Iowa State comes to The Jones this weekend (Saturday, October 10). The Red Raiders (3-2, Big 12 0-2) look to rebound after two tough losses and also notch their first Big 12 win of the season. Iowa State will be the first Big 12 opponent for Texas Tech in 2015 that is not ranked inside the top five.

A Texas Tech win on Saturday against Iowa State (2-2, Big 12 1-0),  would match the Red Raiders' victory total from last season.

Iowa State started its Big 12 schedule off with a bang last week, beating Kansas 38-13. That win was the first Cyclones win against a Power 5 opponent (after losing to Iowa and Toledo). Sam B. Richardson is back at quarterback for the Cyclones, leading a pedestrian air attack and an average rushing attack.

Ashley Wirz, 1340TheFan.com

Texas Tech and Iowa State will meet for the 14th time in the overall series, with Tech holding a 10-3 advantage right now. The last time Iowa State beat Tech was in Lubbock in 2011. That game ended in a 41-7 loss for the Red Raiders a week after beating the no. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.

This year, Iowa State comes to town after the Red Raiders lost to a top five ranked opponent. There should be no overlooking Iowa State after a 4-8 year in 2014 and two straight losses in 2015.

Traditionally, you schedule a conference opponent you think you can beat at homecoming, and this weekend is no different. The 2015 Homecoming Weekend will end in a win and the celebrations will run long into the night.

There are plenty of festivities to take part in the week leading up to the game. Most notably the Homecoming parade Friday, October 9 at 6 p.m. down Broadway, then the Pep Rally at 7:30 p.m. at United Supermarkets Arena and, finally, a Bonfire at 9 p.m. at the Bonfire Pit / Rugby Fields.

Offense

Ashley Wirz, 1340TheFan.com

Texas Tech enters this game averaging 50 points per game. That is third nationally. Only TCU and Baylor score more than Mahomes and co. do.

Strictly by offensive averages, Tech should win the rest of their games. Unfortunately, that's not the way football works; the team has to get out there and actually play.

Expect Kliff Kingsbury to rely heavily on the running game and DeAndre Washington in particular, who has a chance to pass the no. 8 ranked Baron Batch in the Texas Tech career record book for career rushing yards.

In 2014, Washington totaled a then career-high 186 yards on the ground against Iowa State and will be expected to continue that this week.

Not only will Washington need to step up, the rest of the running back group will need to as well. They are arguably the least healthy group on offense. Justin Murphy is questionable on the offensive line, and Mahomes is still semi-hobbled by a knee injury.

Something that has been downplayed up to this point is the now inexperienced receiving core. Especially after Devin Lauderdale and Ian Sadler went down with injuries. If those two cannot play this weekend, Mahomes will be relying on a predominately freshman receiver rotation (beyond Jakeem Grant and Reginald Davis). This only adds to the reason why we might see a 35 or 40 carry game for this running back stable.

Despite the potential lack of experience in the receiving core, Mahomes will shine and in turn make the offense shine.

Defense

Ashley Wirz, 1340TheFan.com

I think the defense will have its strongest showing of the year. Not because they will be improved, but because Iowa State just is not very good. Sam Richardson is playing in his 4th year as a quarterback at Iowa State, so he has plenty of experience and that is about all he has.


 

Prediction

This is a must-win game for the Red Raiders if they want to make a Bowl game. You have to win the ones you are supposed to win, and with a line of 11.5 in Texas Tech's favor, the Red Raiders are "supposed" to win this game.

I see Texas Tech being average offensively this weekend, which for Tech is 50 points and over 500 yards of total offense.

Mahomes and Washington will be too much to handle for the Cyclones, and Texas Tech will dominate in a 52-17 win.

Texas Tech tailgating pictures

  • BONUS

    Texas Tech Highlight Video