4/4/5 BAYLOR (8-0, 5-0) vs. NR/RV/NR TEXAS TECH (7-3, 4-3)
Nov. 16, 2013 | 6:00 p.m. CT
Arlington, Texas | AT&T Stadium (80,000)
|Listen | Gametracker | Notes | Tickets | SportStream | Gameday Central|
OPPONENT: Texas Tech Red Raiders(Big 12)
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: TexasTech.com/sports / GameCenter
2013 ROSTER, DEPTH CHART (opens as .pdf, page 11)
LAST MEETING:52-45 Baylor win (OT), ODB Game Hub
LAST GAME (for Tech): 49-26 loss to Kansas State
SB NATION BLOG: Viva The Matadors
SPREAD: Baylor -27
TV COVERAGE: FOX National
BAYLOR FOOTBALL TICKETS: BaylorBears.com/tickets
WEATHER FORECAST: It's a domed stadium.
Ah, so we've approached what is honestly one of my least-favorite weeks of the year: Texas Tech game week. It's not that I dislike their school or their fans or their SB Nation site; those things are all great. There's just something about this game, whether it's the interaction with the above beforehand or the game itself, that just drives me crazy. You need no further evidence of what I'm talking about than the #BaylorHateWeek hashtag. What's that about?
Red Raiders Football Schedule
|@ SMU||Fri 08/30||W 41 - 23|
|Stephen F. Austin||Sat 09/07||W 61 - 13|
|TCU||Thu 09/12||W 20 - 10|
|Texas State||Sat 09/21||W 33 - 7|
|@ Kansas||Sat 10/05||W 54 - 16|
|Iowa St.||Sat 10/12||W 42 - 35|
|@ West Virginia||Sat 10/19||W 37 - 27|
|@ Oklahoma||Sat 10/26||L 30 - 38|
|Oklahoma St.||Sat 11/02||L 34 - 52|
|Kansas St.||Sat 11/09||L 26 - 49|
|@ Baylor||Sat 11/16||6:00 PM CST|
|@ Texas||Thu 11/28||6:30 PM CST|
After starting the season 7-0 and reaching as high as #10 in the country prior to their game in Norman against OU, the Red Raiders have crashed down to Earth with three straight losses, convincing some that they, not Baylor, are in fact the 2013 version of 2012 West Virginia.
For my money, the primary cause of their fall has been the defense. I'll get into this more later with this week's Big 12 Advanced Stats post, but where once the Tech defense was ranked quite highly by F/+, it has now fallen all the way to 87th. That is actually worse than Iowa State or Kansas. The offense, which has relied on two true freshmen in Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb, has actually been pretty decent at #19 in F/+, but that defense is a serious, serious problem. At one point, Tech was either the second or third-best team in the conference behind Baylor. Now they are 6th with TCU, awful offense and all, right on their heels.
You guys know how I feel about using absolute stats most of the time, but there are a few things here that look, to me, like they fit who Texas Tech is. First, they've taken over the mantle from Baylor as the offense with the most passing yards per game. You shouldn't be surprised, if you are. Nor should you be surprised that they don't run the ball much, at all, meaning their offense is incredibly one-dimensional. That is a problem. For what it's worth, S&P+, which has already updated this week, thinks they are better at rushing offense (52nd) and worse at passing (22nd) than these numbers would indicate. They are, however, quite good on passing downs (8th) and fairly average on standard downs (48th). According to the numbers above, they throw the ball extremely often for very short gains, exactly as you would expect from an Air Raid offense.
Defensively, the numbers above say Texas Tech is below average, at worst. S&P+ does not agree, ranking them 96th against the run, 84th against the pass, and a seriously awful 111th on passing downs. They are better on standard downs (75th) but only just. To their credit, these numbers are based off games against most of the conference's better offenses, save Baylor, so they've had a tough row to hoe.
Basically, it seems like we're going to face a Red Raider team straight out of the Mike Leach era minus the otherworldly offense. With Kingsbury's pedigree on that side, it seems reasonable to say that the reason for that is mostly their inexperienced, inconsistent QBs. However, their relative inability to run the ball successfully is something they will have to address going forward.
Second -- Jace Amaro, Tech's TE, might be one of the best five players in the conference. How do you suppose Baylor will play him, knowing he is easily Tech's biggest weapon in the passing game? Do you trust Ahmad Dixon and/or a combination of Sam Holl, Eddie Lackey, and Bryce Hager to cover him down the field?
Third -- Are you going to the game? If you've never been to AT&T Stadium, you should try to make it. Just a warning: you'll find yourself staring at the gigantic TV on almost every play. It's almost impossible not to.
Fourth -- With Tevin Reese out for the season, who do you think has the second-most receiver yards for Baylor in this game, assuming Antwan Goodley has the most?