Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our Texas Tech vs. Kansas Preview.
2:30 CST, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Brian Custer, Ben Leber)
Away Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network (Brian Hanni (PxP), David Lawrence (A)): Sirius 135, XM 200
Home Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network (Brian Jensen (PxP), John Harris (A)); Sirius 106/XM 199
Fun Fact: Texas Tech has historically dominated the series with Kansas as the Red Raiders have won 11-consecutive games against the Jayhawks. Tech leads the overall series with an 18-1 all-time advantage, including an 8-1 mark in games played at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Who’s at QB?
Kliff Kingsbury has been mum for a second straight week as to who is going to be his starting quarterback for Saturday’s game. Jett Duffey was underwhelming last week against TCU, finishing 13 of 24 for 190 yards, with one touchdown to one interception. Granted, he was going up against one of the better defenses in the Big 12 in his first-ever start. McLane Carter played sparing in the game, going 2 of 3 for 12 yards. I’d be surprised if Alan Bowman played this week, as Kingsbury might think that his team should be able to beat a hapless KU team at home without its stud true freshman. So I’ll expect Duffey to take the reins and we’ll see what he can do with it in his second start. His dual-threat ability should give Kansas more trouble than it gave TCU.
DB Adrian Frye
RB Pooka Williams
I just don’t have any faith in any option Kansas has a QB and Williams is the most dynamic player on the offense. Feed him the ball and if he can keep the offense on the field with some methodical drives, it will also help Kansas’ defense drastically. Williams has 539 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season, along with averaging over seven yards per carry. The true freshman has been the kind of spark Kansas hasn’t had on offense in years.
DB Bryce Torneden
Torneden has been a force in the KU secondary at nickelback. He’s currently top 5 in the Big 12 with 11 tackles per game and has two fumble recoveries, which leads the Big 12. His 51 tackles this season has almost surpassed his total from last season of 61 and he picked up his first career interception against Rutgers. He’ll need another big afternoon, playing against a Texas Tech team that wants to play fast, balance the pass and run, and catch you off guard.
The offense struggled last week, but for the season, it’s still humming for Kliff Kingsbury. Despite using three different starting quarterbacks through six games, Texas Tech remains one of the country’s top offensive leaders as the Red Raiders currently rank second nationally in passing offense (373.3 yards per game), fifth in total offense (551.7 yards per game) and 10th in scoring offense (43.2 points per game). Tech leads the Big 12 in both passing and total offense entering this weekend. While Tech did hold TCU to 14 points last week, the Red Raiders don’t want to have to rely on holding teams to two scores to win. Whoever plays QB this week should be more comfortable than what we saw last week in Fort Worth. Meantime, Texas Tech’s defense continues to hold its own and impress in conference play, especially in the second half. In three Big 12 games, Texas Tech has allowed a total of seven points in the second half. Kudos to David Gibbs and his staff for making the halftime adjustments necessary. Another factor to consider, Texas Tech is allowing opponents to convert just 31.5% of third downs, which ranks 20th nationally and 2nd in the Big 12 (behind TCU). Meanwhile, Kansas has the worst 3rd-down offense in the conference.
It’s the first game for the Jayhawks since they fired Doug Meacham. That tells me that David Beaty is feeling the heat and is going to go down with the ship as he sees fit. It’s not clear what Kansas is going to do at quarterback between Peyton Bender, Carter Stanley or Miles Kendrick, but all three have proven to be suspect options. The stable of running backs for KU is solid with Khalil Herbert, Dom Williams and Pooka Williams. I’d like to see if Beaty can get the run game going early against an average Texas Tech run defense. Meantime, if KU is going to win this road game, they’ll need to, once again, win the turnover battle. KU is a ridiculous +13 in turnovers, which is +8 more than anyone else in the Big 12. Force Jett Duffey (if he starts) into some mistakes, preferably on the TTU side of the field, and Kansas might have enough to pull off an upset.
Prediction: Texas Tech 35 Kansas 17. The Red Raiders are playing really well right now and a win would give them five for the season, practically guaranteeing bowl eligibility, and getting Kingsbury one step closer to keeping the job through 2019 and possibly beyond. Tech is in no position to be overlooking teams. Kansas has struggled mightily on offense and the defense will eventually get worn down by being on the field for so long against Texas Tech’s offense.
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