Texas Tech at No. 24 Iowa State
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium
Records: Texas Tech (1-2 overall, 0-2 Big 12); Iowa State (2-1, 2-0 Big 12)
Last meeting: Iowa State defeated Texas Tech 34-24 on Oct. 19, 2019, in Lubbock, Tx.
What’s at stake?
This may only be Texas Tech’s fourth game, but it likely will decide the fate of the season and, possibly, Matt Wells’ future in Lubbock. It sounds dramatic, but the Red Raiders need this upset in a bad way. Texas Tech is tied with Oklahoma for eighth place in the conference.
Since Matt Campbell took over in 2016 the Red Raiders are 0-4 against the Cyclones, including an embarrassing 66-10 loss by Patrick Mahomes and company in Campbell’s first year. That year’s Iowa State team finished the year 3-9.
When Texas Tech has the ball
After leaving the Kansas State game with a right leg injury, Alan Bowman is day-to-day according to Matt Wells on Monday. Henry Colombi, the transfer from Utah State, came in and performed well against the Wildcats. In that game Texas Tech had another breakout performer on offense: sophomore running back Xavier White.
It was his first game earning significant snaps and the Lubbock native made the most of it. He was tied with SaRodorick Thompson with 12 carries and ran for 113 yards and a touchdown. Freshman wide receiver Myles Price, former standout at The Colony, caught his first college touchdown to give Texas Tech the lead in the fourth quarter. It was one of six catches on the day for 51 yards.
Bowman is likely to start this week, but no matter who is throwing passes against the Cyclones, offensive tackles Ethan Carde and Josh Burger must be at their best against defensive ends JaQuan Bailey and Will McDonald, who each have 3.5 sacks through three games.
When Iowa State has the ball
Sophomore running back Breece Hall is the driving force behind the Cyclone offense this season. Through three games Hall has 396 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. The rest of his team has combined for five touchdowns (three rushing, two passing).
Against Kansas State, the Red Raider defense struggled to contain a star running back in Deuce Vaughn. Last week he ran for 113 yards (7.1 average) and a touchdown against Texas Tech in addition to catching a 70-yard touchdown pass to ice the game with two minutes remaining.
After a stellar junior season, Iowa State QB Brock Purdy has fallen back to Earth this year. He’s thrown for 610 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Texas Tech will likely stack the box and force Purdy to beat them.
Iowa State has looked vulnerable at times and yet is 2-1 with an upset over Oklahoma all with a quarterback who is massively underperforming. After this game both teams head into much-needed bye weeks. The Cyclones need a reset and face Oklahoma State on the road in their next game and could easily get complacent looking ahead to their next opponent.
Texas Tech is absolutely desperate to get a Big 12 win, any Big 12 win. During Wells’ tenure as head coach the Red Raiders are 0-6 in one-score games. During that same stretch Iowa State is 4-3. At some point, after doing enough things mostly right, Texas Tech’s luck has to change.
No matter the result, Texas Tech will give more effort in this game than in any other under Wells.
Score: Texas Tech 31, Iowa State 27
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