Texas Tech (4-4, 1-4) have only been 4-4 twice since 2002. In 2010, they went on to win 8 games (with the help of 2 non-conference games at the end of the season) and in 2016 when they went 5-7. To say that this game may tell the future of the remaining Tech games is an understatement. 8-4 is still a possiblity if Texas Tech can get back to the way they were playing before 2pm on October 7th (Start of the 4th quarter vs WVU), but the mentality of this team that showed so much promise early and in the midst of a three game losing streak is something that has been questioned ever since Mike Leach manned the sidelines.
The bigger component to these last few games, beyond a winning season or bowl berth, is the future status of Kliff Kingsbury. Last December, it took Texas Tech Athletic Director, Kirby Hocutt, and an hour and a half press conference to reassure the media and the fan base that Kliff Kingsbury would remain the head coach under certain criteria which needed his attention and improvement.
Outside of the win-loss record, Texas Tech has shown improvement in every area outlined by Hocutt back in 2016. However, the current 3 game losing streak, 4-4 record and 1-4 record in the conference doesn’t bode well for Kingsbury’s future. With four games remaining and all the games winnable, the question isn’t whether this team has the talent to win (we know it does), it’s more of a question in how much this team is willing to fight for their coach? If the team shows up flat on Saturday with their coaches job on the line, a change in head coach would definitely be needed. Not because of Kingsbury’s ability to run the program, but that he would have seemingly lost the support of his players.
Kansas State (4-4, 2-3), has been up and down this season. Looking much like a last place team at times and then looking awakened with a close loss to Oklahoma at home and a victory over Kansas, though close again, on the road. The problem with a team like Kansas State, especially under Bill Snyder is much the same as you find with Iowa State. They don’t have 4 and 5 star athletes to over power you, nor do they have the speed and flash of teams like Texas Tech or TCU, but instead, they have a smart, well positioned, do your job, team that never seems to beat themselves. Even in games when Tech had Kansas State well in hand (2015), the Wildcats seemingly came back to almost win almost converting their second onside kick at the end of the game.
Here’s the tale of the tape:
Kansas State has the same turnover margin as Tech does at +7, which means they take care of the ball and wait for you to make a mistake. The Wildcats are a grind it out team who will be hard pressed to match Tech’s firepower offensively if the Red Raiders get rolling. It’ll be key here to see how this Tech team fights for its coach and if they get Kansas State down, if they keep them there and go for the kill.
The game will be televised on FS1 at 11am.
Check the Texas Tech website for radio affiliates in your area.
Here are some links from the week to get you caught up on Kansas State:
Enjoy the game and don’t forget to come hang with us during the game on the Gameday Thread or on Twitter @vivathematadors