FORT WORTH, TX (KCBD) - The Red Raiders are gearing up for their second Big 12 road contest of the season as they will face TCU under the lights on a Thursday night.
Coming into the contest, it will be the defensive guru Gary Paterson versus the offensive mastermind Kliff Kingsbury. The Horned Frogs come into the game giving up on average 304 yards and 21-points per game.
So, here are my three keys to victory for Texas Tech to go into Fort Worth and beat Texas Christian.
Get presser on the QB: Coming into the game for the Horned Frogs, there is a solid chance that we will see two different quarterbacks play. 12 days ago, against Iowa State, quarterback Shawn Robinson had to be helped off the field. Where suffered an injury on his shoulder of his non-throwing arm. But, we learned this week that this injury could be pretty serious.
In his pre-game press conference, coach Patterson had this to say on his quarterbacks’ shoulder.
“Some people would be out for a year; some people won’t miss a game. He probably falls closer to I’m not going to miss a game category,” Patterson said.
So, after hearing that, I would look for Texas Tech to bring some pressure on Robinson. Make him force some throws and make him feel uncomfortable. Also, coach Patterson believes you need two quarterbacks to get through a season, so it wouldn’t be surprising if backup Michael Collins saw more game action in the game against Texas Tech.
Force Turnovers: I know, this is a cliché and that this could be a key every week. But, I truly believe this is the game that Texas Tech can make a big leap in the turnover margin. Coming into the game, Texas Tech is tied for third place in the conference in turnover margin.
While, Texas Christian ranks dead last in the Big 12 in turnover margin. Yeah, you read that right; dead last. They are negative seven coming into the game against Texas Tech. Where since week two of the season, TCU has given up a turnover in every game.
It is a problem that they have been looking to address since the SMU game. So, this is a prime opportunity for Texas Tech to force some turnovers and if they can win that battle; I can see them winning the game. John Cruyff once said, “Football is a game of mistakes. Who ever makes the fewest mistakes wins.”
Get the ground game going: This one is essential for Tech. Coming into the game as we all know, TCU hangs their hat on the defensive side of the ball. Where they rank first in pass defense, along with first in total defense in the conference. So, it is vital that Texas Tech gets the ground game going.
Especially since we don’t know who will start at quarterback for Texas Tech. So, if they can get the ground game going, that will take some pressure off the quarterback and open more of the offense for coach Kingsbury.
Final Thoughts: In both losses this season for Texas Tech, they struggled early in the games. I am not worried about that here. Get this, on Texas Tech’s roster they have 34 players from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Basically, this is a coming home game for a lot of the players. So, you know they will be extra hyped to go back and play in that area.
Prediction: Since this game is during the week, I didn’t have the chance to give my predication on the news. So, here it is. According to Vegas, Texas Tech is a seven-point underdog to the Texas Christian Horned Frogs.
But, like I say every week - Vegas can be wrong. (Example: Tech was underdogs against Houston & Oklahoma State) Plus, since taking over in 2013, head coach Kliff Kingsbury is 4-1 against the spread when coming off of the bye week.
So, I am going to go Texas Tech beating TCU 38-35, even though Texas Tech has question marks heading into the game at the quarterback position.