Is Texas More Worried About Tortillas or the Texas Tech Defense?
The Texas Tech Red Raiders had as bad of an opening weekend as they could while keeping everyone healthy and still winning the game. Besides those few positives, you'd be hard-pressed to find a shining moment from their win over the Houston Baptist Huskies.
The good news is that the Longhorns only have that Houston Baptist tape to watch to prepare for this Texas Tech team.
Sure, they could look to last season with Matt Wells, David Yost, and Keith Patterson all back on the sidelines again for Texas Tech, but this Saturday will be Alan Bowman's first action against the Texas Longhorns after finishing back to back seasons on the sideline.
Still, even with the uncertainty of the offseason and the personnel, I get the feeling that the Texas Longhorns will look flat this weekend against Texas Tech. Call it a hunch or a gut feeling, but with everyone seemingly picking the Texas Longhorns to cover a nearly 20-point spread, it feels like Texas Tech has absolutely nothing to lose this weekend.
Tom Herman has a history of losing games to bad teams. In his tenure at Texas, he's lost to Kansas, Maryland (twice) and a TCU team that finished 5-7. Herman needed a field goal from Dicker (the kicker) last year to escape with a win against Kansas in Austin, and only beat Kansas 24-17 the year prior in Kansas.
I wouldn't say that's made them learn their lesson, though; it's just a part of Tom Herman's legacy. Similarly, Matt Wells seems to have his team ready to match their opponent. Against Houston Baptist, that's not a good thing.
In 2018, with Utah State, they played within a possession of a much better Michigan State team. In 2019, Texas Tech played up to Baylor's level and could have beaten TCU and Kansas State if a few balls bounced differently.
Notice the Wells teams didn't win any of those games, but they did keep the games close. That's something Wells' Red Raiders couldn't do last season against Oklahoma or Texas.
So instead of expecting a Texas Tech start like they had against Oklahoma State in 2019, I think the Red Raiders need to hope for a slow start from the Texas Longhorns that they can capitalize on. Maybe Longhorns QB Sam Ehlinger will be too focused on counting the tortillas and not on throwing touchdowns to his talented wide receivers.
Coach Herman said all the right things this week to make everyone think he won't have a letdown this week.
"Just because a team won by two points in Week 1 doesn’t mean they’re not capable of beating you by 21 either," Herman said in a press availability. "I would caution everybody. … Let’s not jump to too many conclusions here after one game (after) the craziest offseason in the history of college football." These are just words, though -- 'coach speak,' as we call it in the business.
I don't think Texas Tech will win on Saturday, but I do think Matt Wells will have his team much better prepared and ready to play the Longhorns close. Texas Tech will cover the 18.5 point spread, but the final score won't reflect just how close the game will feel.
Tune in to Rob Breaux's College Tailgate show this weekend on Talk 1340 and ESPN 960 San Angelo to hear my final score prediction and more thoughts on this game and the rest of college football. We'll be live from 10 a.m. to noon.