So far this season for a conference that was on the doorstep of being completely destroyed the Big 12 has been pretty good, especially when you consider they had just as many teams in the initial BCS standings as the mighty SEC (seven). This installment of Big 12 football will feature the #17 Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-1, 2-1) traveling (not far) to Fort Worth, TX and Amon Carter Stadium to square off against the in-state rival #23 TCU Horned Frogs (5-1, 2-1 in Big 12).
Last week Texas Tech pulled off a major upset manhandling the then #5 West Virginia Mountaineers (now #13) by a score of 49-14 just one week removed from suffering their first loss of the season, 41-20 versus the #9 Oklahoma Sooners. The Red Raiders are ranked fourth in the FBS in passing yards gained per game (369 yards), 60th in rushing yards gained per game (168.3 yards), 16th in points scored per game (40.7 points) and 17th in points allowed per game (16.3 points).
Senoir quarterback Seth Doege is in the middle of quite a final campaign in Lubbock passing for 1,891 yards, 21 touchdowns (2nd in FBS), seven interceptions and completing 70.7% of his attempts (6th in FBS). Last week versus the Mountaineers Doege completed 32 of his 42 attempts for 499 yards and six touchdowns against a very weak defense, but this week against a much tougher defense it will be difficult for him to duplicate those numbers.
The Red Raiders won’t need him to have a video game like he did last week but will need him to be efficient and not commit turnovers to come out victorious in this one. Doege should spread the ball around (as he has done so well this season) to the plethora of weapons that he has including Darrin Moore (29 receptions for 314 yards and 7 TD), Eric Ward (24 receptions for 295 yards and 5 TD) and Jace Amaro (23 receptions for 394 yards and 4 TD). In fact the Red Raiders have eight players with 100 yards receiving or more on the year.
The Horned Frogs lost their first game of the year two weeks ago versus the Iowa State Cyclones 37-23, but then bounced back last week defeating the Baylor Bears 49-21, all in the wake off their starting quarterback Casey Pachill being pulled over for DWI, being suspended by the team and then later checking in to a rehab facility. TCU ranks 41st in the FBS in passing yards gained per game (258.2 yards), 58th in rushing yards gained per game (171.2 yards), 42nd in points scored per game (33.2 points) and 11th in points allowed per game (14.5 points).
In Pachill’s absence freshman Trevone Boykin has taken over behind center and has done a good job passing for 605 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions along with 42 carries for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Boykin will need to have another good game this week in order to keep up with the high-powered offense that Texas Tech will put out on the field.
Running backs B.J. Catalon (53 carries for 425 yards and 4 TD this season) and Matthew Tucker (56 carries for 229 yards and a TD) will both need to carry a huge offensive load for the Horned Frogs to keep some of the pressure off of the young signal caller, if they can do so and let the potent defense control the Red Raiders offense then they have a legitimate chance at pulling off the upset at home.
I don’t think that Texas Tech can pull off consecutive victories of this caliber, even Doege may have a good game I just feel this TCU defense will step up for their team and lead them a 27-20 victory.