Getting to know: Texas Tech football

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury calls a play from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury calls a play from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

After a bye week, the University of Kansas football team will look to capture its first conference win.

Kansas (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) is slated to take on Texas Tech (4-2, 2-1) this week. The Jayhawks have dropped their last 11 meetings with the Red Raiders. Texas Tech claimed a 65-19 win over Kansas during last year’s meeting in Lawrence. The Red Raiders are coming off a 17-14 win over TCU.

“It’s going to be a great challenge going down there, but I know our guys are excited to go down there,” head coach David Beaty said. “We feel good about the game plan and the things we can do to take advantage of, so we’re looking forward to going down there and bringing back a victory.”

Kansas travels to Texas Tech at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

BREAKING DOWN TEXAS TECH:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — True freshman Alan Bowman’s performance through four starts ranks among the most impressive debuts in program history. But Bowman missed last week due to an injury he sustained against West Virginia. In his place, sophomore Jett Duffey completed 13 of 24 passes for 190 yards against TCU. Junior McLane Carter also started the season opener.

Running backs — In four starts, freshman Ta’Zhawn Henry has rushed for 274 yards and seven touchdowns on 63 attempts. Demarcus Felton, a senior, has carried the ball 45 times for 214 yards and four scores. Felton recorded a 130-yard performance on 14 attempts against Oklahoma State, while Henry accumulated 111 yards on 24 carries against Houston.

Receivers — Junior Antoine Wesley has started all six games for the Red Raiders, hauling in 41 catches for 703 yards and five touchdowns. In four starts. Ja’Deion High has caught 32 balls for 484 yards and three scores. Four other receivers have caught at least 13 passes for the Red Raiders, who rank second in the nation in passing offense with an average of 373.3 yards per game.

Offensive line — Last season, Texas Tech had one of the youngest offensive lines in the country. Behind five returning starters, the Red Raiders have kept all three of their quarterbacks upright against three of the top pass rushing teams in the country in the last month. Travis Bruffy, Madison Akamonu, Paul Stawarz, Jack Anderson and Terence Steele have started 15 of the previous 17 outings for Texas Tech.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — Sophomore Eli Howard, sophomore Joseph Wallace and junior Roderick Washington make up the defensive line for the Red Raiders. Washington, who has started all six games, has notched 14 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Howard has made five starts, recording 18 tackles and 3.5 sacks for Texas Tech.

Linebackers — Senior Dakota Allen and junior Jordyn Brooks have started all six contests in the linebacker unit for Texas Tech. Allen has tallied 45 total tackles from his spot, while recording four quarterback hurries. Allen has made 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage as well. Brooks has registered 37 tackles and logged one interception. Seniors Kolin Hill and Tony Jones will be used this weekend as well.

Secondary — Senior John Bonney is the lone defensive back to have started in all six games. The safety has forced a fumble and recorded one pass breakup, while recording 19 total tackles. Senior Jah’Shawn Johnson holds down the other safety spot for the Red Raiders. Freshman Adrian Frye and sophomore Damarcus Fields are the two starting corners, while junior Douglas Coleman is the team’s nickelback.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Texas Tech has the same four specialists from 2017, including kicker Clayton Hatfield and punter Dominic Panazollo. Hatfield is currently tied for sixth all-time with 40 career field goals. He’s hit 40 of 48 field goal attempts over his career, which is good for an .833 average. Panazzolo has limited opponents to just three returns this year over his 30 punts.

FUN FACT — Opponents are only converting 31.5 percent of third-down attempts this season, which ranks 20th in the nation and second in the Big 12. The Red Raiders ranked 92nd in the country and last among Big 12 schools in that category a year ago.

VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, Texas Tech is an 18-point favorite over Kansas as of Friday afternoon. The Jayhawks have lost all three conference games by an average margin of 18.3 points per contest. The Red Raiders, meanwhile, have beat the Jayhawks by at least 18 in three of their last five meetings. I’m willing to give up that many points in this one.

Prediction: Texas Tech 42, Kansas 17

Record against spread: 4-2

Comments

Eric Eakins

I've watched bits and pieces of TT games this year and their defense looked pretty porous offset by their offense that looked pretty good. Since our defense is looking much better maybe we can get some stops. Their second string QB is not anywhere close to their starter so if the starter is back from injury we are in big trouble. If not, we might have a chance. Of course, the offense has to produce something which has been a struggle and I suspect recent OC changes isn't the real problem but hope I'm wrong. I do appreciate the coach talking as if we should win but attitude is only a small part of training and planning/executing correctly. Let's go Hawks.

4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

What a minute. We have a new offensive coordinator, we only get 17? Come on.

4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Dirk Medema

Their replacement QB has twice as many INTs as TDs. If we can keep him from running all over the place we might be able to stay in this game. Anything can happen in a close game.

4 weeks ago

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