Keys to the Game: Week 9

Wes Maulsby

Texas’ 24-14 win over Texas Tech last year was only the second game under Mack Brown in which neither team scored at least 30 points in the game. The only other time that happened was in 2000, where Texas won 29-17 in Lubbock. Under Mack Brown two teams combine to average more than 67 points a game, more than any other series against former Big 12 south teams. The closest is Oklahoma State, which combine with Texas to score 65 points per game, with no other series being in the 60s. Texas has only held Texas Tech in single-digit scoring twice under Brown, with the last one coming in 2001.

Air Raid:
Texas has only held the Red Raiders to less than 200 yards passing twice in the last 13 years. In 1999, Texas held Texas Tech to 137 yards passing in a 58-7 route. Last year, Texas limited Tech to 158 passing yards in a 10-point road win. While Leach was the coach, Texas Tech was never held for less than 260 passing yards, while eclipsing 400 yards six times, and 500 yards twice. Despite the new coach, Tech is continuing its tradition of efficient passing, averaging about 360 yards per game and passing for more than 400 yards three times.

Running Backward:
For most of the last decade, Tech was coached by Mike Leach who didn’t put much emphasis on the running game. Texas Tech was held to negative rushing yards three times under Leach, as well as losing yards last season for the second year in a row. Texas has also held the Red Raiders to less than 100 yards rushing in six additional games. In the series, Texas Tech averages less than 50 yards a game rushing. However, in Texas Tech’s three wins over Texas in the last 13 years, it has out rushed the Longhorns in each contest. So when the Red Raiders gain the advantage on the ground, they win the game, and they are averaging almost 150 yards a game on the ground this season.

Home Field Advantage:
Texas’ average margin of victory over Texas Tech is just under 21 points per game. That number increases to 25 points per game at home. Texas hasn’t lost to the Red Raiders at home under Brown, with only one game being decided by single digits in 2003. When that game is taken out of the equation, that margin of victory increases to almost 30 points per game. Of Texas’ four largest wins over Texas Tech, three of them have come at home with the largest coming in 1999 with a 51 point win. But Texas hasn’t beaten Tech by more than 20 points since 2005, with the margins of victory shrinking each season since, including a single digit game in 2006, consecutive 10 point games in the last two years and the infamous last second loss the Red Raiders in 2008.