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KICKING THE TIRES: Texas Tech University


Kansas State Wildcats (3-2 | 1-0) AT Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2 | 0-1)

The Likely Loss in Lubbock
Jones AT&T Stadium - Lubbock, Texas
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 - 6:00 PM CST



Arr, mateys. Click the jump for a scurvy preview of Capt. Leach's scalawags.




Grant Gregory (18 of 29, 227 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 30 carries, 121 yards, 2 TD)

Brandon Banks (23 catches, 289 yards, 1 TD)

Daniel Thomas (116 carries, 529 yards, 4 TD)

Wild Card
Brandon Harold* (45 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 PBU, 2 FF)

*2008 stats



Steven Sheffield (20 of 29, 290 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT)

Alex Torres (29 catches, 301 yards, 1 TD)

Baron Batch (44 carries, 226 yards, 4 TD)

Wild Card
Lyle Leong (22 catches, 281 yards, 5 TD)



Rushing Offense
K-State (36 | -4) > TTU (120)

Passing Offense
TTU (2) > K-State (90 | +1)

Total Offense
TTU (8) > K-State (63 | -8)

Scoring Offense
TTU (11) > K-State (87)

Rushing Defense
TTU (28) > K-State (38 | -21)

Pass Efficiency Defense
K-State (22 | -2) > TTU (48)

Total Defense
K-State (16 | -6) > TTU (69)

Scoring Defense
K-State (29 | -3) > TTU (51)

Net Punting
TTU (62) > K-State (101 | +5)

Punt Returns
K-State (31 | +5) > TTU (43)

Kickoff Returns
K-State (4 | +1) > TTU (23)

Turnover Margin
K-State (61 | -5) > TTU (100)

Pass Defense
K-State (7 | +6) > TTU (99)

Passing Efficiency
TTU (27) > K-State (71 | +16)



I'll keep this simple: Texas Tech loves to pass the ball and really sucks at running it. They also turn it over a lot.

This would seem to favor us, because we have a really good passing defense, but we also haven't truly been tested downfield by anyone yet. And our rushing defense got exposed a little last week, too, so that remains an area of concern. Our lack of a pass rush also is a major concern.

We have sucked at passing, but might get a lot better now that Grant Gregory is starting. We are good at running the ball, but Tech is really good at stopping the run too. Our chief advantage is in the return game.

What does it all mean? I have no earthly idea. On paper, we should get killed by the talent mismatch, but Tech is breaking in a new starting QB for the first time in the Mike Leach era and also might not take us as seriously as it should. We are, after all, slightly better than the 0-5 New Mexico team that gave the Red Raiders fits last week.

I think the game will be closer than the experts think, but we just won't generate enough of a pass rush to pressure Sheffield — even if Brandon Harold starts, as is rumored.

Prediction: Texas Tech 31, Kansas State 22


BracketCat's Projected Starters

QB: Grant Gregory
FB: Braden Wilson*
RB: Daniel Thomas

WR: Brandon Banks, Attrail Snipes, Lamark Brown**
TE: Jeron Mastrud
OL: Nick Stringer, Zach Kendall, Wade Weibert, Kenneth Mayfield, Clyde Aufner

DL: Daniel Calvin, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Raphael Guidry, Brandon Harold
LB: John Houlik, Ulla Pomele
DB: Troy Butler, Stephen Harrison, Tysyn Hartman, Emmanuel Lamur, Joshua Moore

*if we start with a fullback and two wide receivers
**if we start with three wide receivers and no fullback


Elsewhere in the Big 12...

As I write this, Nebraska just pulled off a stunning comeback that clearly anoints them as the front-runner in the North. With games against Oklahoma State and Texas next, Missouri is in serious danger of an 0-3 start.

Oklahoma State is depleted, yes, but Texas A&M is just terrible. The Cowboys should be able to escape College Station with a win.

Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas all are served sacrificial lambs on a platter this week. Hell, our game might end up being one of the more competitive. It's too bad that the Big Ten and SEC showdowns aren't paralleled by great games in the Big 12 on Saturday. Hell, we moved our best game to a Thursday. Brilliant.


#15 Oklahoma State at Texas A&M (FSN)
Cowboys 25, Aggies 23

Iowa State at #16 Kansas (Versus)
Jayhawks 33, Cyclones 17

Baylor at #19 Oklahoma (ABC)
Sooners 27, Bears 15

Colorado at #2 Texas (ESPN)
Longhorns 33, Buffaloes 11


All helmet images are courtesy of The Helmet Project. Check it out - it's pretty cool.