LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Red Raiders are gearing up for their fourth Big 12 contest of the season, as they are hosting the Kansas Jayhawks in a 2:30 p.m. contest.
According to Vegas, Texas Tech is an 18-point favorite to beat Kansas.
So here are my three keys to victory for the Red Raiders to defeat Kansas and pick up their first Big 12 Conference home win since 2016.
Don’t turn the ball over: Coming into the game the “Rock Chalk” Jayhawk defense takes great pride in turning the ball over. Get this, the Jayhawks lead the Big 12 Conference and in the nation in the turnover margin.
Yes, you read that right – they lead the nation. Through six games this season, they have forced 18 turnovers and are plus 13 in the turnover margin. But, one negative for Kansas, when they have forced those turnovers they don’t turn them into points.
As they have only scored 35-points off turnovers, this season. So even though Kansas hasn’t been capitalizing on the turnovers, it is vital that the Red Raiders don’t turn the ball over against the Jayhawks.
“I think they’ve made a big jump from last year to this year, not only personnel, but the way they’re executing,” Kliff Kingsbury said. “Lead the country in turnover margin, which is a huge indicator of success. They played hard every week, have great coaches, great schemes. They’re right there.”
Stop the run: Without question, the Jayhawks rely heavily on running the rock. Coming into the contest, Kansas has three running backs with more than 25 carries on the season.
But, their main feature back is Pooka Williams Jr or according to Brian Haney the voice of the Jayhawks – Pooka “the Bazooka”. Williams has had 72 carries for 539 yards on the season, where he is averaging seven-point-five yards per rush attempt. So, if Tech can take Kansas out of its element and force them to pass the ball. I would look for the Red Raider defense to have success and possibly for a turnover of their own.
“You go from watching film on a certain coordinator, what he’s been doing all your, not really knowing what direction they’re going to take it with Coach Beaty, whoever else is calling it," Kingsbury said. "I think you definitely have to be prepared for anything.”
Protect the Jones: This one is a must for Texas Tech. Both teams go into Saturday’s game looking to end respective streaks. For Texas Tech, they look to end their eight-game Big 12 home losing streak.
While Kansas looks for their first Big 12 road win in 10 years. So, there is a lot on the line for both teams. But, this is the perfect time for Texas Tech to end their streak. The last Big 12 home win for the Red Raiders was against Kansas in 2016. So, it is time to lock the gates and defend the Jones on homecoming.
“We got a good Kansas team coming in here this weekend,” Jah’Shawn Johnson, senior defensive back, said. “We got to take care of business in front of our home fans, which we haven’t been doing lately. I think we owe them a lot. We need to play good at home’
Final Thoughts: According to the ESPN Power Index, the Red Raiders have an 89-point-five percent chance to beat Kansas. If Texas Tech can do these three keys, I’d look for them to beat the Jayhawks and improve to 5-2 on the season.