Here is everything you need to know ahead of the matchup between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Friday, November 24; 6:30 p.m. CT; Darrell K. Royal Stadium; Austin, Texas
Radio: Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Will Matthews; Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Will Matthews)
Records: Texas (10-1, 7-1); Texas Tech (6-5, 5-3)
Rankings: Texas No. 7 (AP); Texas Tech not ranked
Series History: Texas leads series, 54-18-0
Last Meeting: Texas Tech 37, Texas 34 (2022)
Line: Texas (-12.5)
Fun Fact: Texas and Texas Tech have faced each other every year since 1960, and Friday’s game will represent the final scheduled matchup between the Longhorns and Red Raiders for the foreseeable future.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
RB Tahj Brooks
One of four Big 12 running backs to be named a Doak Walker Award semifinalist, Tahj Brooks is the key cog in Texas Tech’s offensive attack. On the year, Brooks has 1,352 yards and nine scores on the ground, and with three different quarterbacks starting games at some point this season, he’s been the most consistent threat that TTU has. Against a Texas defensive front that doesn’t give up much in the running game, Brooks will have a major challenge on his hands.
LB Ben Roberts
Ben Roberts is Texas Tech’s leading tackler on the year with 87 stops, but has also added a pair of forced fumbles and an interception on the year. This week, Roberts will be busy with CJ Baxter trying to do his best to replace Jonathan Brooks’ production for the Longhorns’ running game. With Quinn Ewers still dealing with the leftover of a shoulder injury, he might not be as active as a runner, but Roberts will have to keep an eye on that.
QB Quinn Ewers
Quinn Ewers has been back for a couple of games now and it’s been great for the Longhorns to have their leader back for two key games on the road. Penalties and mistakes kept Iowa State in the game against Texas last week, and if not for a couple of big plays being negated, Ewers might’ve had the Longhorns rolling over the Cyclones last week. Now, in the final home game of 2023, can he put together a big performance against a veteran TTU secondary?
DT T’Vondre Sweat
Texas Tech wants to run the football with Tajh Brooks, which means T’Vondre Sweat will be a major factor for the Longhorns’ defense in this game. As one of the best defensive linemen in all of college football, Sweat provides an elite run-stopper for Texas in the middle, and that’s a big reason why they’ve been so good against the run this season. If UT is to win this game, it will be because Sweat dominated the Red Raiders interior offensive line.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
Can Texas Tech close out their rivals’ time in the Big 12 Championship with a devastating loss? The Red Raiders have nothing to lose and in a game where Texas has everything on the line, I’d say that part plays right into Joey McGuire’s hands. If Tech can be the team playing loose and wait for Texas to try and force things, it could lead to big mistakes. Like last season, TTU will have to play their best game of the season to beat Texas, but we’ve seen it happen before.
Can Texas handle the pressure and get that 11th win to lock in their spot in the Big 12 Championship game? The Longhorns have a chance to make the College Football Playoff if they finish the season as a one-loss Big 12 Champion, and getting to that point will require getting past the pesky Red Raiders on Black Friday. As long as Texas can keep its head screwed on straight, this is a game they should win fairly comfortably. The biggest question is, will they do that after struggling with it historically?
PREDICTION: Texas 34, Texas Tech 21
It won’t be a blowout, but I expect Texas to win this game by double-digits and punch their ticket to the Big 12 Championship. Texas Tech’s strengths on offense play right into Texas’ hands, and the lack of a running game for the Red Raiders is going to be a big-time problem for Behren Morton. Give me Texas to win the game and get to 11-1, plus move up the rankings after some chaos ahead of them.