Game 8: Texas Tech at Kansas – Preview and Prediction

Opponent: Texas Tech

Opponent’s Record: 3-4 (1-3 in the Big 12)

Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kansas

Game time: Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 6:00 PM

TV channel: Fox Sports 1

Radio: 810 WHB

Line: Texas Tech -4.5

Kansas returns to Lawrence for homecoming against Texas Tech riding high off a loss (strange, but true) in Austin. They have to do something they haven’t done all season and channel that momentum further to defeat the Red Raiders on Saturday. With film available on new offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon’s offense, the Jayhawks will have to execute even better to replicate their offensive explosion from a week ago.

When Texas Tech has the ball

Texas Tech’s offense is coordinated by David Yost, who you may remember from his tenure at Missouri in the early 2000’s. Yost employs a spread out offensive structure like his predecessors at Tech, but I hesitate to call him an Air Raid guy in the mold of Kingsbury or Leach. This season they have featured a more balanced attack averaging around 45 passes and 35 rushes per game. Part of this comes from limitations to their starting quarterback, the aptly named, Jett Duffey. While Duffey has a strong arm, he is much more known for his running ability and lacks the accuracy that injured quarterback Alan Bowman possesses. 

Because of that, Texas Tech stretches the ball more horizontally than vertically. They challenge teams in space and have produced on the ground. Guys like Gavin Potter will have to make plays from sideline to sideline. If the Jayhawks can tackle in space better than they did a week ago, and put spies on Duffey they have a shot to stop Texas Tech.

When Kansas has the ball

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Brent Dearmon era. The Jayhawks exploded last week for over 500 yards of offense and 48 points. Dearmon’s offense resembled more balance and spread the ball to the receivers more. Carter Stanley also looked like he was given more designed run responsibilities which makes this offense even more dynamic. KU’s ability to utilize Pooka Williams, Daylon Charlot, and Andrew Parchment in space seems simple in concept, but it’s taken years for a Kansas coach to figure out a structure to do it. Kansas needs to keep the momentum rolling with Dearmon’s RPO heavy offense. 

On defense, Texas Tech will look to turn the Jayhawks over. While their passing defense has been stingier than recent memory, the Red Raiders have been prone to giving up lots of yards on the ground. Dearmon will lean heavily on Pooka and Gardner to keep Tech’s offense off the field and take advantage of a soft run defense from Texas Tech.

Prediction

This one is hard to predict. Analytics don’t typically take coaching changes into account, instead opting for the results to slowly adapt in the model. This can lead to funky differences between the line and the computer predictions. SP+ has Tech winning by 9 and Sagarin has the Red Raiders winning by 8. The Vegas line, which is more adaptive to sudden changes like QB injuries and coaching changes, has Texas Tech as 3.5-5 point favorites depending on the book. I think this game will fall in the touchdown range. The two teams are close and Kansas hasn’t shown it can play at Texas/BC levels consistently. With the game in Lawrence I am taking the Jayhawks.

KU 38 (KU +4.5), Texas Tech 31

Season Record: 5-2 (3-4 ATS)

Last week’s prediction: Texas 44 KU 27 (Actual Texas 50, KU 48)

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