Kansas – Texas Tech preview

Big 12: Kansas University logo

No. 20 Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) at Kansas (2-1, 0-0), 11 a.m.

Series record: Texas Tech leads 13-1

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Texas Tech is looking to start 5-0 for the first time since 2008, when the Red Raiders rose to No. 2 in the nation after knocking off top-ranked Texas. The Jayhawks are playing their Big 12 opener and seeking to stop a six-game skid against Texas Tech.

KEY MATCHUP

Kansas RBs James Sims and Tony Pierson vs. Texas Tech’s defense: Sims and Pierson combined for 329 yards — the Jayhawks 390 total rushing yards is their best total ever in Big 12 play — on 46 carries in last year’s 41-34 double overtime loss to the Red Raiders. Texas Tech’s rush defense is much improved this year, allowing just 121 yards per game — an average of 3.8 yards per carry.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas Tech: QB Baker Mayfield, a walk-on freshman, has recovered from a thigh bruise he got in a 20-10 win over TCU. He’s thrown for eight TDs and 1,120 yards and has thrown four interceptions. He didn’t play in the Red Raiders’ 33-7 win over Texas State two weeks ago.

Kansas: LB Ben Heeney leads the Big 12 in tackles, averaging 10.7 per game. The 6-foot-230-pound junior has tallied 20 solo tackles and 12 assisted and is tied for eighth in the conference in sacks.

FACTS & FIGURES

The last time Kansas beat the Red Raiders was 2001, when Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was the quarterback. … Kingsbury played for KU coach Charlie Weis in the NFL with the New England Patriots. Weis was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for New England. … Both teams are coming off a bye week preceded by a win. … The Red Raiders have won seven straight in Lawrence.

 

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