Brown: Tech Like Nebraska, K-State 'Turf' War

Road games at Texas Tech are traditionally tough, head coach <B>Mack Brown </B>said Sunday, and Texas&#146; 2:30 p.m. game (televised regionally on ABC) should be a down-to-the-wire affair much like his team&#146;s recent white-knucklers against Kansas State and Nebraska.

"Like the Kansas State and Nebraska games, this one will come down to the end," Brown predicted. "This one’s not over until the last second. Traditionally, Texas has had more trouble in Lubbock than Texas has had in Austin when they play Texas Tech."

Brown speaks from personal experience.

"I lost a close game there the first time (42-35 in 1998) and won a close game the second time (29-17 in 2000)," the UT head coach said.

Texas leads the all-time series 38-13 and has won six of the past 10 meetings. In the past decade, Texas is 3-2 against the Raiders in both Austin and in Lubbock. Brown is 3-1 against Tech.

Brown pointed out that Tech beat A&M at Kyle Field and lost in overtime in Lubbock to nationally-ranked North Carolina State.

"Tech has shown the ability to beat anybody at any time," Brown said. "These guys are really good."

With 11,394 yards, senior QB Kliff Kingsbury is the No. 5 passer in NCAA Division I-A history. In Tech’s 49-24 win over Oklahoma State Saturday, the senior completed 38 of 49 passes for 425 yards.

"They’ve always been tough to defend," Brown said. "They’ve got people spread out all over place. They have one of best quarterbacks to have ever played. They have outstanding skill at all positions. They’re going to complete a lot of balls."

Still, Brown said Saturday that Chris Simms is playing better than he ever has before. Simms was 18-of-23 for 254 yards against Baylor and 29-of-47 for 419 yards against Nebraska.

"The game will have two quarterbacks who are playing as good as anybody in the country," Brown said. "It should be a fan’s delight and players on both sides should be excited to play the game."

The artificial turf that is part of Texas’ new indoor practice facility (the "Bubble") "made all the difference at Kansas State and Nebraska," Brown said, not only because it allowed the team to practice during Austin’s recent stormy weather but in approximating the playing field at Manhattan, Lincoln and, now, Lubbock. The facility opened five weeks ago.

"The ball bounces differently on the turf," Brown said, "which meant we weren’t in a position where we had to get comfortable with turf on Friday afternoon because we already had that here."

Texas will practice outdoors through Wednesday and then work out inside the Bubble on Thursday, Brown added.

Following Texas A&M’s 30-26 upset win over Oklahoma, Texas (for the time being) has a half-game lead in the Big 12 South over the Sooners. Oddly enough, Texas Tech (7-4, 4-2 Big 12) controls its destiny as do the Sooners. While Texas needs OU to lose once more before it can compete in the conference championship game, the Red Raiders could finish in a three-way tie with Texas and OU if they were to win out.

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