Texas should beat Texas Tech on Saturday. If the Longhorns take the game seriously, it shouldn’t be close.
Last season, Texas defeated their conference rival, 70-35. Texas Tech has a new coaching staff, but the defensive personnel is similar enough to expect Texas could exploit some of the same issues.
The Red Raiders did lose Riko Jeffers and Colin Schooler, whose absence could leave a void for Bijan Robinson to gash. The two linebackers combined for 178 tackles last season.
A cursory view of Texas Tech’s season shows improvement from the Red Raiders, but not so much on the offensive side of the football. The Raiders put up 14 points on Saturday against NC State on the heels of 23 points in regulation against Houston.
Houston, though well regarded in preseason, has failed to live up to its billing this year. Last week they lost to Kansas, 48-30. The Red Raiders will need to elevate their offense this week to hang with the Longhorns.
Here’s a look at both teams by the numbers through three games.
Texas Tech's leading rusher, Tahj Brooks
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Tahj Brooks leads all Texas Tech rushers with 132 yards on 27 carries. SaRodorick Thompson is next on the leaderboard with 98 yards on 21 carries. Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith comes in next with 31 yards rushing. By comparison, Bijan Robinson has amassed 311 yards on 51 carries, with Roschon Johnson tallying 131 yards on 21 carries.
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images
The Red Raider quarterback has been feast or famine in his three games this season. Smith has 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on the young season. The Raiders aren’t shying away from passing the football, though. Smith has completed 71 of his 110 attempts through three games.
Texas Tech passing attack
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Texas Tech is fourth in the nation in pass yards per game with 373.7. In contrast, their 101.7 rush yards per game is good for No. 113 in the FBS. That should give some idea of how the Red Raiders attack offensively.
Bijan's big game
One thing that's important to remember about Bijan Robinson is he is better than the other players on the football field. pic.twitter.com/PvAWHCwAms
— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 18, 2022
Bijan Robinson had one of the best performances of his career on Saturday. His 183 yards rushing were tied for his second-best rushing performance. Robinson had 216 yards rushing against TCU in 2021, with 183 against Colorado to cap the 2020 season.
Texas' defensive resurgence
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The Texas defense has allowed 16.7 points per game. That includes the 20-point performance against Alabama’s vaunted offense. Pete Kwiatkowski’s stated goal was to hold opponents to 20 points or less when he came to Texas. He has accomplished that goal in all three games.
Texas quarterbacks protect the football
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Quinn Ewers threw an interception on the opening drive of the season. Texas has not thrown another interception since. Hudson Card and Quinn Ewers have combined to complete 58 of 86 passing attempts, completing over 67 percent of their passes.