A Texas Tech week 7 showdown against the Kansas Jayhawks will likely be the last time the Red Raiders are favored this season. If Texas Tech is going to break its bowless streak, this game cannot be squandered. Limiting the number of points one’s opponent scores typically is a key component in securing victory. However, this week specifically, Texas Tech needs to hold Kansas under 23 points to guarantee a much-needed bounce-back win after an embarrassing homecoming.
Less Than 23 Points In All Wins This Season
Here are the final results from every game this season for Texas Tech:
- Texas Tech 38, Houston 21
- Texas Tech 28, Stephen F. Austin 22
- Texas Tech 54, Florida International 21
- Texas Tech 35, Texas 70
- Texas Tech 23, West Virginia 20
- Teas Tech 31, TCU 52
When Texas Tech wins in 2021, its opponents are limited offensively. There are four full games of evidence of what the ceiling is for this defense. However, due to some injuries in the secondary, the confidence in playing at that ceiling is waning. Even worse, the floor for the defense is only one step above the Mariana Trench. In the Texas and TCU games, both teams combined for a total of three punts. None of those punts came in the first half of either game and Texas never even trotted their punter on the field except for pre-game warm-ups.
The good news for the Red Raiders is they are facing one of the worst offenses in college football. The Kansas Jayhawks are only averaging 17.2 points per game, which ranks 122nd in the country. They rank 115th in total offense with 330.6 yards per game. Kansas has an average national recruiting class ranking of 65th best in the country over the last four years (according to 247 Sports). The leading rusher for the Jayhawks happens to also be their leading passer. Quarterback Jason Bean has a completion percentage of only 48.6% in two conference games this season, in which he has combined for 177 yards passing. In five total games, Bean leads the Jayhawks with 291 yards rushing and averaging 4.8 yards per rush. So Matt Wells and company should be able to keep the Jayhawks under 23 points…right?
Texas Tech Has Struggled With Kansas Recently
The point differential between Texas Tech and Kansas in the last two meetings is zero. In 2020, Texas Tech and Kansas played a 16-13 snoozefest in Lubbock which secured a winless season for the Jayhawks. It also signaled the end of the failed Les Miles-era in Lawrence. In 2019, these two teams played a very entertaining 37-34 games that gave everyone one of the wilder endings to a college football game in recent memory. Prior to Kansas beating Texas Tech in 2019 (which happens to be the last Kansas victory over an FBS opponent), Kansas had not beaten Texas Tech since 2001.
A deeper dive reveals that in 22 all-time meetings between these two programs, Kansas has only scored more than 22 points five times. The Red Raiders hold a 20-2 record over the Jayhawks. The average final score between these two in their last 14 meetings is 42-22. The game is ripe for players like Colin Schooler, Riko Jeffers, Jaylon Hutchings, and Tony Bradford Jr. to make a statement if the Red Raiders are going to save their season.
Texas Tech Week 7 Prediction
A 2 pm local kickoff time in Lawrence will likely result in a sleepy game-day atmosphere. If Texas Tech finds a way to struggle and lose to a Kansas team in year one under a new head coach, it will be hard to see Wells keeping his job after this season. However, there should be a concerted effort to get the ball back into Erik Ezukanma‘s hands after being non-existent in the game plan against TCU. There also is no reason why the rushing attack of SaRodorick Thompson and Xavier White will slow down at all either. Expect this team to handle its business against a lower-tier opponent.
Texas Tech 45, Kansas 18