Texas Tech Week 8: Don’t Let Deuce Get Loose

Texas Tech Week 8

A Texas Tech Week 8 matchup against the Kansas State Wildcats will give the Red Raiders a chance to clear multiple hurdles. Texas Tech has been following the prescribed path to a bowl game “to a T” thus far. But now they have the opportunity to complete the plan early and even build upon it. Can they break their current five-game losing streak against the Wildcats?

Dangerous Double Deuce

Sophomore running back Deuce Vaughn arrived on campus in 2020 and made his impact on this Wildcat program immediately. His addition to the Maxwell, Doak, and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose watch lists for this season was due to all of the accolades he racked up as a true freshman:

  • 2020 Honorable Mention All-American (Phil Steele, Pro Football Focus)
  • True Freshman of the Year (247Sports)
  • Freshman All-American (Football Writers Association of America, The Athletic)
  • Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Semifinalist
  • Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year (Coaches)
  • Second Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, Associated Press)
  • Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (Oklahoma, Texas Tech)

This year has been pretty simple for the Wildcats. When Deuce gets loose, they win. When he is bottled up, they lose. In three victories this year, Vaughn averages almost 21 carries, 124 yards, and 1.5 touchdowns a game. In three defeats, Vaughn only averages 15 carries, 53 yards, and zero rushing touchdowns. The Red Raiders got more of Vaughn than they could handle in the matchup last season. In the 2020 game, Vaugh had 16 rushes for 113 yards and one touchdown. He also added three catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Familiar Game Plan Failures

Texas Tech has had opportunities against premier rushing attacks this season. So far, they have failed in their efforts to stop them. Bijan Robinson had a total of 20 touches for 191 yards of offense and a touchdown. Zach Evans didn’t even play in the 2nd half against Texas Tech. Evans and Kendre Miller had 29 combined carries for 328 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Texas Tech did improve last week against the rushing attack (albeit against a bad Kansas team), in which they held the Jayhawks to 145 yards rushing on 33 carries.

How Can the Offense Help The Defense

The Texas Tech Week 8 offense needs to strike early in this one. Setting the tone early not only will keep the Red Raider faithful at the Jones into the game, but it can force Kansas State to abandon the rushing game much earlier than they would like. The Wildcats do not want this to fall on the shoulders of its passing attack. Ideally, Kansas State would like to only throw the ball about 20 times in the game. They have only thrown for more than 215 yards once in a game this season. A Red Raider offense, which is averaging 35.7 points per game (25th best in the nation), needs to throttle up from the beginning and keep the scoreboard operator busy to assist the likelihood the defense can corral Vaughn and the Wildcats.

Texas Tech Week 8 Prediction

Something is going to have to give. Kansas State has lost three straight after opening the season 3-0. Texas Tech has lost five straight and nine of the last 10 meetings against Kansas State. It is an 11 am kickoff at Jones AT&T Stadium, so which team is going to wake up first? If Texas Tech is going to make a statement on this season, it has to come now. This Red Raider team has demonstrated real fight in every game this year, even in blowouts. This is the turning point the program has been waiting on for a few years now. Texas Tech will punch its ticket to the bowl season.

Texas Tech 30, Kansas State 24

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