First Look: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Coming off a huge Thursday night win over Oklahoma, the #5-ranked Baylor Bears travel to Arlington this week for a neutral site matchup with the boys from Lubbock.

vs.
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)

TV: FOX
Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes | Tickets | In-Game BlogSportStream | 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.

SB NATION TEXAS TECH PREVIEW: Hello Again, Fun
BAYLORBEARS.COM PREVIEW: Excellent, as always.

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?

Anyway...


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.

Statistic National
Rank
Big 12
Rank
Value National Leader Value Big 12
Leader
Value
3rd Down % 30 3 0.464 Louisville 0.596 Baylor 0.527
3rd Down % Defense 18 3 0.333 Michigan St. 0.261 Oklahoma St. 0.296
4th Down % 105 7 0.333 Wake Forest 0.800 Baylor
Iowa St.
0.600
0.600
4th Down % Defense 21 4 0.364 Baylor 0.190 Baylor 0.190
Blocked Kicks 27 4 2 San Jose St. 6 Kansas St. 5
Blocked Kicks Allowed 80 4 2 35 teams tied 0 Iowa St.
Kansas St.
TCU
1
1
1
Blocked Punts 12 2 1 Georgia Tech 3 Kansas 2
Blocked Punts Allowed 81 4 1 80 teams tied 0 Iowa St.
Kansas St.
West Virginia
0
0
0
Completion Percentage 28 3 0.644 East Carolina 0.723 Baylor 0.659
Fewest Penalties Per Game 112 9 7.70 Navy 2.89 Kansas St. 4.78
Fewest Penalty Yards/Game 116 9 72.30 Navy 24.44 Kansas St. 41.33
First Downs Defense 86 7 205 Michigan St. 114 Baylor 133
First Downs Offense 2 1 290 Texas A&M 291 Texas Tech 290
Fumbles Lost 94 7 9 5 teams tied 2 Oklahoma St. 3
Fumbles Recovered 23 4 8 Middle Tenn.
Ball St.
North Texas
15
15
15
West Virginia
Texas
14
14
Kickoff Return Defense 65 4 21.47 Vanderbilt 15.25 Oklahoma St. 18.62
Kickoff Returns 19 3 24.67 Stanford 30.50 TCU 26.47
Net Punting 100 9 35.28 Memphis 42.49 West Virginia 40.92
Pass Sacks Allowed 73 6 2.10 Toledo 0.44 Oklahoma St. 0.89
Passes Had Intercepted 117 10 16 Oregon
Kentucky
New Mexico
2
2
2
Baylor 4
Passes Intercepted 92 9 7 Florida St.
Northwestern
Houston
18
18
18
TCU 17
Passing Offense 1 1 408.2 Texas Tech 408.2 Texas Tech 408.2
Passing Yards Allowed 39 4 218.0 Florida St. 147.9 Baylor 173.9
Passing Yards/Completion 90 8 11.18 Baylor 19.29 Baylor 19.29
Punt Return Defense 94 6 10.25 Utah St. -0.50 West Virginia 4.00
Punt Returns 60 9 8.33 Boise St. 19.43 Kansas St. 18.11
Red Zone Defense 55 3 0.829 Baylor 0.565 Baylor 0.565
Red Zone Offense 40 5 0.864 Florida St. 0.980 Iowa St. 0.958
Rushing Defense 74 6 171.1 Michigan St. 43.4 TCU 125.2
Rushing Offense 105 9 122.3 Army 330.6 Baylor 295.4
Scoring Defense 69 7 27.0 Louisville
Alabama
10.6
10.6
Baylor 15.4
Scoring Offense 23 3 37.8 Baylor 61.0 Baylor 61.0
Tackles for Loss Allowed 88 7 6.50 Stanford 3.00 Baylor 4.75
Team Pass Sacks 73 7 1.80 Utah 3.67 Baylor 3.00
Team Passing Eff 60 3 133.75 Baylor 201.50 Baylor 201.50
Team Passing Eff Defense 19 6 114.04 Michigan St. 90.29 Baylor 93.22
Team Tackles for Loss 30 4 6.6 Clemson 9.4 Baylor 8.9
Time of Possession 98 8 28:08 Florida 35:08 Kansas St. 32:13
Total Defense 62 6 389.1 Michigan St. 210.2 Baylor 306.1
Total Offense 7 2 530.5 Baylor 686.0 Baylor 686.0
Turnover Margin 116 10 -1.0 Houston 2.3 Oklahoma St. 1.2
Turnovers Gained 60 7 15 Houston 32 West Virginia
TCU
25
25
Turnovers Lost 116 9 25 Bowling Green 6 Baylor 10

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.

QUESTION TIME:

First --

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?

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