This Red Raiders schedule just doesn’t rest.
This weeks matchup against Kansas State will be their fourth in a row against a ranked opponent. Just like Tech, K-State is coming off of an upset victory against the Oklahoma Sooners. Both teams are coming into this game looking to build off of that momentum and get to 2-0 in conference.
The Wildcats defense has been consistently good for them all year. Even in the Oklahoma game they were playing great besides a few touchdowns allowed in the fourth quarter that the Wildcats offense answered with two of their own.
Looking at the team stats, Kansas State is ranked 46th in the nation in ypg allowed with 344.5. Texas Tech’s offense averages 476.2, so this offensive/defensive matchup is going to be a great one to watch.
The Wildcats don’t have too many guys that will scare you, but one to keep an eye on is Felix Anudike-Uzomah. He has the the size and length of the type of edge rusher that teams will look at in the draft, and has managed to get 12 pressures this season including two sacks. He’s going to be a challenge on the outside for our tackles and is a guy that could wreck our game plan if we can’t contain him.
Another guy that I think could have an impact is linebacker Austin Moore. He’s the team leader in tackles and is tied with Anudike-Uzomah for the lead in sacks with two of his own. Their linebacker group as a whole is a solid.
Where Tech Wins:
The Oklahoma game showed that the Kansas State defensive backs are capable of getting beat on a very consistent basis. The other games before that didn’t provide any real competition, and once they faced a team with talent on the outside they were exposed.
They were also gashed by the quarterback run and the run game in general. Donovan Smith should have himself a nice game overall and the running backs should be heavily involved too. The only thing that I would be worried about is the pass rush, but it’s really only a few guys that need to have attention.
How Kansas State Wins:
If they can get to the quarterback consistently and force dumb mistakes, the Wildcats will find themselves in a great position to win this battle. Smith was amazing last week, but there have been times this season where he’s made critical mistakes with and without pressure. Keeping those mistakes to a minimum will be key.
Kansas State also has just played Tech well the past six years. The past four years Tech hasn’t scored more than 27 points, which seems high but in the Big-12 you’ll need to score a lot more. We just need to get over this hump and prove that we’re on the right track.
I think that Texas Tech has no problems moving the ball against the Wildcats defense, and they will deploy a similar strategy to last week that worked against Texas. Their offense will be on the field a lot more and tire out this defense, but there will be a lot of big plays for this offense as well.
Another factor that will help the Tech offense is that Adrian Martinez, the quarterback for K-State, is the definition of inconsistency. Last week he played out of his mind and was amazing in the upset win over Oklahoma, but the week before he didn’t make mistakes but he also didn’t make the plays necessary to beat the mighty Green Waves of Tulane. I think this Tech defense will force mistakes out of him and take Deuce Vaughn out of the game, giving their offense more chances with the ball.