CONFERENCE RECORD: 0-0
NEXT OPPONENT: TCU
LOCATION: Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX
TIME: 7:30 CT Thursday, September 29
BETTING LINE: Texas Tech -28.5
OVER/UNDER: -80 (via OddsShark)
Texas Tech Red Raiders
CONFERENCE RECORD: 0-0
NEXT OPPONENT: Kansas State
KANSAS PLAYER TO WATCH: LaQuvionte Gonzalez
This Texas A&M transfer has certainly helped Kansas’ offense, which hit rock bottom last year. While Montell Cozart and Ryan Willis have fought for the starting job at quarterback, Gonzalez has gone to work catching footballs, and he’s good at it. He is the current leader of receptions on the Jayhawks. While KU has still been anemic on thsi side of the ball, Gonzalez has been a major asset in the minor improvement they have made. If he keeps this up, with his explosiveness, Kansas could at least score for a bit. It’ll be brutal if they end up in a shootout with the Red Raiders, but Gonzalez can certainly help keep the offense going for four quarters.
TEXAS TECH PLAYER TO WATCH: Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes is a dark-horse candidate for the Heisman. His campaign for the prestigious award has certainly been hurt by the defense, but nevertheless he is being considered. It’s not surprising he’s being considered with the stats he’s put up. After only three games, he is nearing 1500 yards and 100 completions. That’s absolutely stunning. He is on pace for 5972 yards. It wouldn’t be hard for him to get another 28 and become the first quarterback to reach 6000 yards. He can certainly help his chances with a huge game against a very poor Kansas defense.
KANSAS POSITION GROUP PREVIEW
This line hasn’t looked fantastic, but against such a terrible defensive line, Cozart should have plenty of time to throw the ball.
TIGHT ENDS: See WRs
Ke’Aun Kinner has been rather explosive, averaging a decent 5.4 yards per carry, he’ll need to be huge on Thursday.
Cozart has had the most opportunity at quarterback than Willis, and he appears to have won the job. Both look like promising young players that could be stars in a few years.
Steven Sims and LaQuvionte Gonzalez have been the only truly effective receivers. Both have looked great though, and they should be open a lot against Texas Tech’s defense.
KU last year was the only defense worse than the Red Raiders. This year there has been improvement, but not enough to stop this offense.
The linebacking corps of the Jayhawks has been quite lackluster as well, and they’ll have trouble stopping Mahomes.
Nobody in the backfield can match 1-on-1 with any of the receivers for Tech, and they’ll have trouble stopping them at all.
Gonzalez has been very explosive returning kicks, including a touchdown return. Matthew Wyman has yet to miss an extra point, which is a good sign.
I’m still convinced David Beaty can turn the program around in a way only Mangino has so far. Young stars with promise dot the roster, and Kansas could be scary in a few years.
GAME PREVIEW ANALYSIS
Both teams get to play their only Thursday game this week, and the only other game on will be Connecticut travelling to number 6 Houston. The Red Raiders will have to be as explosive on offense as ever, receiving little help from the defense. Kansas has certainly played much better than last year. It’s a common saying that you go from losing big to losing narrowly to winning narrowly to winning big. If so, Beaty has certainly reached step 2 of that process with a big win against Rhode Island and a two-possession loss to Ohio. That being said, this team is still simply too young to compete in even such an open conference as the Big 12. The Jayhawks don;t have the offense to exploit Texas Tech’s defensive flaws, and the offense for the Red Raiders should steamroll a defense that was as bad as Tech last year. Their matchup with Tech last year was one of the few games they even came close to winning, which does trouble me slightly. However, at home with Mahomes throwing, it’s hard to picture the offense doing porly enough for the Jayhawks to outscore Tech.
Prediction: Texas Tech 52, Kansas 24
TEXAS TECH POSITION GROUP RATINGS
Center Tony Morales has been the star of the O-Line so far. The other four players have played very well too, and Mahomes hasn’t had to use his legs that much.
TIGHT ENDS: See WRs
Justin Stockton hasn’t quite been the speedster we hoped, but he is certainly enough of a weapon that the defense has to pay attention too.
Mahomes is arguably one of the best in the NCAA, just with a much weaker supporting cast than other Heisman candidates. He is an absolute star.
The receivers group is perhaps the best on the team, with stars like Jonathan Giles, Devin Lauderdale, and Dylan Cantrell. Mahomes certainly has plenty of weapons.
Ick. This defensive line’s highlight reel is a video titled “How Not to Play Defense”. Hopefully some improvement can be seen after the bye week.
They’re only marginally better than the players in the trenches. It’s hard to find lots of praise to give this group.
Most of the best players on D play in the backfield. This group will be vital to ensuring an upset never happens, as they’ll need to shut down Sims and Gonzalez.
With all these explosive receivers, it’s natural that the return game is explosive. Clayton Hatfield still needs to be a little more accurate when kicking.
Kliff Kingsbury is still a guru on offense and a novice on defense. He shouldn’t have to plan to hard for this Kansas squad