Texas Tech the perfect opponent to get Texas back on track

Christian Corona

Texas’ six-game winning streak was impressive. Even if, with the exception of Oklahoma, the Longhorns feasted on the weakest of the Big 12 teams to put that streak together.

Were the Longhorns exposed in a 38-13 loss to Oklahoma State two weekends ago? Or was it a temporary setback Texas can bounce back from this Thanksgiving?

Texas Tech is the perfect team to roll into town to prove that the latter is true. A game against the Red Raiders is exactly what the Longhorns need to get back in the Big 12 title race. Simply put, Texas has Texas Tech’s number and that’s not about to change.

The Longhorns are 9-1 against the Red Raiders over the last 10 years, the lone loss coming in an unmentionable but unforgettable defeat in Lubbock five seasons ago. During that span, the Longhorns have beaten the Red Raiders by an average score of 41-27.

Even in 2010, when Texas turned in its worst season since 1997, it managed to take down Texas Tech in a 24-14 victory during the third game of the year.

Expect another shootout. Texas Tech is the only team that is averaging at least 400 passing yards per game but the Red Raiders are also struggling on defense, allowing more than 275 rushing yards and at least three rushing touchdowns in each of its last four games – all losses.

Case McCoy was picked off three times in the Longhorns’ last contest, the worst home defeat in the Mack Brown era, but still has a solid pair of tailbacks in Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. Texas will miss Johnathan Gray (Achilles) and Daje Johnson (suspension) but is more than capable of taking advantage of a porous Texas Tech run defense.

The first game of a three-game regular season-ending gauntlet for the Longhorns did not go well at all. Texas lost the turnover battle, couldn’t establish a running attack like it’s used to and has now allowed a combined 78 points over its last two games.

But that’s nothing compared to the way Texas Tech is limping into this Thursday night’s contest. The Red Raiders have lost four in a row by an average of 19.5 points per game after starting
their first season under Ryan Gosling doppleganger and former Red Raiders gunslinger Kliff Kingsubry 7-0. 

This is going to be a fast-paced game. Texas Tech has thrown more passes than anyone in the country except for a Washington State team led by Mike Leach, the man who brought the Air Raid to Lubbock, where he once coached Kingsbury. As much as Texas runs the ball, it likes to go up-tempo enough to make this week’s game a classic Longhorns-Red Raiders shootout.

Beating Baylor and getting lucky enough to have Oklahoma upset Oklahoma State in Stillwater next weekend – the two other things Texas needs to have happen to win the Big 12 – probably won’t happen. But there’s no way the Longhorns lose to Texas Tech.