Texas and Texas Tech meet for an inter-state matchup in the Big-12. With both teams at 4-4, the only thing they can concern themselves with at this point is improving their bowl season prospects. I have to assume that they’ll get a couple more wins, one team who will obviously pick up a win today. There is no such thing as ties in college football, so no need to worry about that. All indications show that Texas head coach Charlie Strong is on the way out as head coach. I don’t know if it’s the right move going to Tom Herman, which reports are indicating, but Strong is not working out at Texas. The Longhorns haven’t been a contender since the Colt McCoy days, and with each passing season Texas’ fans are getting restless with their product on the field.
The Longhorns and Red Raiders squeaked out wins last week, a 35-34 win for Texas and 27-24 in overtime for Texas Tech. Both were underdogs, but both escaped with big wins on the season. They needed those wins to stay competitive in 2016. 3-5 for Texas would have been a death sentence for Charlie Strong, if it isn’t already. Nevertheless, I give the Longhorns a lot of credit going out and beating Baylor in the face of all the drama surrounding the head coaching position. Texas go to Lubbock as short favorites Saturday afternoon.
If there any positives to get out of this season in Austin, it’s that I think they found their quarterback of the future. Freshman Shane Buechele has looked great, all the way from opening weekend against Notre Dame to November. He also has a lot of growing to do as well, so I expect him to have a promising career with Texas. Charlie Strong probably won’t be there to watch him evolve, but Herman will probably have a good quarterback waiting for him in Austin. Buechele has thrown for 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with 2,013 yards. Offense is not the problem at the University of Texas, though. I will talk about their issues below, along with what the Red Raiders need to do to be successful in this game.
Texas Longhorns vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Texas Tech +3.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Texas vs. Texas Tech Pick:
If you’ve been following college football this season, even just a little bit, I probably don’t need to tell you what is wrong with the Longhorns this season. The defense has been in shambles, falling off a cliff from where they were a season ago. Their secondary was statistically the best in the Big-12, they were not an easy team to pass the ball on. They look like an entirely different team in 2016, a team which ranks not only at the back of the Big-12 but in the entire country. Texas are 112th in total yards surrendered per game, allowing an abysmal 462 yards. They’ve slipped all the way to 94th against the pass, and are currently 97th defending the run.
Texas are lucky for their offense. Without Buechele there is no telling how bad the Longhorns would be this season, because the points would have been hard to come by with Tyrone Swoopes starting at quarterback. Texas have been fairly potent on the ground and through the air. They’ve had a nice little balance between their running attack and Buechele. The Longhorns are ranked 26th in rushing and 42nd passing, while averaging 36 points per game.
Texas Tech uncharacteristically had a solid game on defense last week. This coming after Oklahoma scored virtually every time they had the ball the previous week, putting up 66 points in a 66-59 win. The TCU offense was frustrated against the Texas Tech defense. There is something you won’t hear every week. The Red Raiders are still 126th in yards given up per game with 518 yards. They are also allowing 41.4 points per game, 123rd in the nation. The offense was uncharacteristically bad last week though, so it was the twilight zone for the Red Raiders.
Despite that, Mahomes is still 1st if the FBS, passing for 500.6 yards per game. The next closest team is Louisiana Tech who have 376 yards per game. You will never find me saying a total of 81 is too low, but I’m going to say it here. I think 85 or 86 is a better number, in a contest I see finishing with a final score of 45-40. Texas Tech and Texas played to a 48-45 game last season, and with both defenses even worse than last season, I don’t see why the fireworks aren’t flying again.
PICK: OVER 81 POINTS (-110)