Key Matchups: vs. Texas Tech

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Quarterback

Advantage: Texas

Whether or not West Virginia quarterback Will Grier’s injury is the only reason Texas is eligible for a bowl game, the team is ready to close out the season with a homestand against another program at the bottom of the conference. Freshman Sam Ehlinger once again took the reins of the Texas offense, throwing for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the road win. He appears to be the go-to option for the Longhorns moving forward. 

Like most Big 12 offenses, Texas Tech struggled mightily against the conference-best TCU defense. The Red Raiders’ only points came on the opening drive of the game on a field goal, as Texas Tech senior quarterback Nic Shimonek posted season-lows in passing yards and completions.

Running Back

Advantage: Texas

Three Texas running backs averaged at least seven yards per carry as a reinvigorated offensive line created space up and down the field. Texas outgained the Mountaineers, 233-56, on the ground, breathing life into an otherwise underwhelming run game. 

Texas Tech is a solid rushing team. Senior Justin Stockton churned his way to 124 yards against TCU but was unable to find the end zone on a number of carries. Texas’ defense, while not quite as formidable as the Horned Frogs, ought to provide plenty of headaches for the Red Raiders’ running backs. 

Wide Receiver

Advantage: Texas

At least 10 Longhorn receivers earned receptions against West Virginia, marking the fifth straight week and seventh time this season the offense has achieved the feat. Freshman Reggie Hemphill-Mapps led the team with 58 yards on two touches, as the offense showed signs of consistency that have been missing all season.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury may have watched his last home game from the Red Raiders sideline. Texas Tech failed to get into the end zone against TCU, and the offense has underperformed all season. A weak performance against Texas may be the final straw. 

Defense

Advantage: Texas

As much as we’ve praised the Texas secondary, and rightly so, it was the front line that shone on Saturday afternoon. The win marked the sixth game this season where Texas has held an opponent to under 100 rushing yards. 

Texas Tech’s defense struggled to make key stops late in the loss to TCU, allowing true freshman quarterback Shawn Robinson to put away the game for his team. After Texas’ offensive showing against West Virginia, the Red Raiders may struggle on both sides of the ball.