This week we travel to the South Plains for an interesting matchup between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the TCU Horned Frogs. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is still looking for a signature win in his third season as head coach. He has a prime chance on Saturday afternoon with the somewhat wounded Frogs coming to a sold-out AT&T Stadium Lubbock. The last ranked opponent Tech beat was a rising Arizona State program in the 2013 Holiday Bowl. Last year was a major step in the wrong direction as the Red Raiders went 4-8 and were almost shut out in the Big 12.
Is there an upset in the making? Well Red likes both of these teams, but has picked TCU to make it to the 4 team playoff – so Red is not completely disinterested here. Normally, Red wouldn’t bet against the Frogs, but things have not gone smoothly for the Frogs in losing some key defensive starters and Coach Gary Patterson has had distractions aplenty this week.
Tech has already improved from last season when the Red Raiders were 119th in turnover margin (minus-13) and dead last in the country in penalty yards per game (89.2). The Red Raiders lead the Big 12 with the fewest penalty yards per game (46) and are tied for second with a plus-5 turnover margin. The ability to put points on the board was also in doubt at times last season, but Tech is averaging a spanking 54.3 points and an astounding 590 yards per game so far against admittedly second-rate competition when compared to TCU.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the Horned Frogs will be playing several new defensive starters. But Coach Patterson has consistently put together excellent defenses and will be ready to throw the book at Tech to disrupt KK’s game plan.
Ultimately, Red thinks this game will turn on the quarterbacks. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is Red’s favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Meanwhile, Tech seems to have finally found a signal caller after a few years in the wilderness. Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes actually has more passing yards than Boykin (1,029 to 985), a better completion percentage (66.4 to 65.7) and is almost even with Boykin in yards per attempt and touchdown passes.
In the end, Red thinks that experience will out and Boykin will make the key plays in the stretch to win a game that will be a lot closer than expected. But it will be an exciting affair, so get someone else to take the nachos out of the oven; you don’t want to miss a minute of this one. The oddsmakers think so too as the line has dropped considerably with Tech now a 6.5 point dog at home. Red likes Tech to cover and the over at 80.5. TCU 45 Tech 42.