TEXAS TECH vs KANSAS STATE SENIOR NIGHT BREAKDOWN
This Breakdown was completed by Russ Morris and Ethan Nieporte.
Texas Tech stays home for one more night this weekend for Senior Night as they take on a very impressive Kansas State team. The philosophy of the Wildcats may have changed, but the fundamental style of play is still there. The only thing that changed for K-State is that they hired a 4-time Division 1-AA National Champion head coach. The hostage situation of Bill Snyder’s last four years is gone and now the talent of this team is showing. K-State is coming off a trap-game loss to West Virginia last week, while Tech is coming off another heart-breaking loss to TCU. Texas Tech and Kansas State will meet for the 20th time Saturday in a back-and-forth series that currently has the Wildcats at a 10-9 all-time advantage. The Wildcats enter this weekend having won seven of the past eight meetings, including a 21-6 victory last season in Manhattan. The Red Raiders had won five-consecutive games against Kansas State before Kansas State's string of success began in 2011.The Red Raiders' lone win during that eight-year stretch came in 2015 when DeAndre Washington rushed for a career-high 248 yards and three touchdowns in a 59-44 victory in Lubbock. After last weekend's close loss to TCU, Texas Tech is now forced to win its last two games in order to reach bowl eligibility for the 39th time in program history. To do so, the Red Raiders will have to top Kansas State and Texas in back-to-back weeks, the same two opponents Tech took down to close the 2015 regular season. The Red Raiders outlasted Kansas State, 59-44, at home that season before going on the road to knock off Texas on Thanksgiving weekend in Austin. The Kansas State victory propelled the Red Raiders to bowl eligibility that year where this season it will take a win in both games. The last time the Red Raiders won their final two regular season games in order to reach bowl eligibility came in 1993 when Texas Tech overcame a 1-5 start by winning its final five games. The Red Raiders went on the road to defeat SMU that season before returning home to rout Houston for an eventual appearance in the John Hancock Bowl, which is the current Sun Bowl. There is also an emphasis for the month of November for Coach Wells. The win over West Virginia marked only the fourth since 2010 on the road in November for a Red Raider program that did not win a game during the final month a year ago. Texas Tech is looking for at least three wins this month to extend its season, a feat the Red Raiders have not previously accomplished since the 2010 campaign. Tech has not topped three Big 12 foes in November since 2008. This game is huge for bowl eligibility. The opportunity to be within one is right in front of the Red Raiders. Historically K-State has always been a time of possession team. Mental preparation is key this week. That has been said the past few breakdowns and it might be cheesy, but its obvious this week considering what is on the line.
Kansas State Wildcats: 6-4: Big 12 (3-4)
Kansas State travels to the South Plains this weekend after coming off a disappointing loss to West Virginia last week. West Virginia out disciplined the Wildcats and forced turnovers. The Mountaineers outplayed K-State for three and a half quarters. K-State mounted a late comeback but fell short at the end of the game. The offense for the Wildcats is run heavy but their passing game is the best since Collin Klein was their QB back in 2011 and 2012. They are throwing the ball more on third down and have started drives throwing the ball if they feel a mismatch is present. As the offensive line and Skylar Thompson goes, so does the rest of the team. West Virginia was able to keep him in check and got pressure in the back field. In their games against Oklahoma State, Baylor, and this past week against West Virginia those defenses were able to outscore and outplay K-State on the defensive side of the ball. Skylar was pressured 45% of the time against Baylor, 38% against WVU, and 35% against OSU. The percentage with OSU was low due to the shootout that took place in the fourth. Baylor was a glorified ass-kicking, and West Virginia was for three and a half quarters. Skylar is very under-rated in the Big 12. His passing numbers are low, but he WILL kill you with his legs. Aside from Hurts and Ehlinger, Skylar Thompson is one of the best option/mobile QBs in the league. Oklahoma learned the hard way by allowing 250 total rushing yards and almost 350 passing. Defensively they are led by their line-backers and their secondary has some speed. They will play man-man and the backers are all over the field. As a unit they never take a play off. Their back-side pursuit is second only behind Baylor in terms of how consistent they swarm to the ball. As mentioned before, mental preparation will be key. K-State is coming off a trap-game loss and is looking to bounce back in order to continue their hopes for a decent bowl game in late December. How Tech is prepared mentally of the defensive side of the ball, to limit little mistakes and big plays is the biggest key on Saturday.
Texas Tech Red Raiders: 4-6: Big 12 (3-5)
Texas Tech stays home for Senior Night this Saturday as they look to get within bowl eligibility as they take on Kansas State. Tech is looking to beat the Wildcats for the first time since 2015. That year De’Andre Washington was able to rush for 198 yards and become the first player to reach that mark since Byron Hanspard. It took a collective effort to put the Wildcats away as they kicked two onside kicks where Tech recovered the second one to end the game. The last two home games against the Wildcats have taken a stand in the fourth quarter/OT to beat them. The onside kicks in 2015 and an OT stand in 2017. In ’17 K-State scored 28 unanswered points to force overtime in which poor game management, disregard for the basics of coaching, and a horrific defensive showing in the 4th cost the Red Raiders. Tech must play a complete game this week in order to win. Last week the Red Raiders played TCU in which they overcame a 17-0 deficit to take the lead 31-30 in the fourth but fell short due to a costly fumble to end the game unfortunately losing 33-31. As a team Tech has been inconsistent on both sides of the ball all year long. They can’t start off like last week and Tech must score in the red zone when it matters most. The offense has to come out fast, score TDs in the red zone and the offensive line has to play like D-1 lineman. The defense has to get off the field on third down, force turnovers, and get to the QB. The offense enters the game ranked still inside the top 15 and the defense is ranked 1st in the league in turnovers, 2nd in turnover margin, and decent in total. Jordyn Brooks is currently listed as a game-time decision, and it is looking like Mannix will be to guy at slot until Rigdon is out of concussion protocol. Jett is coming off another 300-yard performance, but he must play with discipline this week. The reads must be better, and he has to be accurate on his deep passes. The key to victory this week will be mental preparation. This team is not afraid to fight to the bitter end. However, they can’t afford to get in a hole like the ISU game. If Tech can limit mistakes, take care of the ball, force turnovers, and come out hot, the odds are much better. If not, then hopes of playing in December are gone. With that said, our chances this week are good!
Saddle Tramp News: We have a busy week this week with Basketball tonight (11/21) against Tennessee State, Wrapping Will and Soapsuds on Friday (11/22), Football against Kansas State (11/23), and another Basketball Game on Sunday (11/24) against LIU Brooklyn. If you haven’t heard, on December 4th, we are hosting Bell Tower Tours! Carol of Lights is December 3rd so this is an excellent way to come see the lights! You can park either in the Student Union Parking Lot or on Memorial Circle. The Tours are FREE and will start at 7 p.m. So come out and see us! Have a great rest of your week and WRECK EM!!