TEXAS TECH vs TCU BATTLE FOR THE SADDLE BREAKDOWN
This Breakdown was completed by Russ Morris and Ethan Nieporte
Texas Tech returns home this weekend after a successful trip to Morgantown to take on the hated TCU Horned Frogs. TCU is coming off a heart-breaking loss to Baylor in 3 OTs 29-23. This is the third year since Texas Tech and TCU renewed the Battle for the Saddle Trophy, which was originally presented to the winning team from 1961-70 before it suddenly disappeared. Texas Tech and TCU will meet for the 62nd time in history Saturday as the Red Raiders lead the all-time series with a 32-26-3 advantage. This will be the seventh meeting between the two former Southwest Conference foes since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 prior to the 2012 season. The two schools met twice as non-conference foes in 2004 and 2006 prior to TCU joining the Big 12 in 2012. Texas Tech is seeking their first victory over TCU at home since the debut of the Kingsbury era in 2013 where the Red Raiders won a defensive battle 20-10. The last time Tech hosted TCU was in 2017 where TCU dominated 27-3. However. Tech should be due for a win this time around. Even though the road team has won the last four meetings, the Red Raiders have been in every game except in 2014 and 2017. With both teams playing solid defense this time in the year, this has the makings to be a good game on Saturday.
TCU Horned Frogs: 4-5: Big 12 (2-4)
TCU comes to the South Plains to take on the Red Raiders for the Battle of the Saddle trophy. The Horned Frogs are looking for their third straight win against Tech in Lubbock. Their previous road wins against Tech were in 2015 and 2017. TCU is coming off a heart-breaking loss to Baylor. TCU’s defense was able to keep Baylor in check to the 4th quarter. They forced Baylor to four field goals and forced OT. Once they got into overtime there was an offensive explosion. In the end, Charlie Brewer did what he has done all year and carried the Bears to a win. TCU’s defense has been the staple of that team this year. Sure there have been some teams to score on them this year, but they have made critical plays to give the offense a chance to either tie or win ball games. They still run a traditional 4-2-5 set. This allows the defense to prepare for pass heavy teams, but the opposing offense will have some opportunity to run the ball with certain counters, isos, midlines, dives, traps, and delays. Gary Patterson is considered by many as one of the greatest defensive minds in all of college football. His game plans since 2017 ae very similar to what Iowa State runs with the “cloud coverage”. The key to beating his defenses are to out coach him and to be mentally prepared on both sides of the ball. With that being said, the best players on this TCU team are on the defensive side of the ball. They are led by their linebackers and defensive line. Their backers are all over the field this year and look better with their pursuits than in years past. The D-Line this year will get after the QB. They rank 3rd in the conference in pass rush and will force turnovers. How Tech is prepared from the time they enter the locker room will be a major factor for how this game goes.
Texas Tech Red Raiders: 4-5: Big 12 (2-4)
Texas Tech returns home to the South Plains this weekend as they take on TCU for the Battle of the Saddle trophy. The Red Raiders are coming off a successful trip to Morgantown as they handled West Virginia 38-17. The game was pretty much well in hand at halftime but mental errors allowed the Mountaineers to score when they did. Those errors can’t happen this week if Tech looks to win. With TCU looking to be bowl eligible and knowing who their head coach is, Tech can’t afford those mistakes. Jett Duffey had another stellar performance going 24-34 for 354 yds and 1 TD while completing 70 percent of his passes. The O-Line didn’t allow a single sack and provided holes for the backs to run through. Tech rushed for 127 total yds. That might seem a little low but the majority of the rushes came inside the red zone where both the offense and defense played really well. Speaking of defense, Tech was able to force two turnovers and sack the QB four times. As far as injuries go, Desmond Smith is still day to day, Evan Rambo is day to day, and Sa’Rodrick Thompson is listed as questionable. Now the biggest news coming from this week is that Bowman and Maverick will be redshirted this year. With Bowman’s redshirt, according to the TCU pregame presser on Monday, Wells said that the decision was Bowman’s and that both are in agreeance with this decision. With Maverick it was an obvious decision because he has zero pregame experience and with him possibly being the future…obvious. Lastly, just because someone is being redshirted doesn’t mean that they will be leaving, especially with Bowman making the decision. He still could play one more game with the redshirt rule but that is unlikely. Also, as of now there isn’t a QB listed in the 2020 class right now but that could change once high school playoffs are over. He knows what he’s doing. Now back to the game at hand….TCU’s offense has been hit or miss all year which gives the defense an opportunity to create some havoc in the secondary. Offensively there will be plenty of chances to have success in the running game. Mental preparation will be a huge factor if Tech looks to win. Not guaranteeing anything, but our chances are looking good this week.
This week Well’s recruiting staff has offered 3-star DB Aaron Reylonds from Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX. Also this week Jeremy Flax a 6-6, 320lbs, OT at Independence Community College, which was the subject of season 3 and 4 of “Last Chance U”, is visiting this week.
This weeks player spotlight is focusing on Ja’Lynn Polk and Ryan Frank. We’ll start off with Ja’Lynn Polk. Polk is a 4-star’ 6-2, 185lbs, WR from Lufkin, TX. Polk committed 6/22/2019 and is our highest rated prospect in the 2020 class. Through 2017-2018 Polk has had 77 receptions for 1362 yards and 15 touchdowns. Polk chose Tech over schools Texas, Baylor, Arkansas, and others.
We’ll finish up the recruiting section this week with Ryan Frank, a 3-star, 6-2, 185lbs, CB from Magnolia, TX. Frank committed 6/28/2019. I couldn’t find any stats for him but I found he has ran track his junior year competing in the 100-meter dash, 300-meter hurdles, and high jump. Frank chose Tech over schools Oklahoma St., Utah, Houston, and others.
Saddle Tramp News
Our New Guys are almost done being New Guys! They’re about two weeks out from being completely done with pledge ship. They have all done great! It’s now officially our busy season. We have Football on the weekends, and Basketball on school nights. But we’re not complaining. Basketball is off to a hot start going 3-0 and Football is still in the hunt for a Bowl Game. Say what you want but this is an exciting time to be a Red Raider! On December 4th, 2019, we will be hosting Bell Tower Tours from 7-9 p.m. This is the day after Carol of Lights so you will be able to see the 25,000 Red, White, and Orange Lights from the Bell Tower! You can park on either the Administration Building side of Memorial Circle, or in the Student Union Building Parking lot. The event is Free, all ages are welcome, photography is encouraged. You must be able to climb up stairs because there is no Elevator. Come out and see where History is celebrated!