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By: IT Staff
Headed back to Lubbock to begin Big 12 play in 2020. Let’s Roundtable.
1. Favorite memory in Lubbock:
Eric: And I like Mahomes.
Justin: It’s a toss-up where both times involve Patrick Mahomes. Quandre Diggs smashing him in 2014 or Kris Boyd’s game-clinching INT in 2016.
Joe: Texas taking two of three from the Red Raiders in 2018 on their way to the Big 12 Championship. Oh, football. Either D’Onta Foreman’s long run in 2016 or Phillip Geiggar reminding Trey Haverty what the score was in 2004.
Ian: Back in the 2000s when the pirate patrolled Lubbock, playing out there was a real concern. In 2006 Texas got down 21-0 before freshman Colt McCoy shook off a pick-6 and was involved in all five of the touchdowns that enabled a 35-31 win to preserve what appeared at the time to be a potential championship season.
Paul: Truthfully, it didn’t involve Texas. It was 2001 and the high water mark of Texas Tech’s reign of terror from 1995 to 2008 over Texas A&M, when Tech students tried to clear the visitor’s section with a goalpost after a 12-0 shutout win. https://youtu.be/8DSRsieiGWg The Raider fans fed the goalposts into the stands, prompting multiple brawls, including a fellow Aggie punching Mike McKinney (the governor’s chief of staff and A&M player parent) for swinging his binoculars indiscriminately in an attempt to hold off the Raider hordes. McKinney later compared his efforts to “defending the Alamo.” Aggies got the red ass, called Texas Tech “classless clowns” in their official media guide, the Big 12 had to intervene to enforce sportsmanship, and one of the most amusing spats in college football played out for several more years.
2. One position group to watch for UT/Tech each on Saturday:
Eric: UT’s interior d-line versus Tech’s guard-center-guard. Tech not running the ball much devalues one of its team strengths, but it should help buy Bowman time in the passing game, at least against most teams. I’ll be watching UT’s young interior pass rushers logging snaps this game. UT’s corners versus Tech’s receivers will also be fun.
Justin: I’m watching the Texas defensive backfield. Tech will attempt to use the length and separation at wide receiver for its advantage. I’m also watching Tech’s DL. UT might be able to run through them.
Joe: The obvious one is Texas’ secondary versus Texas Tech’s wide receivers, but keep an eye on Ta’Quon Graham and Keondre Coburn versus the Red Raider interior OL. That’s strength versus strength and it will be a good way to measure what the Texas DL will be able to do this year.
Ian: Texas’ cornerbacks against a very good cast of receivers is one obvious area to observe. The battle between Tech’s interior O-line and the Longhorn defensive tackles is another. The better those matchups go for Texas, the more confident Longhorn fans should feel for the coming season.
Paul: I’ll be watching Tech’s WRs vs our corners and our edge rushers against their unproven tackles.
3. Texas-Texas Tech Score, prediction:
Eric: 52-27, Texas. The Texas staff wants convincing wins for recruiting purposes.
Justin: 48-20, Texas. Too much Sam Ehlinger for an tortilla-throwing fans today.
Joe: 38-21, Texas.
Ian: I bet Tech finds the end zone some but Texas should light up their scoreboard and win, 56-21.
Paul: Texas- 45, Texas Tech-27
4. Game of the Week:
Eric: No single game stands out but it’s a very watchable day. Outside of UT, I’ll be most intrigued by Iowa State vs TCU.
Justin: Okie State vs West Virginia. WVU might give the Cowboys all they want and more. Good early-season matchup.
Joe: I don’t think Miami vs. Florida State will be competitive, but I think Oklahoma State versus West Virginia will. Army at Cincinnati also looks to be a good game.
Ian: Most college football fans will be watching the SEC this week, but keep an eye on that West Virginia at Ok State game. The Mountaineers are sneakily very talented and if they drop the ‘Pokes could start to build a case as the true non-TX/OU league dark horse.
Paul: May watch some Iowa State-TCU. None of the other national games really blow me away.
5. Big 12 play begins. Texas finishes how?
Eric: Texas wins the conference this year and will be in the thick of the playoff discussion.
Justin: First. Not sure who they play in the Big 12 Championship, but if Herman is going to win it, it’s in 2020.
Joe: Second, which is still good enough to make it to Arlington.
Ian: No. 1 or 2 and preparing hard for a rematch with the Sooners for the elusive B12 title.
Paul: Predicting anything this year is insane, but I’m giddy and high on Twizzlers. Texas finishes 9-1 in Big 12 play.