This week the Red Raiders head to Manhattan, KS to take on the Wildcats. The Wildcats are currently 2-2 and are coming off a 17-16 loss to West Virginia. Their two wins are against Florida Atlantic and Missouri State, so they haven't really beat any tough teams yet. Can the Red Raiders get the W or will the Wildcats pick up their first Power 5 win of the season? Does Mahomes suit up or will Shimonek get the call? This is going to be an intriguing matchup!
Kansas State in Manhattan. This is the game that's a little scary to me, Kansas State is one of a few teams in the conference that can sneak up on you and bite you in the butt. That being said, I still think we will be able to get the W, it won't be pretty and it might cause a few 4th quarter sweats, but I think we come out with a 31-21 victory.
Texas Tech 31, Kansas State 21
I'd love to give this game to Texas Tech, but until I see improvement on the defensive side of the ball against a team that isn't the Kansas Jayhawks, I'll continue with optimistic skepticism. K-State is solid on defense, much better than they were a year ago when the Red Raiders dropped 59 on them. I'm confident Shimonek will play well, but I don't know if I'd give this game to Texas Tech even if Patrick Mahomes was playing.
Texas Tech 38, Kansas State 48
Games against the Wildcats haven't been easy since 2009. How will this group handle a trip to the Little Apple this year? With a gutsy win on a amazing Autmn Saturday. Whether it's Mahomes battling through shoulder pain or Shimonek playing hero for one more week, the defense does just enough with a couple of big stops from Jamiele Johnson, Kris Williams and Kolin Hill.
Texas Tech 31, Kansas State 28
Traveling to Manhattan is never easy for Texas Tech as we have not won their since 2008. This will be the best defense the Red Raiders have faced in 2016 and KSU has a good QB in Jesse Ertz. If you recall Ertz was injured on the first drive of the 2015 season and was out the rest of the year. I do not want to overstate the significance of the game, but Saturday is going to tell us a lot about how the rest of the season is going to go.
Texas Tech 28, Kansas State 27
Texas Tech got over the KSU hump last year on senior day and clinched a bowl berth. The Wildcats are 2-2 and this game is no gimme for the Red Raiders, especially since it's on the road. Tech has not beaten KSU in Manhattan since 2008. However, I believe the Red Raiders get it done this year. Even with Nic Shimonek at quarterback, I expect the Tech offense will play very well leading to a win and a 4-1 start.
Texas Tech 52, Kansas State 42
Regardless of who starts at QB for the Red Raiders, this will not be an easy game for the offense. The Wildcats will bring the pressure, and coupled with the mystique of Bill Snyder and his stadium we will struggle all game. The defense will look decent against a lower tiered offense at times, and in the end it will be turnovers and special teams that decide the game late.
Texas Tech 45, Kansas State 36
Prediction A: Mahomes is a game time decision, but decides his shoulder is too sore to play. Shimonek starts and does fine, but Texas Tech trails 27-17 at the half. After a rush of adrenaline, Pat decides he can give it a whirl. The Red Raider defense is inspired by his toughness, gets a few stops, and Texas Tech comes back to win.
Texas Tech 45, Kansas State 44
Prediction B: Shimonek gets the start and plays the whole game. He's not able to make the jaw-dropping plays Mahomes is capable of, but he does just fine moving the offense down the field. Unfortunately, the running game is too absent and the defense doesn't make enough stops in the tough road environment.
Texas Tech 31, Kansas State 42
The offense will have some excuses if this one doesn't end well, but that doesn't mean they're good excuses. The Wildcats have dominated the Red Raiders in Manhattan recently. A better offensive line would give me more confidence, but I can't see Tech moving the ball effectively enough to win. Kansas State won't make mistakes and will grind this one out.
Texas Tech 28, Kansas State 34
Kansas State's two wins are against much lesser competition, and they've lost two games by a combined 14 points. They lost a tough one to West Virginia last week and lost to Stanford by 13 week 1. I literally have no idea what kind of team the Wildcats are. I know one thing though, Bill Snyder will get the most out of them. For the Red Raiders, will it be Mahomes or Shimonek? I'm leaning towards Shimonek getting the call, but I except Mahomes to be in uniform for emergency situations. If it is Shimonek, I think a slower paced offense will be key.
Texas Tech 38, Kansas State 37
Average Final Score: Texas Tech 36.7, Kansas State 35.9
Wow, us VTM staffers are expecting a close one if you check out the average final score. If we round up, we're looking at a 37-36 Texas Tech victory. What do you think VTM viewers? Sound about right or are we way off?