This weekly feature considers five reasons why Texas Tech will win and five reasons Texas Tech will lose to each opponent. Check back tomorrow for "Five Reasons Texas Tech Will Win :: Texas A&M Aggies Edition".
Reason #1 :: Miller to Meet New Left Tackle: It just so happens that Russell McDaniel, Terry's father was my freshman history teacher (way back in high school). I emailed Russell on Monday, just to let him that that I were thinking about him, that I didn't need to know about his injury, but rather that he have a speedy recovery. Looking at DE Von Miller's outstanding statistics for the year, I thought back about that email and couldn't help but think that I'd love to see McDaniel take on Miller this week after taking on the talented Nebraska defensive ends (I know it wouldn't be an exclusive matchup, but cut me some slack). It's almost a given that Chris Olson will be the replacement at left tackle and he's done an admirable job, but he'll have his hands full with Miller all game, and he'll also have to be concerned about Miller getting to Potts for any sort of hit. Sometimes, playing a little bit nervous can be a detriment, but Olson had better be lights out on Saturday.
Reason #2 :: Downfield Players: The Aggies do have players who can get vertical, starting with freshman WR Uzoma Nwachuksu, who is averaging 21 yards a catch. I should also mention that WR Ryan Tannehill is averaging a little over 15 yards a play. Texas Tech has done a good job of stopping opposing defenses, and thus far, the safeties have done their jobs and kept most things in front of them. I feel like a bit of a broken record in saying that RB Christine Michael has the potential to be a game-breaker, and thus far, he hasn't had the opportunity to get it done, but it only takes one time. And it goes without saying in that QB Jerrod Johnson can get the ball down the field, just as long has he has time. Johnson is averaging 7.4 YPA thus far, which is pretty good considering the sometimes short-yardage nature of the TAMU offense.
Reason #3 :: Desparate and Highly Motivated: I try not to rely on emotionally driven reasons, but it's too obvious to ignore. Desparate may be a bit much, but I do think that the Aggies want a good showing, preferably a win. I can't say that I understand the Aggie fanbase, but I think it applies to any team that gets their tails handed to them one week. The Aggies will come out to play on Saturday. Not because it's Texas Tech or any other school, but because I think that most players, who play at a collegiate level, have pride. I believe that about any team. It's easy to make light of the situation for the Aggies, but the truth of the matter is that when there are turnovers or sloppy play or penalties then bad things can happen. I'm hoping like hell that the Red Raiders consider. It really comes down to pride more than anything else, and pride can be a scary proposition.
Reason #4 :: How Ready is Potts: Isn't this the $64,000 question? Obviously, there's questions about whether or not QB Taylor Potts, who is coming off a supposed concussion, to now be in charge of the offense that he's had a break from for the past 2 and a half games. I haven't understood the personal attacks against Potts, and I can appreciate the differences of opinion, but the truth is that Potts struggled to get rid of the ball at times, which eventually led to his concussion against New Mexico, and his decision making wasn't as good as Sheffield's. Potts must from his mistakes prior to his concussion and although the concussion is a painful memory, it should serve as one. Throw the damned ball away. An incompletion is nothing to this team, but a loss for 7 to 15 yards can be tough to make up for any team. If Potts hasn't acquired that internal clock then I think that Miller could have a field day. I think we're all curious about what Potts will be like on Saturday and if he hasn't changed, it could be a long game.
Reason #5 :: Just Out Score the Red Raiders: This is probably a reach, but I do think that Aggies best attribute is their ability to score. I go back to that Oklahoma St. game just 2 weeks ago and the Aggies matched the Cowboys touchdown for touchdown for most of the game. We'll probably talk about this for the rest of the week and I've mentioned it here plenty of times, but the Aggies do have talent at the skill positions and this might be an absolutely failure of a game-plan, but the Aggies might be best suited to get into a track meet, especially with the Red Raiders getting a quarterback who hasn't played in 2 weeks and a new left tackle, maybe let the game rest squarely of the offense's shoulders.