A lot is on the line for Texas this Thanksgiving, most importantly the opportunity to keep post season hopes alive. The outcome of the Longhorns game against the Red Raiders will almost certainly be determined by one factor: the Texas offense's ability - or inability - to eat the clock.
Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Red Raiders have averaged 588 yards and 46.5 points per game this season. But as good as Tech's offense is, the defense is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Texas will face a Texas Tech defense that has allowed an average 42 points per game and is the second worst defense in college football. The best thing the Longhorns can do is keep the Red Raiders' offense off the field and run the ball.
If the Texas offense can slow things down and eat clock, it will stand a chance against Texas Tech. If not, Longhorn fans may not be very thankful Thursday night.
I'm going to (foolishly?) give Texas the benefit of the doubt and say the offense will pull through and give the Longhorns the fifth win of the season.
Texas 35, Texas Tech 31
I'm going to continue to step out on a limb and say if you are worried about Texas' running back situation going into this game because D'Onta Foreman and Johnathan Gray probably won't be able to play - don't be.
Get ready for the Kirk Johnson Show. As long as Tommie Robinson or Jay Norvell or whoever decides when players play or who gets carries don't lose their minds - and Johnson gets a healthy dose of carries - you will like what you see.
Just put Johnson and Chris Warren III in that two-back Insanity Set ... oh nevermind.
Other than the question of if Texas will go back to the game plan that beat OU and K-State - power spread on offense and blitz 75 percent on defense - the real question is where is this team's mindset after a week and a half of rumors about their coach and Miami?
Is this team still plugged in? Is this the coaching staff's mindset plugged in?
Adding those questions into the mix makes me think there's probably too much to overcome. Texas will win the game if the Horns lock into the game plan and mindset it had against OU and K-State.
But I've been saying that since late October, and Texas has gone 1-2 since.
Texas Tech 26, Texas 24
I think the Longhorns are going to be fine running the ball with their two freshmen running backs, if that’s who they are forced to go with.
The stage won’t be too big for either of them and the Red Raiders run defense is, well, bad. I don’t see UT having an issue running the ball even with Chris Warren and Kirk Johnson running behind a line that doesn’t include Patrick Vahe.
The worry for any UT fan in this one should be how in the hell Texas is going to stop this TTU offense that features close to a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard receiver and a 1,000-yard rusher.
I think that Duke Thomas is going to be a real key in this one. I think he’s going to be tasked with covering TTU’s Jakeem Grant – 78 receptions, 1,038 yards and 6 TDs – for most of the game. Might be the toughest matchup he’s ever had truthfully. The thing he can’t do is worry about others around him. He has to trust in Davis and Hill to do their job and pray that Jason Hall and Dylan Haines don’t get caught looking in the backfield and beat deep.
All that said, if I had to pick between a Charlie Strong defense and a Kliff Kingsbury offense, I’m going to go with Strong, especially since he had nearly two weeks to prepare for this one.
I believe that it’s going to be close but I do think there is just enough pride in this bunch to give these seniors one more shining moment before traveling to Waco next week.
Texas 34, Texas Tech 32