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October 14, 2011

Ultimate Preview: Kansas State

There's no secret to what Texas Tech has to do with Kansas State coming to town: Stop the Wildcats' running game.

There's just one problem.

TEXAS TECH VS. KANSAS STATE
The Opponent
Who: Kansas State Wildcats
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Colors: Purple, White
Series Record: 8-3, Tech

Record: 5-0 (2-0 Big 12)
National Ranking: No. 17 AP

Head Coach: Bill Snyder
Record at KSU: 154-80 (20)
Total Record: 154-80 (20)

Base Offense: Pro
Base Defense: 4-3

The Game
When: Oct. 15, 6 p.m. CDT
Where: Lubbock, Texas
Venue: Jones AT&T Stadium (map)

Tickets: SeatGeek

TV: FSN
Radio: TTSN (affiliates), Sirius 117

Vegas Line: Tech -3.5

The Numbers
298: Kansas State's defense has allowed just 298 plays through five games this season; Tech ran 105 offensive plays last week against Texas A&M.

40.33: The Red Raiders have won their last three meetings with the Wildcats by an average margin of 40.33 points.

9: Both Tech and Kansas State are ranked ninth nationally in a category related to third-down. The Red Raiders are ninth nationally in third-down conversion offense (54 percent), while the Wildcats are ninth in third-down conversion defense (29 percent).

The Quote
"(Bill Snyder) looks 52. He doesn't look 72. He moves around pretty good."
- Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville

"We ain't stopped it all year," coach Tommy Tuberville said of his Red Raiders, who rank last in the Big 12 in stopping the run and gave up 205 yards to Texas A&M in their last outing. "And we brought it to a sprint last weekend, I guess."

The Raiders are giving up 224 yards a game to opposing rushers. Only five FBS teams surrender more a game.

Tuberville expects the unbeaten Wildcats to give his Raiders a familiar look.

"This is a very similar offense that we've seen most of the year," Tuberville said. "They run a lot of options. They run power plays. They run a lot of two tight ends. The quarterback is going to take what you give them in the passing game. Very similar.

"We've got to play better defense. This will be a game where we've got to get our offense back on the field."

Kansas State will be the first of two opponents for the Raiders who are currently unbeaten. The Wildcats are 5-0, and Oklahoma is 5-0 going into its game at Kansas.

The Raiders, who are 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference after the loss to A&M, have the Sooners on the road on Oct. 22. They return home against Iowa State on Oct. 29.

-- Sports Xchange


THREE WILDCATS TO WATCH

QB Collin Klein - 58-of-101 for 593 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT; 115 att., 468 yards, 7 TD - A rare breed in this era of pass-happy attacks, Klein has actually attempted more rushes (115) than passes (101) while engineering Kansas State to its first 5-0 start since 2000. He averages 93.6 yards rushing, easily the most among Big 12 quarterbacks.

DE Jordan Voelker - 17 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 PBU - Although the walk-on played tight end in junior college before he was converted into an under-sized defender, his quickness is helpful at times. He is tied for third in the Big 12 with four sacks.

CB Nigel Malone - 19 tackles, 3 INT, 3 PBU - Shares the Big 12 lead with three interceptions and has shown the knack for playing the ball at the right spot despite standing just 5-10 and going up against taller receivers.

-- Sports Xchange


KEYS TO THE GAME

Zero to 60 - Tech came out guns blazing against A&M last weekend and seemed to move at the quickest pace they had all year on the opening drive. Kansas State just so happens to not practice against hurry up tempo offenses during the week, so the Red Raiders should have a big advantage in the conditioning and tempo aspect of the game against the Wildcat defense. If the Red Raiders can come out early and get a two or three possession lead, then they can get Kansas State into a shootout, which the Wildcats want nothing to do with.

Same Story, Different Week - Once again, the Red Raiders will face a formidable rushing attack against Kansas State in quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert. Kansas State plays old school, conservative, vanilla football, but they do it well. If Tech can get KSU into long yardage situations on second and third down and play solid pass coverage on third down, then Tech will come out on top.

Missed Opportunities - For the first time all year, Texas Tech had a hard time moving the football once they got inside the opposing 40 yard line against A&M. This led to a lot of field goals instead of touchdowns, which made the difference for the Aggies last week. Tech much score touchdowns instead of field goals this week, because Kansas State loves to play keep away and limit possessions on offense. The Red Raiders must make the most of their time on offense.

-- McKay


TEXAS TECH VS. KANSAS STATE MATCHUP BREAKDOWN
TEXAS TECH PASS OFFENSE VS. KANSAS STATE PASS DEFENSE
EDGE:

Texas Tech
Seth Doege has looked great through the Red Raiders first five games as Tech's starter.

The pass offense itself has chewed through every team its faced and it's something Kansas State just isn't prepared for. Tech passes for an average of 356 yards per game. Kansas State averages 206 yards per game and has faced less than 150 passing attempts all season.

With Eric Stephens out for the season, expect the Red Raiders to rely a little more on the pass in the future. Expect Texas Tech to throw for about 400 yards on Kansas State.
TEXAS TECH RUN OFFENSE VS. KANSAS STATE RUN DEFENSE
EDGE:

Push
Who knows.

Again, Tech lost Stephens last week and fifth-year senior Aaron Crawford and two true freshmen lead the run attack. There's no question the running game will be tapered back a little bit, but how much? Let's assume the trio rushes around for 100 yards. Kansas State gives up about 92 yards on defense.

What we do know is Tech has the capacity to run up front and has two athletic running backs in Kenny Williams and DeAndre Washington and its bruiser in Crawford. What we don't know is how those guys will react to heavier loads.
TEXAS TECH OFFENSIVE LINE VS. KANSAS STATE DEFENSIVE LINE
EDGE:

Push
Tech's offensive line is in for a good challenge up against a line that helps Kansas State only allow 92 yards on the ground while racking up 13 sacks in through five games.

Tech's line should be fully healthy. Starting center Justin Keown is back and Mickey Okafor is healthy. Knowing that, expect Tech's offensive line to be a formidable challenge to what Kansas State tries to do up front, namely allowing Doege enough time to get the pass off.
TEXAS TECH RUN DEFENSE VS. KANSAS STATE RUN OFFENSE
EDGE:

Kansas State
If I told you Kansas State averages 112 passing yards per game, you'd automatically assume the Wildcats are a running team. And you're right. But not to the extent you'd think.

Kansas State averages 208 yards per game for a total of 335 yards per game offensively.

All Tech has to do is stall Kansas State two or three times and the Red Raiders should be able to outscore the Wildcats for a win. That being said, Tech has not looked good at all in defending the run so it better be ready to step up to this challenge or this game will be much closer than it should.
TEXAS TECH PASS DEFENSE VS. KANSAS STATE PASS OFFENSE
EDGE:

Texas Tech
This has the potential to be a complete non-factor. Kansas State averages for an average of 127 yards per game. In their signature win against Baylor, the Wildcats threw for just 146 yards. Just 112 yards against Missouri.

Kansas State has won its football games by controlling the clock and the pass isn't very effective at melting time away. You score too quickly or you stop the clock too frequently.

Kansas State will get nowhere near the 196 yards the Red Raiders typically allow unless they go against everything that has made them a successful team this season.
TEXAS TECH DEFENSIVE LINE VS. KANSAS STATE OFFENSIVE LINE
EDGE:

Push
Kansas State's offensive line isn't stellar in pass protection. It's allowed 13 sacks on just 120 potential pass attempts.

But from the run side of things, it's an offensive line that allows Kansas State to control the clock with an adequate running game.

Tech's defensive line has been able to get some pressure on quarterbacks this season, but Kansas State won't give them very many opportunities. The defensive line hasn't been able to contribute to a good run offense up to this point though.
TEXAS TECH SPECIAL TEAMS VS. KANSAS STATE SPECIAL TEAMS
EDGE:

Texas Tech
Tech kicker Donnie Carona continues to have an excellent senior season coming into the Kansas State game but his field goal kicking skills shouldn't be much of an issue against Kansas State. The Red Raiders should be able to throw the ball in the endzone.

In the return game, Ben McRoy looks pretty good.

Ryan Erxleben has been adequate at punter, but he'll have to look out for Kansas State's Tramain Thompson who averages 17 yards per punt return.

Kansas State's David Garrett returns kicks about 22 yards with a long of 48 yards. Anthony Cantele is eight-for-11 in field goals this year and struggles outside of the 39-yard line.

-- Graham


TEXAS TECH VS. KANSAS STATE PREDICTIONS
Dickens Graham McKay Gunter Cowan Hair Quarter
TTU TTU TTU TTU TTU TTU TTU




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