Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our Texas Tech vs. Kansas preview and prediction.
11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 5th, 2020; Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
TV: FOX Sports 2 (Guy Haberman, Charles Arbuckle)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network (Brian Jensen); Jayhawk Sports Network (Brian Hanni)
Spread: Texas Tech -27
Fun Fact: The last time KU won in Lubbock came on October 6, 2001, when the Jayhawks defeated the Red Raiders, 34-31 in overtime.
Who’s at QB?
Jalon Daniels was the presumed starter for the rest of the season and Les Miles has mostly held true to that since the middle of the season. But Miles Kendrick came in last week and performed relatively well and gave KU a spark. Daniels had started six of the prior seven games. But Kendrick came in and led the Jayhawks on a TD drive last week and played the whole second half vs. TCU. Kendrick finished 11-for-18 passing, for 166 yards and two touchdowns. But he also made his mistakes with an interception that TCU returned for a TD and a lost fumble on which the Frogs scored another defensive TD. So who is under center this week?
DE Marcus Harris
There are a ton of freshman getting important reps for the Jayhawks this season. Harris is one of them. He is tied for fifth in the country among all freshmen with 7 ½ tackles-for-loss. All of his TFLs have come over his last four games, where he’s had at least one tackle for a loss in each contest. His 7 ½ TFLs are the most by a Kansas freshman since linebacker Jake Love had eight in 2012.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
RB SaRodorick Thompson
SaRodorick Thompson paced the Red Raiders with 133 yards and two touchdowns last week against Oklahoma State. That was his best game of the season in over two months, when he ran for 104 yards against Texas. Thompson hasn’t had the season Red Raiders fans expected (593 rushing yards, eight touchdowns), but he can close on a high note by following up on last week’s monster performance against the Cowboys in Stillwater.
LB Krishon Merriweather
Merriweather leads the Red Raiders with 63 tackles and his 7.9 tackles per game rank fifth in the Big 12 Conference. He finished with seven tackles last week against Oklahoma State. The JUCO transfer is also second on the team with 4.5 tackles for loss and will have ample opportunities to add to that number against a very young, and struggling, Kansas Jayhawks offensive line.
It’s getting tough to watch Kansas, who hasn’t even covered a spread this season, despite being massive underdogs in each game. But is there a week when this young team just puts it all together and shocks the college football world? KU has played 26 true freshman this season, which is the most by any team nationally (UMass is second with 21). The Jayhawks started six true freshmen on offense Saturday versus TCU. The six freshmen offensive starters are the most by any team nationally in a game this season. If KU wants to make this game competitive, it needs to get some rhythm to the offense, which can be its best defense. I actually think the defense has some players on it, but they seem to wear down because the offense has been so inept.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Red Raiders need to build off last week’s performance on the ground when they racked up 255 rushing yards against Oklahoma State, their most in a game since… 313 at Kansas in 2017. SaRodorick Thompson and Xavier White were a great 1-2 punch last week, and if they keep that going, it will open things up for Alan Bowman in the passing game and Texas Tech will roll to victory.
Texas Tech 45, Kansas 17
As many teams have against Kansas, Texas Tech will overwhelm them. It might take Tech until the second half, but I imagine this will end up being another ugly KU football game. Les Miles is building things the right way with high school players, but this team is going to have to take its lumps and that will continue on Saturday.
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