7 Points Preview: TCU vs. Texas Tech

We’re really at game 6.

1. Game Info

Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1, 1-1)
TCU Horned Frogs (2-2, 1-1)
October 9th @ 6:00 p.m.
Jones AT&T Stadium – Lubbock, Texas
TCU -2.5
Sunny 94-62.

2. Overview

ESPN FPI 47 37
FEI Rank: 53 43
Sharp FB Beta-Rank 48 55

Your favorite sweat-wiping head coach Gary Patterson returns for his 22nd year with the Horned Frogs. Patterson has been weird the last few years, which begs the question that he might just be weird overall. He alleged that a coach was hit in the head by a SMU player, but there’s no video that this actually happened (and he sort of walked this back, but blames the coach getting hit on SMU anyway). This is similar to his allegation of being hit by a frozen water-bottle. That allegedly happened in September, which is still summer in Texas. The weird part is that Patterson doesn’t have to make up things to be a good coach. He already is. He doesn’t need to do this. It’s tiring.

I’m a bit surprised at the range of TCU, again, I think some preseason rankings are baked into those numbers and those are hard to shake at the beginning of the year.

3. Texas Tech Offense vs. TCU Defense

TTU Offense TCU Defense
FEI 24 78
Sharp FB 21 74
Play Efficiency 10 90
Drive Efficiency 26 36
Negative Drives 21 66
Explosive Drives 26 94
Rush Efficiency 67 50
Pass Efficiency 9 95

Old friend Chad Glasgow returns to Lubbock as the defensive coordinator for TCU, he was here in Lubbock in 2012 and back in Ft. Worth since then. I would love to know how/why that became a disaster, and my guesses will start with Tommy Tuberville being an absolute disaster and just let that simmer.

Up front, Earl Barquet (6-3/277) and Corey Bethley (6-2/313) are your tackles with Ochaun Mathis (6-5/257) and Dylan Horton (6-4/250) as the defensive ends. TCU almost always has athletic defensive ends and my guess is that this year will be no different. In fact, I think that TCU has a type of defensive line and this pretty well fits that type. Barquet and Bethley are intended to stand in the way, while Horton has 18 tackles, 4 TFL and 2 sacks and Mathis has 15 tackles, 2 TFL and a sack thus far.

TCU has run a 4-2-5 for as long as I can remember, the basically invented that concept as far as I’m concerned. Dee Winters (6-1/230) and Wyatt Harris (6-3/229) are the linebackers with Winters registering 22 tackles, 2.5 TFL, a sack, and 1 interception and Harris has 18 tackles with a pick and a couple of quarterback hurries.

The three safeties are La’Kendrick Van Zandt (6-1/206), Bud Clark (6-2/189), and T.J. Carter (5-11/193). C.J. Ceasar II (5-11/166) and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (5-9/177) round out the corners. Hodges-Tomlinson leads the team along with Winters with 22 tackles and Carter has 16 tackles.

As a quick aside, TCU is 128th in tackles for a loss with 16 and 118th in sacks. So there’s not been a lot of pressure plays thus far this year. Also, 104th in allowing 3rd down conversions.

TCU has struggled on defense and maybe the NFL Draft has caught up with TCU just a bit as they had terrific safety play last year and it’s difficult to replace that sort of talent gap and maybe that’s where TCU is at. They haven’t been great at stopping the pass and as you’ll note, TCU doesn’t exactly have tall cornerbacks and there would likely be an advantage to be had there. TCU is also giving up a lot of explosive drives, which is a strength of Texas Tech and has remained that way even with Colombi calling the shots. Texas Tech’s strengths really do play into what TCU doesn’t do well. The one key here is that Texas Tech may not run the ball a ton on Saturday, it might be similar to what happened against West Virginia and that may mean an uneven offense as I think the running game is a huge part of Texas Tech’s success.

4. Texas Tech Defense vs. TCU Offense

TTU Defense TCU Offense
FEI 88 43
Sharp FB 100 51
Play Efficiency 62 91
Drive Efficiency 116 31
Negative Drives 94 35
Explosive Drives 68 70
Rush Efficiency 95 35
Pass Efficiency 99 61

Doug Meacham returns as the full-time offensive coordinator after allegedly splitting duties with Sonny Cumbie the last couple of years, but the thought was that Meacham was really calling plays for the most part and Cumbie was very well on the way out, not having his contract renewed.

Zach Evans (5-11/212). Zach Evans. Zach Evans. He’s really good, maybe the 2nd best running back in the country right now. He’s listed as an “or” along with Emari Demercado (5-11/213) and Kendre Miller (6-0/214). Evans averages 110 yards a game and 7.8 yards per run. So yes, he’s absolutely dangerous and a terrific running back. Miller averages about 30 yards a game and 5.3 yards a carry, while Demercado averages 15 yards a game and 5.1 per carry. Max Duggan (6-2/214) is a big quarterback who is also incredibly fast with a big arm. He’s 2nd on the team with 216 rushing yards and averaging 35 yards a game while throwing for 225 yards a game with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and 8.5 yards per attempt

The two outside receivers, Quentin Johnston (6-4/201) and Savion Williams (6-5/214) are obviously huge, while the inside receivers Blair Conwright (5-11/179) and Derius Davis (5-9/162) are typical in size. Taye Barber (5-9/179) is the leading receiver with 10 catches and 198 yards, but isn’t a starter. Johnson has 12 catches for 170, 14 yards a catch, and 2 touchdowns, while Davis has 13 catches for 138 and averages 10 yards a catch.

The offensive line is relatively experienced, with juniors and seniors with one sophomore. Carter Ware (6-4/254) is the tight end, but has no catches on the year so if he’s in the game, he’s typically not a threat. TCU has allowed just 6 sacks all year, which is 1.5 per game and they’re a team that runs for 200 yards a game, so making stopping the run a priority is key here.

The Texas game for Texas Tech really took things into the shitter. Drive efficiency shot way up and just sort of ruined any good will that was maybe there and it will take time to statistically climb out of that hole, if they even can. Stopping the TCU run game will be the highest of all priorities and if Texas Tech can’t do that, then it could be a repeat of the Texas game. One thing that bothers me significantly is that TCU is 4th in the nation in 3rd down completion percentage, so they will extend drives on you and that’s a bad thing for Texas Tech.

5. Special Teams & Injuries

Griffin Kell handles both kickoff and kicking duties. Kell has made 5 of 7 field goals, so they’re just not kicking a ton and that’s a fine percentage to make. Jordy Sandy is the punter and is from Australia, so expect that and he also averages about 47 yards a punt.

We’ve talked about how this Texas Tech team is so injured and that’s going to be a problem at some point if some guys don’t get healthy. My hope is that DaMarcus Fields, Erik Ezukanma, and Dawson Deaton are able to return after being placed in concussion protocol last week. We don’t know about Reggie Pearson, he’s supposedly day-to-day, but a safety with a shoulder injury usually isn’t great news.

From what I can tell with TCU, Quentin Johnston is questionable this week while Atanza Vongor is out for the season (I don’t know who he is).

6. Lagniappe4$

lagniappe | something given as a bonus or extra gift.

Uniform combinations with some throwbacks headed your way this weekend. And as I’ve stated before, the old double-T should be the only logo that Texas Tech uses. Get rid of the completely unnecessary bevels.

And the grades from last week as well, which were much improved. Not as much red and orange for sure.

Dallas Morning News’ Ryan Mainville | Texas Tech prediction: Homecoming against TCU provides season-defining moment for Red Raiders

College Football News’ Pete Fiutak | TCU vs Texas Tech Prediction, Game Preview

RedRaiderSports’ Mark Moore | Football and family go hand in hand for Kaylon Geiger

Via Don Williams. The comments from this tweet allude to a possible Mahomes athletic dorm where the bubble and/or coliseum was previously located.

7. Prediction

I hit on both bets last week, which was to pick Texas Tech and the under. I think I’m going to roll with that idea, TCU is still a 1.5 to 2.5 point favorite and although I haven’t made the bet, I’ll take the under of 60.5, but I’m not a huge fan of that number. As an aside, TCU is 0-3-1 against the spread thus far this year while Texas Tech is 2-2.


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