Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. TCU Horned Frogs – Game Preview
The Texas Tech Red Raiders kickoff Big 12 play on Thursday night as the #24 ranked Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University come to town. The two team's meeting last season was one to remember as the Red Raiders pulled out a tough triple overtime win over Gary Patterson's team with a final score of 56-53.
TCU comes in supporting a 1-1 record as they lost to LSU in their opener and defeated Southeastern Louisiana last week. It was not all smiles last week for the Horned Frogs however as they lost senior quarterback Casey Pachall for what looks like could be the year to a broken arm, so once again the team will turn to sophomore Travon Boykin to lead the way. He did so last year against Iowa State as Pachall was suspended at that point last season. Boykin came in against LSU and provided a much needed spark that kept TCU in that game and lead them to a win against the much less opponent in SELU.
The Red Raiders are riding high after a 2-0 start as walk-on true freshman Baker Mayfield continues to turn heads. He has racked up a bevy of offense as he has almost 800 yards passing and seven touchdowns through the air, all while not throwing a single interception. Mayfield has also added an elusive quality that the Red Raider fan base has not seen in sometime at the quarterback position. They will need everything he's got if they want to score on this tough TCU defense. They return nine starters to a squad that was statistically the best in the BIG 12 a season ago.
The run game finally showed up in last weeks win as they rushed for 237 yards split between a number of backs. Kenny Williams (Pictured Above) received seven of the carries and took two of those for touchdowns. De'andre Washington also added a score. The real highlights came from red-shirt freshman Quinton White. who rushed the ball just five time but gained over 70 yards thanks to some shifty moves. He would also score and the coaches have had discussion about him receiving some more playing time.
Texas Tech's defense has shown signs of improvement compared to years past under the new direction of defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt. He has the unit looking much more aggressive and have blitzed more than any Tech defense I can remember. The new DC will need to get creative against the dual threat quarterback that is Travon Boykin. Between him and running back B.J. Catalon, they will provide a run game similar to watch Coach Wallerstedt and the Tech defense saw in their opener against Garret Gilbert and SMU. Boykin's improved passing ability may be the key to who wins and loses this game. Catalon is also someone the Red Raiders will have to keep their eye on on special teams as he returned a kick 100 yards for a touchdown against LSU. Texas Tech receiver their own boost in the special teams game last week as Carlos Thompson had some impressive returns as he took a kickoff back 73 yards and also returned a punt for 35 which both gave the Texas Tech offense great field position.
All sides of the ball will play big roles in the outcome of this game. Kickoff for this game is set for Thursday at 6:30 pm from Jones AT&T stadium and can be seen on ESPN.