Football

Preview: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Intro

GAME THINGS
Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-6, 2-5)
Kansas State Wildcats (6-4, 3-4)
November 23rd @ 6:00 p.m.
Jones AT&T Stadium – Lubbock, Texas
Texas Tech -2.5
FS1 | FOXSportsGo
Sunny, 62-35.

Favorite Place. I am sure that you all feel the same way, but Texas Tech is one of my favorite places in the world. When driving from where I stay which is the the southeastern side of the Metroplex, when I arrive in Weatherford, I’m always faced of just traveling I-20 or going state highway 180. There’s something cathartic for me in going through each of those small towns, Mineral Wells, Breckenridge, Albany, Anson, and Roby all before I arrive in Snyder to head north. I think going 180 is technically 10 minutes slower, although it didn’t used to be that way, but with the growth of Weatherford and Mineral Wells, those aren’t exactly small towns any more. I try to stop at the best sandwich stop along the way in Albany, I don’t know what it’s called, but on Sunday after a weekend of my kids having their full of chicken strips and french fries, a turkey sandwich with chips is a nice change of pace for them (although they both wanted the pizza sitting under a hot light). Just being on campus is never long enough, but those early morning runs are the absolute best. If you’re not a running person, just find a place to take a walk around campus as the sun rises is one of the best things that I do and if you can swing it, you should.

Big 12 Boomerang.

Texas is faltering and I cannot explain why other than they are decimated by injuries (there’s probably more to it than that). I cannot explain how Kansas State loses to West Virginia at home and if you wanted to know how or why I have hope this weekend, that loss is part of it, but maybe it shouldn’t be. I cannot tell you how happy that Oklahoma came back to beat Baylor. As far as this week goes, I still don’t have a good read on Baylor and I’d probably take Baylor if forced to pick against the spread. I think they’ll bounce back, but I’m also not sure what Texas team will show up. Oklahoma State has lost their starting quarterback and going on the road to Morgantown isn’t easy.

When Texas Tech Has The Ball

Kansas State is now running a 4-2-5 with a guy that has seemingly been at Kansas State forever, defensive end Reggie Walker (6-2/250). On the other side, Wyatt Hubert (6-3/258), sits with Trey Dishon (6-2/311) and Jordan Mittie (6-3/284) at the defensive tackles. Hubert is really the star though, with 5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss to go along with 24 tackles, Walker only has 1 sack, but does have 24 tackles. Trey Dishon has decent stats for a defensive lineman, 3 sacks and 22 tackles, while Mittie has 23 tackles.

The two linebackers are Elijah Sullivan (6-0/210) and Da’Quan Patton (6-1/227) and they’re undersized to an extent and have similar stats, 43 tackles and 4.0 tackles for a loss for Sullivan and Patton with 36. Daniel Green (6-2/226) is the back-up linebacker, so depending on the offensive set, I’d bet that Green is the third linebacker and he does have 2 sacks.

The backfield is set by Jahron McPherson (6-1/197) at the nickelback, with Wayne Jones (6-0/205) at strong safety and Denzel Goolsby (5-11/204) at strong safety. All of the cornerbacks for K-State are under 6’0″, Kevion McGee (5-10/187) and Walter Neil, Jr. (5-9/176) are the starters and all of the backups are 5’10”. I’d like to tell you a bunch of stats here, but not a ton of splash plays. AJ Parker leads the team with 3 interceptions is not on the two-deep. Jones and Goolsby are the leading tacklers, 44 tackles each and only Goolsby has 1 interception.

When Kansas State Has The Ball

Up front, every starter, including the tight end, are all seniors. Scott Frantz (6-5/303) at left tackle, Evan Curl (6-5/295) at left guard, Adam Holtorf (6-4/302) at center, Tyler Mitchell (6-5/317) at right guard, Nick Kaltmayer (6-8/311) at right tackle, and Blaise Gammon (6-7/25) at tight end.

At receiver, the star is Dalton Schoen (6-1/209) with Wykeen Gill (5-10/181) being the other starter and that’s it. Schoen has caught 32 for 541 yards and 4 touchdowns and Gill has 12 catches for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. There’s no third receiver or anything like that on the depth chart, but Phillip Brooks (5-7/167) has 23 catches for 214 yards and Malik Knowles (6-2/186) is the second leading receiver with 22 catches for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. Previously mentioned is Gammon who has 1 catch, but the fullback (mentioned below) has 11 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.

At running back James Gilbert (5-9/198) and Jordon Brown (5-11/200) are both transfers, Gilbert from Ball State and Brown from North Carolina. Gilbert has 113 rushing attempts for 618 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt with 6 touchdowns, whiel Brown has 53 rushing attempts for 264 yards 5 yards per attempt and 3 touchdowns. Harry Trotter (5-11/202) also has 64 carries for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. The previously mentioned fullback is Nick Lenners (6-5/252) who seems more like a tight end than a fullback and Mason Barta (6-1/236).

The quarterback is Skylar Thompson (6-2/212) definitely has his ups and downs and is definitely dual-threat as he’s second on the team with 89 carries for 350 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. Thompson completes 61% of his passes for 1,888 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. I’m more worried about Thompson running than passing, but I felt the same way last week against TCU’s quarterback. Just last week, Thompson passed for 299 yards against West Virginia and against Texas, Thompson had a QB rating of 166, so he can hurt you through the air.

I’m honestly incredibly worried about the stopping the Kansas State run, they’re just going to punish you and without your best run-stopper, I’m just not sure what to think how this is all going to work out. TCU just ran all over Texas Tech last week, at least that’s what it felt like, but it wasn’t pretty and we all know about the pass defense.

Special Teams

THIS WEEK ON STAKING THE PLAINS
* CFB Headlines: Week 12
* Texas Tech Football Scratch Pad | Playing With Urgency
* TTU Football 2019: Closing Out Games Has Become A Concern
* By the Numbers: Texas Tech and Big 12 Outlook (Week 13)
* Kansas State Preview – Week 13 | 23 Personnel Podcast 126
* Using Analytics to Inform Gambling Picks (Week 13)

Blake Lynch (5-5/148) is legitimately 5’5″ and 148 pounds and that’s pretty awesome. He’s 38 of 38 on extra points and 13 of 14 kicking field goals, his only miss being between 30-39 yards and has actually made both field goals between 40-49 yards. Devin Anctil (6-1/234) is a good sized punter and averages nearly 45 yards a punt, so that’s actually pretty good. I don’t normally look at these other special teams stats, but KSU is 6th in the nation in kickoff returns and 8th in limiting opponents, so the coverage will be good and I’d advise kicking it out of the end zone and just not returning kickoffs for this particular game.

Game Prediction

I’ve got nothing to lose here so I’m predicting another Texas Tech win, something like 42-35. I have no confidence that the defense is going to stop anyone with out Jordyn Brooks, the best player on the team (by far in my opinion) and the best run-stopper. Still, I think that the offense is going to show up this week.

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