The Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Reds Raiders are both on the same page with respects to last week. They both endured tough losses against quality opponents, yet both were interesting, especially the Longhorns who couldn’t hold on late. Instead of kicking an XP and taking the contest to overtime, West Virginia went for 2 points to bury Texas with one play.
The Texas defense had no answer for Will Grier and the Mountaineers’ offense, and Grier added an explanation point with the 2-point convert. The ensuing result was a 45-44 win for WVU. The West Virginia defense wasn’t stopping anything either, so Dana Holgerson said forget it, let’s go for 2 and end this game right now. They didn’t want to see Texas quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, on the field again and Grier made sure the Mountaineers didn’t have to.
Texas Tech had to deal with a loss of their own against a capable offense. Oklahoma torched Texas Tech all game long and they just couldn’t keep up. It was a case of which defense was going to get a key stop or two and that belonged to the Sooners. There wasn’t much defense to be had on either side.
Talented freshman Alan Bowman had to leave the game last week, as he injured his lung again, sending him to the hospital. Jett Duffey who has had a lot of playing time in the absence of Bowman this year, stepped in and didn’t miss a beat. He fired for 2 touchdown passes to lead the Red Raiders on a couple of important drives to keep the game within striking distance. The Red Raiders’ defense just has to find a way to get to Ehlinger. Texas Tech won this game in upset fashion in Austin, 27-23, last year. It was a game that Kliff Kingsbury needed to save his job.
However, his defense must contend with a much better QB this season. Ehlinger has improved immensely, and is coming off a 354-yard, 3 touchdown performance against West Virginia. He also is a threat to run the ball. Not as much of a threat as Kyler Murray, but Ehlinger has deceptive speed that Texas Tech is going to have to watch. Head below for our free Texas vs. Texas Tech pick.
Texas Longhorns vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Texas Tech +1.5(-105)
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Texas vs. Texas Tech Pick:
Texas did not want to Texas Tech on their schedule this week. They would have preferred to maybe see an offense that they wouldn’t have their track shoes on against. After getting torched for 45 points last week, they head to Lubbock to take on the Red Raiders’ offense. The Texas defense has been getting exploited recently, with 80 points allowed in the last two weeks. There might be a simple explanation for the steep decline.
The Longhorns have been dealing with significant injuries to their defense. While they have talented young players, Texas is reeling having to throw them in on such short notice in 2018. Already ruled out for Saturday is linebacker Marqez Bimage. Along with Bimage, starting defensive end Breckyn Hager, cornerback Davante Davis, and safety Brandon Jones are all iffy to go in Lubbock. Texas was able to get pressure on Grier only twice during the entire game last week. He got to dice them up with ease with no worry of getting pressured. Duffey is not as much of a threat downfield, but he does have wheels and can run with the ball much better than Bowman.
Duffey is 2nd on the team with 297 yards rushing. He rushed for a touchdown last week, along with tossing 2 touchdowns when he had to go into the game cold off the bench. The sophomore should be able to build some confidence after moving the ball in a big game against Oklahoma. He will also have the benefit of picking on an inexperienced, banged up Texas defense.
If they are not going to get any pressure on Duffey, like they couldn’t do against Grier, they’re going to put up 40+ points again. Texas are 103rd in the FBS with 256.4 passing yards allowed per game. Antoine Wesley who has been a terror at wide receiver for Texas Tech, is going to pose some big problems for the Longhorns. He’s already hauled in 1,176 yards and 7 touchdowns. Wesley leads the conference in receptions, 70, and yards.
The key for the Red Raiders will be limiting Ehlinger. He is much better than last season and has developed into quite the dual-threat QB. Ehlinger has thrown 16 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, with 329 yards rushing and another 9 touchdowns on the ground. He’s been dealing with a shoulder sprain the last three weeks, but has been playing fine despite fighting through pain.
Both of his interceptions came in Week 1 against Maryland. Since then, Ehlinger has thrown 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. He will likely be able to exploit a Red Raiders’ secondary who are allowing 291.1 yards per game for 125th in the FBS. After both of these defenses had to chase around prolific offenses last week, don’t expect them to be ready just a week later to deal with more offensive weapons. Look for this to be one of the more entertaining games of the week, with a 38-36 or 40-35 final score on deck in Lubbock.