The Big 12 seems to have a huge, heavyweight showdown each and every week this season and now this week that showdown will feature the #14 Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-1, 3-1 in Big 12) heading to Manhattan (not the one located in New York City) to square off with the #3 Kansas State Wildcats (7-0, 4-0 in Big 12) at Bill Synder Family Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Both teams enter the game riding high off of emotions and momentum following their big conference victories a week ago. Texas Tech knocked off TCU in triple overtime 56-53 while Kansas State embarrassed #19 West Virginia 55-14 on the road.
Texas Tech’s offense is one of the top units in the nation ranking fourth in passing yards gained per game (361.7 yards), 78th in rushing yards gained per game (154.4 yards) and tied for 10th in points scored per game (42.9 points) while their defense is also very stout ranking seventh in yards allowed per game (282 yards) and 34th in points allowed per game (21.6 points) which makes them a very difficult opponent. Senior quarterback Seth Doege has placed his name amongst the Heisman candidates this year passing for 2,209 yards (11th in FBS) and 28 touchdowns (1st in FBS) while completing 70.8% of his pass attempts (6th in FBS) and throwing seven interceptions.
Last week versus TCU Doege completed 30 of his 42 attempts for 318 yards and seven touchdowns and if he can put up similar number this week then the Red Raiders will be in an excellent position to upset K-State. Balance amongst their offensive weapons is one thing that Texas Tech has plenty of as the Red Raiders have three running backs who have rushed for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns apiece in Kenny Williams (68 carries for 423 yards and 3 TD), Eric Stephens Jr. (65 carries for 341 yards and 3 TD) and SaDale Foster (62 carries for 315 yards and 2 TD) as well as eight players who have hauled in at least 10 receptions for over 150 yards on the year. Leading the way for the Texas Tech receivers are Darrin Moore (34 receptions for 377 yards and 8 TD), Eric Ward (30 receptions for 356 yards and 8 TD) and Jace Amaro (23 receptions for 394 yards and 4 TD) but the Wildcats secondary can’t just concern themselves with those three due to the Red Raiders uncanny balance on offense.
Kansas State has displayed an excellent balance between having a solid offense that can score points and a defense that can stop their opponents from scoring points. The Wildcats are currently ranked 92nd in passing yards gained per game (201 yards), 14th in rushing yards gained per game (233.9 yards), tied for10th in points scored per game (42.9 points), 14th in points allowed per game (16.1 points) and 24th in yards allowed per game (327.3 yards).
The Wildcats have their own Heisman candidate quarterback in Collin Klein and he is having a tremendous season in his own right passing for 1,397 yards and 10 touchdowns while completing 70.5% of his pass attempts (7th in FBS) and tossing just two interceptions. Klein has also rushed for 551 yards and 14 touchdowns (1st in FBS amongst quarterbacks and 5th overall) on just 110 carries. Last week versus West Virginia, Klein completed 19 of his 21 attempts for 323 yards and was responsible for seven touchdowns (3 passing and 4 rushing). Running back John Hubert will also have to be a huge part of the K-State attack if they want to stay undefeated and in the BCS title chase. So far this season Hubert has rushed for 658 yards and eight scores on 114 carries. With that dual attack in the backfield the Red Raiders defense will definitely have their hands full this week.
This should be a very well played game for both teams on both sides of the ball but in the end I like the Wildcats to protect their home field and come away with the victory 34-27.