-outs. While they have the highest red zone efficiency of any Big XII Conference team since 2010 (76.9%), their difficulty comes in actually making it to the red zone. The Longhorns were six for 17 on third-down conversions against Iowa State and four for 13 against Baylor. This places them at a 33% conversion rate in their last two games
Last week against Baylor, Texas was unable to put together a complete game. Despite matching the Bears’ 391 yards of total offense, the Longhorns struggled to formulate any sort of offensive scheme. They also failed to play a clean game, losing over 100 yards on penalties. It was the first time of the Tom Herman era that the Horns have been shut out at the half. It also marked the third game in a row that the Horns haven’t scored in the first quarter. With that being said, it’s tough to know what to expect from Texas Tech.
What to Expect from Texas Tech
Last year against Texas, quarterback Jett Duffey had 444 passing yards; the most of his career. Their top running back SaRodorick Thompson has averaged 62 rushing yards per game this season. Wide receiver Dalton Rigdon averages 46 receiving yards per game. The Red Raiders are 2-5 in the conference, beating only Oklahoma State and West Virginia, and they are officially bowl-ineligible for the season. With new head coach Matt Wells from Utah State, Texas Tech is still struggling to find their identity.
Juwan Mitchell is dealing with a hamstring following the Baylor game. Anthony Cook (tibia/fibula sprain) and Cade Brewer (torn ankle ligament) will continue to be out. Devin Duvernay is “limited” this week from a knee contusion. Collin Johnson (hamstring) will be out until the bowl game. Sam Cosmi, Jalen Green, Demarvion Overshown, and Keaontay Ingram are all “limited” with ankle sprains. Jordan Whittington is having persistent pain, despite a normal MRI, from a torn adductor muscle that was surgically repaired in September.
Both teams have lost three of their last four games and will be looking to make a statement in their final regular-season game. Herman’s record has taken a turn for the worse in his third year as head coach, and he desperately needs this win to help right the ship. A 6-6 finish would stand in stark contrast to his 10-win regular season of last year. In order to pull off a victory on Friday, Texas needs to come out aggressive early in the first quarter and drop the same predictable offensive plays they’ve been running all season.