Seth Doege

Why Texas won 
With the help of wide receiver Mike Davis and running back Johnathan Gray, the Texas offense accumulated 427 yards and kept the Tech defense on its heels. David Ash bounced back from being benched last week with three touchdowns.

While the offense was productive and only punted four times, the defense finally showed up to play. They held Seth Doege to one touchdown and the Red Raiders made it to the red zone five times. They scored touchdowns twice on those opportunities, but were forced to kick field goals on the other three. Carrington Byndom’s block of 23-yard field goal sealed the win for the Longhorns.

Quarter by Quarter
First: With the help of a 26-yard run from Gray, Texas scored on its first drive with Ash’s six-yard pass to Jaxon Shipley. Tech responded with a one-yard touchdown run from Kenny Williams. But the Longhorns finished the quarter with a 14-7 lead after Joe Bergeron scored his 16th rushing touchdown of the season.
Second: The Texas defense held the Red Raiders to two field goals. On Texas’ first drive of the quarter, Ash threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Davis. Anthony Fera hit a 42-yard field goal at the end of the half, widening the Longhorns’ lead to 24-13.
Third: The Red Raiders hit another field goal and Eric Stephens caught a 10-yard pass from Seth Doege to make the score 24-22 in favor of Texas. Fourth: Davis caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ash to increase the Longhorns’ lead to 31-22. The Red Raiders attempted a field goal from the Texas 23-yard line to make it a one score game but it was blocked.

By the numbers
5-for-6: The Red Raiders’ success rate in the red zone. But Texas held them to four field goal attempts and two touchdowns.
9: The number of penalties Texas Tech committed for a loss of 85 yards. Penalties killed the Red Raiders, including a touchdown that was called back with a holding call in the fourth quarter.
165: The number of receiving yards Davis had, a career-high. His two touchdown receptions were also a career-high.

Stock up-
Mike Davis: Davis proved to be inconsistent earlier this season with dropped passes on key plays. But he had no mistakes during the game and his two long touchdown receptions were turning points. He also had a 54-yard reception that put Texas on Tech’s two-yard line and led to Bergeron’s touchdown. The junior is now ninth on the Texas all-time receiving yards list.

Stock up-
Manny Diaz: Diaz’s defense finally showed up. The young corps stopped Doege, who sits in second in the Big 12 in total offense. The Longhorns have been waiting for the defense to click and while the Red Raiders accumulated 441 yards on offense, the defense held them in the red zone.
The Achilles’ heel of the defense has been the run. But Tech was held to 112 rushing yards, the second-lowest number of yards on the ground the Longhorns have allowed this season. Sophomore linebacker Steve Edmond had eight tackles.

What’s next?
The Longhorns will come home and take on Iowa State. The Cyclones are two and four in the Big 12 with losses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Tech. But, none of those losses were blowouts. If Texas, specifically the defense, plays like it did against Tech, the Cyclones shouldn’t be too much of a threat.

Printed on Monday, November 5, 2012 as: Once a weakness, Horns' D comes up big

Texas quarterback David Ash throws the ball during the second half.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

Mike Davis and David Ash had a connection on Saturday that was nothing short of Davis’ middle name – magic.

The pair teamed up for a 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns on only four catches, including the game-winning score in the fourth quarter, leading the Longhorns to a 31-22 victory over Texas Tech.

“He was telling me before the plays ‘throw it to me and it’s a touchdown.’ So I threw it to him and it was a touchdown,” Ash said with a grin.

The biggest of these connections came with 9:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns were driving and offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin decided to take a shot. Ash dropped back looked right, but them came back to his left and let the ball fly towards the left corner of the end zone. The ball looked like it would come up short, but that’s when Davis made a play.

With his long strides Davis pulled away from the Red Raider corner and snagged the ball in the air, just inches out of the reach of the defender.

“Whenever the ball is in the air I always feel like I’m going to get it,” Davis said. “I was just like ‘it’s coming, time to make a play.’”

Davis’ play was the final effort on the scoreboard for Texas, but it was special teams play that sealed the contest.

Immediately after the Davis grab the Red Raiders drove the ball down the field with a purpose. Quarterback Seth Doege commanded the huddle and delivered a steady diet of perfectly thrown crossing routes, which were complemented with the occasional run.

Texas Tech drover all the way to Texas’ two-yard line, but that’s when the defense buckled down. On first down, they were able to bat away a fade in the corner of the end zone. On second, the defense was aided by a holding penalty that took away a touchdown, and then Adrian Phillips made an open field tackle on the six to force third down. Then on third, Texas was able to put Doege under enough pressure to garner a poor throw.

The miss forced a field goal attempt, which would’ve made it a one score game. But, it was at that moment that Carrington Byndom, after a pair of close calls earlier in the game, made a play.  He burst around the edge and dived with fingers outstretched towards the ball, right in front of the descending leg of the kicker.

Both connected, and the ball bounded into the back of the end zone for a block.

“It was a game saver,” head coach Mack Brown said. “It really put the game out of reach, if we could make a couple of first downs at the end.”

And securing first downs is exactly what Texas did. The Longhorns wasted the final five minutes away with a steady diet of Johnathan Gray.  The freshman was unstoppable on the last drive gashing the Texas Tech defense on rushes on the outside and pounding them up the middle in between the tackles.

It was a drive indicative of Gray’s huge day, as the young back rushed for 106 yards and contributed in the passing attack for 41. It was a spectacular all-around performance for a young back who was playing in his dad’s shadow – his dad James is the second all-time leading rusher at Tech.

“He’s fast, he’s tough and he’s a real competitor,” Brown said. He’s so mature for a freshman. I’m sure the whole family is proud of him today.

Davis’ catch was the game winner, Byndom’s block was the momentum swinger and Gray’s performance sealed it. But, it was the play of the defense that kept the game reach.

The displayed a bend-but-not-break attitude at its finest. The Red Raiders were in Texas territory all day, but the Longhorns held the nations’ 12th highest scoring offense to only two touchdowns and a 4-of-14 mark on third downs.

The defense was especially effective in the third quarter when they had to hold Tech back, as the Longhorn offense sputtered, failing to score in the frame. But, they knew if they did their job, the offense would come up huge.

“We just never gave up we knew we just needed to stop them and hold them to field goals,” safety Kenny Vaccaro said. “The offense was eventually get going and we were going to win.”

Seth Doege: The Big 12 may be ruled by big names like Geno Smith and Collin Klein, but there’s a quarterback in Lubbock making big waves. Seth Doege has compiled top-tier numbers through nine weeks of the season. He has passed for 2,540 yards and 30 touchdowns to only eight interceptions. Completing an impressive 70 percent of his passes has made Doege a consistently reliable captain for the No. 3 passing attack in the country. As a senior, Doege makes up for his 5-foot-11 frame with excellent experience. Doege has passed for over 200 yards and compiled at least a 120 passer rating in all but one game this season. His statistics are proof that despite his team’s disappointing performances against Oklahoma and Kansas State, Doege can hurt just about any defense with his arm. The Longhorns should look to pressure Doege and add to his sack total — which stands at 11 so far — if they want to slow down this prolific offense.

Eric Ward: The leading receiver for the solid Tech offense is junior Eric Ward. Ward has caught 41 passes for a team leading 517 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He is coming off his best performance against No. 2 Kansas State in which he caught 11 passes for 161 yards. Ward should be a dangerous option for Doege to look for after coming off a career day against the best team in the Big 12. Ward is an average-sized receiver at 6-foot-1, 204 pounds, but his 12.6 yards per catch indicate that he has elite speed. Texas continued to have problems tackling even against a vastly inferior Kansas team and Ward could create many of the same problems.

Darrin Moore: The senior is the second leading receiver on this Red Raider offense, having amassed 440 yards and eight touchdowns with a team-leading 43 catches on the season. Moore is not the first option in the passing game, but his size seems intriguing given what Texas’ game plan will likely be in this game. The Longhorns have had problems tackling and stopping big plays and will look to marginalize the speed of Texas Tech’s receivers to slow them down. Moore is a guy who stands a tall 6-foot-4 which makes him a matchup nightmare for the small Texas defensive backs. Moore is averaging 10 yards per reception which shows he can pick up yards after the catch. If the Red Raiders can establish their passing attack early on, look for Moore to show up big especially in the red zone. Wearing down their speed will leave open long passes down the field for Moore to go up and get over smaller defenders.

Cody Davis: Although Texas Tech is known mostly for its offense, players like Cody Davis bring recognition to the defensive unit of the Red Raiders. The senior safety is clearly the leader of this defense as he currently leads the team with 64 tackles and three interceptions. These numbers demonstrate his ability to wrap up ball-carriers in addition to covering receivers when needed. At 6-foot-2, 202 pounds Davis is a bigger safety who can make things hard for the speedy receivers of the Longhorns. If Texas is looking to establish its offense on the ground or through the air, Davis is a guy who must be accounted for in both scenarios. 

Kerry Hyder: Texas is a team with perhaps the best defensive line core in the country and all eyes are on them every game. A man on the Texas Tech defensive line should have at least one eye kept on him at all times in this game however, Kerry Hyder passes the eye test, coming in at 6-foot-2, 281 pounds. He is a big defensive tackle who plugs up the running lanes well and causes trouble for quarterbacks when he gets into the backfield. The junior leads the team with four sacks and nine and a half tackles for loss this season. The Longhorns garner much of their success from their solid running game, so Hyder should be a guy they need to keep out of the backfield. With the quarterback situation a bit unclear for Texas at the moment, Hyder could complicate things even more with the pressure he will bring. Texas needs to keep its eyes upon him at all times.

Slow Down the Offense: Texas Tech possesses one of the best offenses in the country, with a passing attack that is a perennial juggernaut. The Red Raiders rank No. 12 in total offense and No. 3 in passing this season. Led by quarterback Seth Doege, they pass the ball efficiently and frequently every week, scoring points in surplus against almost every opponent. Tech has scored over 20 points in every contest this year and has only lost two games which were against equally impressive offenses. The Longhorns have had trouble all season preventing big plays. Against an offense that makes a living from big plays, Texas needs to step up its pass defense. The defense should use its strength in its defensive line to get pressure on Doege and force him into bad passes. Both of Tech’s losses came in games in which it turned the ball over three times. Texas Tech has shown that it can erupt at any moment with long and short passes, so Texas will really need to step up its coverage. Bump receivers at the line, hit ball carriers hard, get pressure on the quarterback, whatever Texas needs to do to disrupt the flow of the Texas Tech offense.

Establish the Run: A key that seems to appear almost every week could be the key to victory for the Longhorns yet again. In both of Texas Tech’s losses, their opponents established the running game to set the tempo of the game. Oklahoma racked up 121 yards on the ground, while Kansas State pounded the line and scored four rushing touchdowns in a rout. Texas’ backs are known for reeling off big runs, especially in the red zone when Joe Bergeron is let out of the  cage. In order to discourage the Tech defense and keep up with the elite offense, Texas should look to use the running game to wear Tech out. Let Johnathan Gray pick up those tough first downs early in the drive, and have Bergeron pound in another red zone score to add to his 15 on the year. With the unclear quarterback situation for the Longhorns, picking up solid yardage on the ground could give confidence and momentum to whatever signal caller is in the game. Establishing a tempo that fits their game plan will wear down the Texas Tech defense and allow the No. 8 ranked offense do its work.

Make Adjustments: A big reason for the struggles of the Longhorns has been their inability to adjust when problems reveal themselves. When Oklahoma ran the ball with authority, leaving their passing game as an afterthought at several points, Texas didn’t up the pressure. When West Virginia used short passes over the middle to open up running lanes, Texas didn’t fill the box with defenders. The Longhorns must find a way to outsmart the Red Raiders in a game that showcases two great offenses. If the Red Raiders find a flaw in the Longhorns game plan, they will likely keep attacking it like many other opponents have done. If Texas wants to win this game, they must identify their weaknesses early on and fix them. If they wait around and hope things work out in the end, they will be looking at another Big 12 loss.

Quarterback:
Through five weeks, David Ash was one of the nation’s most efficient quarterbacks and the leader of an improved Longhorns offense. In the past three games, however, Ash has struggled, throwing four interceptions and just one touchdown. Seth Doege, on the other hand, is enjoying a fine season for the Red Raiders, passing for 2,540 yards and 30 touchdowns through eight games. Doege is completing 70.7 percent of his passes for an efficiency rating of 164.2, which is superior to Ash’s totals of 68.7 percent and 150.3, respectively. Earlier this season, Ash was the Big 12’s top quarterback outside of Geno Smith, but after eight games Doege may have surpassed them both as the conference’s top passer.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Running backs:
Texas has been without Malcolm Brown for the past four games, but all that this has done is allow Johnathan Gray to see increased playing time. The standout freshman has answered the call, rushing for 427 yards on 81 attempts for an average of 5.3 yards per carry. Joe Bergeron has been steady all season long in the backfield for the Longhorns, and he leads the team with 450 yards and 15 touchdowns. Tech’s running game has been solid as well this year, and Kenny Williams leads the team with 504 yards on the ground. Overall, the Red Raiders’ 4.6 yards per carry pales in comparison to the Longhorns average of 5.0, and Texas’ 26 touchdowns on the ground greatly outweigh Texas Tech’s nine rushing scores.

Advantage: Texas

Wide Receivers:
Part of the reason that Doege is having such an impressive season is due to the strong play of the Texas Tech wide receivers. Eric Ward and Darrin Moore make for a dynamic starting duo, as the two have combined for 84 receptions and 18 touchdowns. The Longhorns have struggled to complete passes in two of their past three games, but overall their receivers have been productive as well. Mike Davis is having a big year, hauling in 34 balls for 559 yards and four scores, and Jaxon Shipley has also made 30 receptions and scored four times. Texas’ receivers have averaged more yards per catch, but the Red Raiders receivers have gained more than 900 yards through the air than have the Longhorns.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Offensive Line:
Both teams have been very efficient this season, and this is thanks in large part to their offensive lines. Texas has averaged five yards per carry and 12.1 yards per reception, and this is because the Longhorns’ line has done well in opening holes for the running backs and giving Ash enough time to set up screens or throw downfield. Texas Tech has also put up solid averages, running for 4.6 yards each carry and earning 11.3 yards with each catch. The Texas line has done a better job in protecting the quarterback, as it has only allowed seven sacks in eight games compared to Texas Tech allowing 13 quarterback takedowns thus far.

Advantage: Texas

Defensive Line:
The Red Raiders have struggled to get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, as they have only recorded 12 sacks in eight games. They have done a solid job in limiting opposing quarterbacks production overall, as they allow 178.8 yards per game through their air, but the pass rush has left something to be desired. The Longhorns defensive line took a significant hit when end Jackson Jeffcoat went down for the season with a torn pectoral, but there seems to be enough depth at the position to still wreak havoc in the passing game. Overall, Texas has registered 20 sacks on the year, and Alex Okafor is having a strong year at the other defensive end slot.

Advantage: Texas

Linebackers:

The Longhorns had another rough game stopping the run last Saturday against Kansas, as the Jayhawks earned 234 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Missed tackles have plagued this linebacker unit all season, and this was never more evident than on Kansas’ first touchdown drive that saw James Sims continually gain yards after initial contact. Texas Tech has done a much better job stopping the run, which is a large reason that they have been much more solid at the linebacker position. The Red Raiders have held opposing runners to 121.2 yards per game, while the Longhorns are allowing 218 yards on the ground each week.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Defensive Backs:
The Texas defensive backs have allowed more yardage than they would like this season, as opposing teams are averaging 229.2 yards per game against the Longhorns. This is due to a propensity to allow big plays by the Texas secondary, with teams gaining 13.4 yards per completion. Texas Tech has been less forgiving in the defensive backfield, as they have limited teams to 178.8 passing yards per game and 10.1 yards per reception. The Longhorns have forced more turnovers in the air, intercepting nine passes to the Red Raider’s seven, but overall teams have had more trouble putting up big passing yardage against the Texas Tech secondary.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Special Teams:
The return game has been a strength of both teams this season. The Longhorns are averaging 24.2 yards on kick returns and 11.1 yards on punts, while the Red Raiders have averaged 21.1 yards and 9.2 yards, respectively. Both teams have also been solid in limiting the returns of opponents as well. The biggest difference between these teams is the consistency of the field goal unit. The Red Raiders are 10-of-14 on field goal attempts and they are yet to miss any of their 40 extra point attempts. Texas, on the other hand, has made just 4-of-9 field goal tries, and Longhorn kickers have also missed an extra point attempt and had another blocked. Should this game come down to a last second field goal attempt, Texas Tech would have the edge.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Big 12 Notebook

The West Virginia Mountaineers were sitting pretty after their Week 6 win against Texas. They were No. 5 in the nation and tied for the Big 12 conference lead.

Texas Tech altered their fate.

After being rolled by Oklahoma the previous week, Texas Tech appeared to be in for a similar result against the hot Mountaineers. But a Heisman-worthy performance by quarterback Seth Doege proved more than enough to help Texas Tech down West Virginia, 49-14.

Doege finished the game with 499 passing yards and six touchdowns, which tied his career high. The Red Raiders rank No. 5 in total passing yards this season, which spelled trouble for a Mountaineer defense prone to big plays downfield. A weak pass rush in this game did not help.

“When you don’t have a pass rush, it’s a lot easier to make your reads,” Doege said.

As good as the Tech offense was in this game, the defense accomplished an impressive feat in their containment of Geno Smith. Although he didn’t turn the ball over, Smith was forced into 26 incompletions, finishing the game with only 275 passing yards and a touchdown.

“Those guys did a great job of just attacking us,” Smith said. “They attacked us the entire game.”

Wildcats outlast Cyclones

In a game that was fought tooth and nail the entire way, Kansas State proved why it is at the top of the Big 12 by holding the Iowa State offense to 231 yards and eking out a close 27-21 win to remain the conference leader despite its record entering Week 7. Heisman candidate Collin Klein led the way for the Wildcats, beating the Cyclones on the ground and through the air. It was no secret the Cyclones are a solid football team capable of beating anyone in the Big 12. Although the Cyclones couldn’t hold off the No. 6 Kansas State Wildcats, they made the Wildcats earn their stripes.

Klein finished the game with 187 passing and 105 rushing yards, including three rushing touchdowns. The statistic that tells the most of his impact, however, is the time of possession, which shows the Wildcats held the ball more than twice as long as Iowa State.

“It’s an honor,” Klein said. “It’s a team game, though. It’s about all 11 of us out there, it’s about all 11 of us out there to execute, be calm in a high-pressure situation. We were able to get some big, big
first downs.”

After Week 7, Kansas State remains the only unbeaten team in the Big 12 and appears poised for a national title run behind its Heisman-worthy signal caller.

Printed on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 as: West Virginia upset by potent Red Raider attack

Stat Guy: Horns aren't breaking records

Freshman quarterback David Ash (right) completes a pass to Mike Davis (left). Texas quarterbacks only have five touchdown passes combined this year, far from record setting but they are getting better.
Freshman quarterback David Ash (right) completes a pass to Mike Davis (left). Texas quarterbacks only have five touchdown passes combined this year, far from record setting but they are getting better.

Everything is bigger in Texas, especially statistical troubles. With records being shattered week after week all over the country, the Longhorns continue to lurk in the shadows of the college football world, posting modest numbers. While the majority of people would tell you merely winning the game is the most important aspect, putting up significant numbers doesn’t hurt either.

In terms of revving up the crowd, leaving an impression with recruits and swaying pollsters in the teams’ favor, running for 200-plus yards or tossing five touchdowns per week can do leaps and bounds for a program.

Taking a look around the country, there are a number of players leaving their mark on the record books, and some well on their way in it. Lets take a look at some of the players making noise on Saturdays.

Up the road a little ways in Lubbock, Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege (pronounced DAY-gee, to settle the everlasting debate) recently set the NCAA record of highest completion percentage in one game, recording a 90.6 percent completion rating against New Mexico a month ago. Doege has already passed for 2,608 yards and 22 touchdowns paired with a mere four picks. Doege was the No. 18 quarterback in the 2008 class.

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is one win away from breaking Colt McCoy’s all-time wins as a starting quarterback record at 45. With Boise State’s soft schedule, the nation’s 31st-best quarterback from the 2007 class will surely surpass McCoy’s mark.

So why don’t the Longhorns have a quarterback on his way to a 40 touchdown season, or a receiver that consistently goes over the 100-yard mark each time they step on the field? Quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy have a combined 910 yards passing and five touchdowns between them. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III does half of that in one game. Not surprisingly, neither Ash nor McCoy rank in the top-100 nationally in passing. Malcolm Brown’s 516 rushing yards is the 66th-best mark in the nation. Jaxon Shipley is No. 80 with 65 receiving yards a game.

To be fair, the youth of the Longhorns is responsible for some low statistical numbers and, as Brown and Shipley become more experienced, they should become mainstays among the national leaders. But, for now, with the Longhorns finishing with top recruiting classes year after year, it’s surprising the team isn’t putting up bigger numbers.

Seth Doege attempts a pass against Oklahoma. The junior quarterback led Texas Tech to a 41-38 upset win over the Sooners, throwing for 441 yards and four touchdowns.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Seth Doege, Junior Quarterback: Like all other Texas Tech quarterbacks in the modern era, Doege has been putting up big numbers all season for the Red Raiders. He is averaging almost 350 passing yards per game and has 22 touchdown passes this season to only six interceptions. He has five games this year without any picks, with only two games with less than three touchdown passes. His worst game of the season came last week against Iowa State, where he had season lows in completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, and attempts. In Texas Tech’s win over Oklahoma, he passed for 441 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. After maybe the worst game of his career, expect Doege to come out Red Raider-hot and try to get back on track where he had thrown for more than 400 yards in two-straight games. One thing to watch out for is the vertical pass from Doege, who has been throwing that pretty well and a little more commonly than previous Tech quarterbacks.

DeAndre Washington, Freshman Running Back: Eric Stephens was on pace to run for well over 1,300 yards this season before his season-ending knee injury against Texas A&M earlier this month. Since then, Washington has been one of the primary runners to take his place. He led the Red Raiders with 84 rushing yards in the upset over Oklahoma. Tuberville is trying a running game that is at least respectable at Texas Tech, and with Stephens gone, he will have to rely on someone else to get the job done or else the Texas defense will pin their ears back and go after Doege the whole game. If Washington is able to break off a few runs, that will Doegee more time to operate, which will give Tech a greater chance at pulling off yet another upset on the road this season.

Alex Torres, Junior Wide Receiver: You knew this was coming: You can’t do a preview on Tech without mentioning the quarterback and at least one receiver. Torres is the receiver chosen here, but as is always the case with the Red Raiders, any receiver could take off in any given game. Torres has two 100-yard receiving games and led the team in receiving in the win over Oklahoma. He is leading the Red Raiders in yards and is averaging more than 12 yards per catch. As has always been the case with Red Raider receivers, he will do most of his damage after catching quick passes and running in space. If he is having a good game and demands the attention of the defense, that opens the door for the rest of the Tech receivers to make plays in space, which is the most dangerous part of the Texas Tech passing game.

UT vs. Kansas (Daily Texan file photo)

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Texas isn’t playing Kansas anymore.

The Jayhawks ran 36 offensive plays against the Longhorns last week. It took Texas Tech a little more than a quarter to run 40 plays when it upset Oklahoma two weeks ago. Texas held Kansas to 46 total yards this past Saturday. Red Raiders quarterback Seth Doege has completed at least three passes that long this year. Bottom line: The Longhorns’ defense will not have it as easy as it did last week.

“I feel like I’ve played them more than any other team for some reason,” said senior linebacker Emmanuel Acho. “Every week preparing for them is different since their offense is prolific. It’s always a great challenge just seeing how your defense can match up against a great offense like this.”

Texas Tech may not be recognized as Texas’ rival as much as Oklahoma or Texas A&M, but the Red Raiders have provided some great entertainment for Longhorns fans over the years. Texas Tech knocked Texas out of the national title picture with a thrilling 39-33 win at Lubbock in 2008. From 2002-2007, the Longhorns and Red Raiders nearly averaged a combined 80 points per game, with half of the contests being decided by six points or less. Texas is favored by 12 points this weekend but has not beaten Texas Tech by that much since 2007.

“They’re definitely a formidable rival,” said senior safety Blake Gideon. “It’s never the team we see on tape. Whatever mistakes they made, they always bring a little extra for Texas. That’s fine. That’s how we like it.”

Texas made nine tackles for loss last week and recorded three sacks, including one each from starting defensive ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor. The Longhorns had the ball for more than 44 minutes but the little time the Jayhawks were on the field they couldn’t move the ball as they got only three first downs.

“We couldn’t have asked for much more of a complete game,” Acho said. “Their offense was very good. They averaged over 400 yards per game. People tried to overlook that. That was a pretty big feat to go out and do what we did.”

Kansas didn’t play much better than Texas Tech did last week. The Red Raiders, after ending Oklahoma’s 39-game home winning streak, were pounded by Iowa State at home, 41-7, possibly because they were looking ahead to their meeting with the Longhorns.

“We’re definitely expecting the OU-Tech team,” said sophomore defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. “I don’t think the Iowa State-Tech team is the one we’re used to seeing. We know that they’re going to be ready to play us.”

Doege went from a 441-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Sooners to a 171-yard, two-interception showing against the Cyclones. But the junior quarterback, who throws for nearly 350 yards per game, leads the Big 12 in completions per game and will present a stiff challenge against a secondary that had a field day against the Jayhawks.

“He should be considered one of the best quarterbacks in the country,” said head coach Mack Brown. “Our league has the best quarterbacks in the country by far. I think he’s what sets them apart.”

But, unlike Texas Tech teams of old, Doege hands the ball off every now and then. In 10 seasons under Mike Leach, 81.3 percent of the Red Raiders’ total offense came through its passing game. Under Tommy Tuberville, who’s in his second season as Texas Tech’s head coach, that number has dipped below  70 percent.

“We know they can run the ball,” Jeffcoat said. “I feel like they’ve been running the ball more than lately. They do a decent job with it so you have to be ready.”

It didn’t seem like there was much room for improvement last Saturday, especially on defense. But senior linebacker Keenan Robinson cited missed opportunities to force turnovers, something Texas has emphasized since its most recent bye week. 

If the Longhorns play better defense than it did this past weekend, Texas Tech will have trouble getting its aerial attack moving downfield. But keep in mind the Red Raiders can get away with running for -2 yards if they throw for 450. 

Quarterback: Although he is coming off a poor performance in his last game, Texas Tech’s Seth Doege has been having a season typical of the Tech starting quarterback. Before the game against Iowa State, his lowest output in terms of yards came against Nevada when he passed for 22 yards and three touchdowns. In terms of yards, his worst game, 171 yards against Iowa State, is still better than either Ash or McCoy. Considering that the two teams have polar opposite offensive approaches. Texas Tech will have the definite advantage in the passing game this week.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Running Back: Against a similar opponent, Kansas, both teams put up more than 500 yards in offense, with Tech gaining 530 and Texas gaining 590. The difference is that while Tech picked up almost 400 yards through the air, Texas steamrolled Kansas to the tune of 441 yards on the ground. Eris Stephens was leading a surprisingly strong rushing attack for the Red Raiders, until he suffered a season-ending injury earlier this month, but Texas has the clear advantage in this one. Malcolm Brown is coming off two straight 100 yard games, and could have gotten a lot more last week had he stayed in a closer game. With Brown, Whittaker, Bergeron and Monroe in the backfield, Texas has the most weapons its had there since 2005.

Advantage: Texas

Wide Receiver: The Texas Tech Receivers have 149 more catches than the Texas receivers do, so they obviously get a lot more yards and make a lot more plays. Tech has four receivers who have at least 300 yards receiving, with Alex Torres leading the team with 510 yards and Eric Ward with eight touchdowns. Texas’ top two receivers combine for 60 catches, 868 yards and four touchdowns, but the third leading receiver is Whittaker out of the running back position, with 15 catches and 129 yards and a touchdown. With Shipley getting a knee injury, Davis is the only sure thing at a shallow position. The Texas Tech receivers catch a lot of passes, and in the system, they always have a chance to make a play after the catch.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Offensive Line: The line for the Red Raiders has given up 12 sacks this season, but considering how many passing attempts they have, that number is inflated a little. The line allows one sack for every 33 pass attempts. Also, Tech’s top three runners are averaging more than four yards a carry. The Texas line has given up 18 sacks this season, but 13 of those came in the two losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Kansas, Iowa State and Rice were able to combine for the other five sacks, with UCLA and BYU not getting any. The difference between the two lines is the run blocking. Though the Red raiders have guys with solid yards per carry, the Texas backs have carried the ball 60 more times and will be running a lot more in this one.

Advantage: Texas

Defensive Line: After being quiet for most of the year, the Texas line came alive last week to the tune of three sacks, four quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and, for the first time this season, a lineman leading the team in tackles. Jackson Jeffcoat led the team with seven tackles, including four solo. Texas Tech has 10 sacks on the season, but the major difference between the two lines is run defense. Texas is solid against the run, allowing just more than 100 yards a game on less than four yards per carry, while Texas Tech is allowing 225 yards per game on almost five yards per carry. The Red Raiders have failed to hold a team to less than 100 yards rushing and have allowed five teams to rush for more than 200 yards.

Advantage: Texas

Linebackers: Running a nickel defense, Texas Tech’s linebackers don’t put up a lot of numbers. Most of the time, the Red Raiders only have two linebackers on the field and rely on their defensive backs to make stops. Additionally, they rarely have the same starting linebackers for consecutive games. Texas linebackers have been the subjects of some negativity of late because of their habit of missing the holes along the line and allowing big runs. The Texas linebackers still make a lot of tackles, having led the team in five games, with Acho leading the way a team high, four times.

Advantage: Texas

Defensive Backs: Texas Tech runs a nickel defense with five defensive backs on the field. Against most Big 12 teams, that defense works. But Texas Tech’s defensive backs may not be as suited to play Texas, considering that it is first and foremost a running team. On the other side of the ball, Texas’ defensive backs will be busy the whole game trying to contain the Red Raiders receivers. The Texas defensive backs only have seven interceptions on the season, with almost half of those coming in one game against UCLA. Texas Tech though, despite having five defensive backs on the field, have only gotten their hands on five passes. Although they will be under fire for most of the game, the Longhorns defensive backs still have more talent on their side.

Advantage: Texas

Special Teams: Though not really able to do much last week, the Texas return game has become major weapon for the Longhorns. Fozzy Whittaker leads the team with two return touchdowns, with D.J. Monroe, Marquise Goodwin and Quandre Diggs chipping in to provide some long returns to give the Longhorns good field position. Texas Tech is averaging a solid 23 yards per kickoff return, with neither team really able to make a lot happen with punt returns. If the game is close, then it could come down to field goals. Texas would have a slight advantage there with Tucker making 90 percent of his kicks, and Texas Tech’s Donnie Corona making only 71 percent.

Advantage: Texas