Game Preview for Texas Tech vs. Arkansas
The only good thing about last year's Texas Tech vs Arkansas game were the throwback uniforms that Tech broke out from the Zach Thomas era. The classic Double T and the silver pants were a welcome addition to the growing list of uniform combos that has been seen under the watchful eye of Head Coach and Fashion Director Kliff Kingsbury.
The Texas Tech uniforms this year have been solid black and solid white, so it only makes sense that they will take the gray on the road to the hills of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The uniforms will have a fierce element that screams: "We're loud, we're proud, we'll silence this crowd." Or something.
Enough about uniforms. Texas Tech is taking its first road trip of the season Saturday, September 19 for a kickoff at 6 p.m. CT. Tech is looking to bring their record to 3-0, while Arkansas is looking to get back above .500 after a week two loss to Toledo. (Yes, that Toledo.)
After complaining about the Ohio State University's cupcake schedule, a cupcake from Ohio beat them at home. I love it when The Football God rears his magnificent hands to smite Brett Bielema.
This is the second game in a home and home series between Texas Tech and Arkansas. After Arkansas came to Lubbock last season for a 49-28 win over the Red Raiders on September 13, Texas Tech looks to return the favor and beat Arkansas on their turf.
This is Tech's first visit to Fayetteville since 1990, which yielded a 47-44 victory between southwest conference rivals. This time around, it's the Big 12 vs the big bad SEC.
Wins and losses
Both teams have both played UTEP this season. Arkansas beat them 48-13 the week before Tech beat them 69-20.
Coming off of a home loss, Arkansas will be fired up to rectify their own situation. In fact, the worst thing that could have happened to Tech last week was Arkansas losing. The Razorbacks will now seemingly be angry and play harder this week. But Coach Kingsbury said he hopes his team will, too: "I hope our guys are extremely angry as well going in there."
After finishing 2014 7-6 topping it off with a bowl win against the Texas Longhorns, they entered 2015 ranked No. 18 in the country before dropping all the way out this week.
Bret Bielema, like Kliff Kingsbury, is in his third season with an 11-16 record as the top dog in Arkansas. Arkansas leads the historical series with a 29-7-0 all-time record dating back to the first meeting on Nov. 23, 1957.
The Texas Tech offense will have something to prove after only putting up 250 yards against Arkansas in 2014. Mahomes and company will continue a string of hot starts and jump on the board early. They will score early and often on track to an average day for the Texas Tech offense. So 300+ yards in the passing game and at least 150 yards in the rushing attack.
Kingsbury will continue his drastic improvement as a redzone play caller, but will have to settle for a few more field goals as the Red Raiders fail to hang 50 for the first time in 2015. I expect Tech to score 45 in this ball game and hope their defense can rise to the challenge.
The defense will allow more than 250 on the ground, but will make the necessary stops and help Tech to be positive in the turnover margin for the third straight game.
This bend-but-don't-break defensive style will not leave a lot of room for error, but defensive coordinator David Gibbs and stand-out Pete Robertson will do enough to keep the Red Raiders in the win column.
The Razorbacks will have the ball twice as long as Tech this weekend and will fall short, only scoring 41 points. This is the first of three games in a row for Tech where "only scoring 41" will be a good thing for this defense.
The third side of the ball will continue to be the X factor as our punting unit will continue to flip the field position in the Red Raiders favor. Taylor Symmank and his Asgardian leg will continue with the touchback parade on kick-offs.
This will be a back-and-forth affair, and Arkansas might even lead late in the 4th quarter. Texas Tech will prevail 45-41 in a classic finish.