Game Preview: Texas

Game Preview: Texas

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Texas Tech will look to close its season on a high note Friday afternoon when the Red Raiders travel to the state capital to face in-state rival Texas at 11 a.m. inside Darrell K Texas Memorial Stadium.
 
The Red Raiders have won each of their last two meetings against the Longhorns in Austin, including a thrilling 48-45 victory in 2015 and then a 27-23 win in 2017. Each of the past four meetings with Texas have been won by the home team with the margin of victory being eight points or less.
 
Texas Tech enters this weekend's tilt at Texas with a 46-45-4 all-time record in regular-season finales, which includes a 13-10 mark during the Big 12 era (1996-present). The Red Raiders have closed the regular season with wins in three of the past four seasons after topping Texas in both 2015 and 2017 as well as Baylor in 2016.
 
Texas Tech last entered its final game with bowl eligibility no longer in reach in 2016, which resulted in a 54-35 victory over Baylor in the final game of Patrick Mahomes II's career as a Red Raider. The Red Raiders are closing the regular season against Texas for only the fourth time in program history as the two schools previously rounded out the 2013 and 2015 campaigns against each other. Tech is 2-1 in those games.
 
Close losses have become too common for the Red Raiders this season as Texas Tech has dropped four games during Big 12 play alone by three points or less. Prior to this season, the Red Raiders had not previously dropped at least four games by three or less points since 1985, the final year for Jerry Moore at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders followed that 1985 season with a 7-5 record and an appearance in the Independence Bowl the next year under David McWilliams.

COVERAGE
FOX Sports will carry the 69th matchup between the two schools. Joe Davis will be on the call alongside analyst Brock Huard with Bruce Feldman reporting from the sidelines. Fans can also find the game on any streaming device using the FOX Sports app.
 
ESPN Radio will air the game nationally with Sean Kelly calling the action alongside analyst Barrett Jones with Ian Fitzsimmons reporting from the sideline.
 
The Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Brian Jensen will have the call alongside analyst John Harris, sideline reporter Chris Level and engineer Steve Pitts. The radio broadcast can also be heard XM channel 390, Sirius channel 80 or via the TuneIn app.
 
SERIES HISTORY

  • Texas Tech and Texas will meet for the 69th time in history and the 60th-consecutive year Friday afternoon in Austin. The Longhorns control a 51-17 all-time advantage in the series, which includes a 30-7 mark in games played in the state capital.
  • The Red Raiders will be looking to repeat its last two performances in Austin as Texas Tech topped Texas, 48-45, in 2015 and then 27-23 in 2017. It marked the first time Tech has won back-to-back games in Austin since the series began in 1928.
  • The last two meetings against the Longhorns have come down to the final moments as Lil'Jordan Humphrey hauled in a 29-yard touchdown grab to give Texas the victory with only 21 seconds remaining a year ago. In the 2017 meeting, Justus Parker picked off a Sam Ehlinger pass with just over two minutes remaining, setting up a Cameron Batson touchdown grab from Nic Shimonek that was followed by a Douglas Coleman III interception to seal the victory.
  • This will be the sixth time in the past seven years the two in-state rivals have entered the game unranked. At least one team entered the annual matchup ranked nationally in at least one poll in each of the previous 15 meetings from 1998-2012. The Longhorns were ranked 19th prior to Texas' 41-34 victory a year ago.
  • Matt Wells is looking to become only the second head coach in program history to top Texas in his debut season, joining only David McWilliams (1986), who led the Red Raiders to a 23-21 victory in 1986, his lone year in Lubbock.

TEXAS TECH – TEXAS CONNECTIONS

  • There are several connections between the Texas Tech and Texas staffs, notably with Matt Wells and Longhorns defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, who previously held the same position during Wells' first two seasons at Utah State. Orlando, who was hired by Wells following a two-year stint at Florida International, departed Utah State following the 2014 to join Tom Herman's staff at the University of Houston. He is in his third season on the Texas staff.
  • Texas Tech inside receivers and tight ends coach Luke Wells' relationship with Herman dates back to their time together at Big 12 counterpart Iowa State from 2009-11. Wells held a similar position with the Cyclones now, while Herman was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Texas passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Drew Mehringer was also on the Iowa State staff from 2010-11 where he served as a graduate assistant, working directly with the Cyclones wide receivers.
  • Texas co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Herb Hand worked alongside both Texas Tech defensive coordinator Keith Patterson and defensive line coach Paul Randolph for three seasons at the University of Tulsa. Hand was in the same exact position with the Golden Hurricanes as he is now at Texas from 2007-09, while Patterson was Tulsa's co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach and Randolph was executive senior associate head coach and the other co-defensive coordinator.

 
DUFFEY HITS 300-YARD MARK FOR THIRD-STRAIGHT WEEK

  • Jett Duffey recorded his third-consecutive game with at least 300 passing yards against Kansas State as he threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns in the near come-from-behind effort. It marked the fifth time this season and the sixth time in Duffey's career where he has eclipsed the 300 yard mark through the air.
  • Duffey is averaging 331.0 passing yards per game over his seven starts this season. That average would rank third nationally, trailing only Washington State's Anthony Gordon (431.4) and Heisman Trophy contender LSU's Joe Burrow (368.7).
  • Over his seven starts this season, Duffey has completed 66.3 percent of his passes after throwing for 2,317 yards and 16 touchdowns with only five interceptions. Duffey, a former Mr. Texas Award winner by Dave Campbell's Texas Football, has thrown for 2,441 yards over nine appearances this season as he ranks 21st nationally and third in the Big 12 for completion percentage entering this weekend. He has also rushed 65 times for 226 yards and a touchdown.

BROOKS A STRONG ALL-AMERICA CANDIDATE

  • Jordyn Brooks, a finalist for the Butkus Award, has proven he deserves to be among the nation's top linebackers this season as the senior ranks among the nation leaders with 108 tackles (66 solo) through 11 games. Brooks enters this weekend among the national leaders in several defensive categories, ranking third in tackles for a loss per game (1.8), eighth in solo tackles per game (6.0) and 13th in total tackles per game (9.8). 
  • Despite missing the majority of the TCU game due to injury, Brooks remains the only player in the FBS to rank in the top 15 nationally for tackles for loss per game, solo tackles per game and total tackles per game.
  • If Brooks stays true to his 9.8 tackles per game this weekend, he would end the year with 117, the most for a Red Raider since Micah Awe had 126 in 2015. He ranks second in the Big 12 with 108 tackles entering this weekend.
  • Brooks already has a Big 12-leading 20.0 tackles for a loss this year, the majority of which came at Arizona (3.0) and against Oklahoma State (4.0). He has already surpassed his career total entering this season as he combined for 13.0 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in each of his first three seasons as a Red Raider.
  • Brooks' 20.0 tackles for a loss this year mark the most by a Red Raider since Adell Duckett set the Texas Tech single-season record with 24.5 in 2003. It marks the third-highest total for a Red Raider since the start of the 2000 season as he trails on Duckett and Aaron Hunt's 22.5 from 2001.  

TEAM NOTES...

  • Texas Tech has been impressive over the opening 15 minutes this season as the Red Raiders are outscoring opponents, 72-47, in the first quarter. Tech has shut out opponents in the first quarter in six of 11 games thus far. The Red Raiders have forced either a 3-and-out or a takeaway on the opening drive in seven games as well.
  • Heading into the final game of the regular season, Texas Tech is averaging 31.1 points per game, which, if the season ended today, would mark the 19th-consecutive year the Red Raiders have averaged at least 30 points per game.
  • On the opposite end, Texas Tech is only surrendering 28.6 points per game, which would be the Red Raiders' lowest clip since 2009 if the season ended today.
  • Texas Tech has surrendered only three sacks over the last three games as the Red Raiders have only given up 14 this season despite being one of the most active passing teams in the country. Tech is currently tied for 15th nationally and ranks second in the Big 12 after allowing only 1.27 sacks per game. The Red Raiders have attempted 473 passes already this season, which ranks third in the FBS. Washington State is the only other school besides Tech to have at least 400 pass attempts and rank in the top 15 for fewest sacks allowed this season.
  • The TCU game snapped a seven-game streak where the Red Raiders had forced at least one takeaway. Texas Tech is now plus-six in the turnover margin, which ranks second in the Big 12 lead and ranks 26th nationally entering this weekend. The Red Raiders ranked 90th in the FBS in the turnover margin a year ago, a steady improvement under first-year head coach Matt Wells and his staff.
  • Texas Tech is plus-seven in the turnover margin during Big 12 play alone, which
  • Matt Wells and his staff have stressed the importance of protecting the football since their arrival, and the results have showed. Texas Tech have given up only 13 turnovers, including only five lost fumbles. The Red Raiders, who surrendered 22 turnovers a year ago, trail only Texas and Kansas for the fewest lost fumbles in the Big 12 this season.
  • The Red Raiders are currently averaging 156.7 rushing yards per game, which, if the season ended today, would rank as the fourth-highest clip during the Big 12 era and the second-highest average since Texas Tech moved to a spread offense in 2000. Tech averaged 273.2 yards on the ground in 1996, 201.7 yards in 1998 and 191.3 yards per game in 2015.
  • Texas Tech has returned a pair of kickoffs at least 40 yards over the past two weekends as Ta'Zhawn Henry brought back a 63-yard return versus TCU, while KeSean Carter darted 41 yards up the middle against Kansas State. The Red Raiders are averaging 22.4 yards per return this season, which ranks 39th nationally and third in the Big 12.

--TECH--

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