Reason #1: Kerry Mier and Dezmon Briscoe. Click.
Both of these guys can absolutely bring it. Last year, Kansas lost 3 of their top 5 receivers, but this year, Meier and Briscoe have more than picked up the slack. Earlier this week Tech92 talked about how it may be more important to contain Meier than Briscoe, but I'd maintain that Texas Tech had better watch for both. I'm still having nightmares of Texas A&M defenders breaking free for long touchdowns, if Johnson could hit an open receiver or if the line could keep from holding. The combination of a possession receiver and a guy who can get behind a secondary scare me to no end. And Briscoe is not small by any means (6'3"/200) so Jamar Wall and to a certain extent L.A. Reed had better bring their A game on Saturday.
Reason #2: Attacking the Quarterback
Kansas has been fairly successful at getting to the quarterback, ranked 37th in the nation and 5th in the Big 12. The difference is that it's either feast or famine for the Jayhawks. In 2 of KU's 7 games, the Jayhawks have been shut out for sacks, but when they're on, their on. Granted, this streak stars off with Sam Houston St., but up until the Oklahoma game, KU had 3.0 sacks a game. It should also be noted that Kansas garners 10.0 of the 15.0 sacks at home. I'm guessing that the coaching staff is going to work overtime to figure out how to give Harrell a number of different looks throughout the game in the hopes that Jake Laptad and Joe Mortensen can get to Harrell early and often.
Reason #3: Reesing Can Get It Done Too
Reesing is one of my favorite quarterbacks to watch. Perhaps its the fact that we're both 5'9" and as white-bread as it gets, but Reesing is so much fun to watch because he makes plays, plain and simple. One of the things that makes him so much more dangerous is his ability to scramble, especially outside of the pocket and Texas Tech has always had problems controlling opposing quarterbacks who are smart about running. Let's not forget that Reesing is completing close to 70% of his passes, and averaging almost 8.2 yards per attempt. That's a very healthy number considering Kansas has the 84th ranked rushing offense in the entire nation. Of Reesing's 5 interceptions, 2 of those came last week and Kansas was still able to put up 31 points. Stop Reesing and Texas Tech has a good chance to win, but let him play his typical game and it could be a long afternoon.
Reason #4: Soft Texas Tech Pass Defense
This scares me like no other and it obviously goes along with Reason #3 above, but if the Texas Tech defense was an animal it would be a armadillo and the rush defense is the tough outer shell, while the pass defense is the soft underbelly. That's right, an armadillo. Texas Tech ranks 103rd in the nation in pass defense, along the likes of Marshall, Navy, Idaho, etc. The most troubling aspect is that Texas Tech is allowing opposing defenses to complete 63% of their passes and with Reesing being a experienced quarterback, there's a pretty good chance that the Texas Tech pass defense gets exposed. The item that doesn't show up on the stat sheet is the opponent splitting the cornerback and safety while opposing receivers safely into the endzone. The Kansas passing game is not just Meier and Briscoe, but both of those guys can get the job done against this pass defense.
Reason #5: Is It Going to Happen?
Aren't we all asking ourselves, each week, if this is the week? I know that I've been cringing during each game because the last thing that I want is the bad loss. Texas Tech was favored in each game prior to this week's game so there was no reason to lose, but this week Texas Tech faces a Kansas team who has every right to believe that they should and will win Saturday's game. Quite a few ingredients are there, Leach's struggles on the road, where he's had 24 of his 37 losses, Texas Tech is coming off of a good win against an in-state opponent, and we're all just waiting for the pin to drop. There's only 5 more opportunities for there to be a bad game and I hope like hell it doesn't start on Saturday.
Don't forget to check out 5 Reasons Texas Tech Will Win: Kansas Edition.