Texas Tech vs. TCU brings Texas Tech alumni back for homecoming at a time when the Red Raiders demonstrated resilience last week against West Virginia. TCU is coming in a two-game losing streak but still is a talented opponent that Texas Tech has not defeated in Lubbock since 2013. Four of the last six meetings between these two have been a three-point game.
When Texas Tech Is On Offense
It turns out that if there is an injury on the roster, and Texas Tech wants to keep it under wraps, they can protect that information better than some government intelligence agencies. It wasn’t until gameday last week when it was announced Erik Ezukanma would not be playing. There have not been any updates from the team yet, but Tech would love to get their game-breaking receiver to help at the offense. The running back room would also love to get Tahj Brooks back. Unfortunately, it was announced that Chadarius Townsend will miss the rest of the season due to a broken shoulder blade suffered against West Virginia.
The offense is going to need to develop four-quarter consistency. Henry Colombi starts his second game this season. Colombi and the offense looked sharp in the first half of the West Virginia game. But having the offense stall for an entire quarter could be too much to overcome, especially against an opponent in TCU with one of the biggest game-breakers in the conference. Texas Tech rushing attack has the opportunity to drive the bus in this game. After only rushing for 80 yards against West Virginia, Texas Tech is still averaging 144 yards a game. TCU is allowing an average of 204 rushing yards per game.
If Texas Tech’s running game re-emerges, it will create big-play opportunities in the passing game. Even after missing a game, Ezukanma is first in the Big 12 in receiving yards per game and Kaylong Geiger is sixth. Ezukanma has 23 catches for 406 yards and Geiger has 21 catches for 314 yards.
When Texas Tech Is On Defense
In terms of bounce-back performance, no team unit in the Big 12 had a bigger performance than the Texas Tech defense. One individual’s performance, Colin Schooler, stood out for Big 12 honors. This week gives them another opportunity to bounce back against an elite running back. Zach Evans, TCU’s running back, is the focal point of the Horned Frogs’ offense. In three games against power-five opponents, Evans is averaging 7.86 yards a carry and getting no less than 15 carries in each of those games.
But one issue that Texas Tech needs to figure out is corraling quarterback Max Duggan. In two games against Texas Tech, Duggan has a total of 37 carries for 229 yards with four touchdowns. There is no doubt that defensive coordinator Keith Patterson has been picking the brain of offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie. After all, Cumbie worked with Evans and Duggan directly the previous two seasons as the TCU offensive coordinator. Schooler and Riko Jeffers need to lead this defense to make TCU one-dimensional. Texas Tech is going to give up some yards to this rushing attack, but limiting big plays is the key to this game.
Texas Tech Vs. TCU Prediction
TCU has won the previous two meetings in this rivalry. No team has won more than two consecutive years against each other since Texas Tech won six straight against TCU from 1985-1990. There is no doubt this one will be close throughout. TCU is going to try everything in its power to save its season. However, Texas Tech has demonstrated levels of grittiness all season between slow starts and responding after dropping a terrible game against Texas. The Jones should be rocking under the lights and the edge of home-field advantage provides the decided advantage as the Red Raiders move to 5-1.
Texas Tech 31, TCU 30