At the beginning of the season, I picked Texas Tech to go 10-2 and, though there were skeptics in September, I saw nothing to make me waver from that.
Not to be a killjoy, but since I forecast two losses at the beginning of the season, I'll say one of them comes tonight. I think it'll be a terrific game, one that lives up to the hype, but I'll pick Texas 45-42.
Bottom line, the Longhorns have had more talented teams, but it's really impressive how well this version has played.
Next week's game will be the biggest at Jones AT&T Stadium since the 1976 Tech-Houston game. Going in, Tech was 8-0 -- sound familiar -- and ranked No. 5 and a really strong Bill Yeoman UH team was No. 9. Of course, any Tech fan who knows his history remembers the huge letdown when the Cougars jumped out early, controlled most of the game and won 27-19.
The combined rankings of Tech and UT will be higher (lower composite number) than that since UT, if it beats Oklahoma State today, should hold on to No.
Everything went Texas Tech's way in the second half. WIth 10 minutes left in the game, it's 63-14 Red Raiders. Taylor Potts just threw a touchdown pass to Adam James for Tech's ninth TD in 11 possessions. The other two series were the one when time expired in the first half and one on which Donnie Carona missed a 43-yard field goal.
If the KU homecoming crowd had any enthuiasm left after the half, the Raiders immediately extinguished it with a 13-play, 80-yard drive to open the third quarter.
Tech scored touchdowns on its first five possessions. The offense looked as sharp for one half as it has all season ... and it's been pretty good for a month now.
Graham Harrell is 22 of 26 for 247 yards and four touchdowns. The leading receiver is Eric Morris with six receptions for 38 yards and two TDs.
The running backs are having another big day. Impressive considering that KU's Joe Mortensen, Mike Rivera and James Holt are the best set of inebackers the Raiders have seen this season. Baron Batch and Shannon Woods have nine carries for 75 yards.
I picked Texas Tech to win, but I figured we were in for another game like 2000 when KU's Dylen Smith was throwing into the end zone at the end of a 45-39 Tech win. Or another game like 2004, when Taurean Henderson went 70 yards for a touchdown with 2 1/2 minutes left to save Tech's bacon in a 31-30 victory.
Well, maybe not.
Tech stretches it to 35-14 just before the break when Eric Morris gets his second touchdown of the day -- both upfield by video review.
Tech is a perfect 4-for-4 on offense so far. Shannon Woods pinballs into the end zone from 3 yards out to make it a 28-14 game. That caps a 12-play, 66-yard drive.
As this season has unfolded, quite a few people have asserted that Baron Batch is superior to Woods. The way Batch has performed, you can't take anything away from him. But you just saw on that series why Woods remains valuable.
He not only just scored the touchdown, but he made a play on the previous snap that no one notices but was vital. It's third-and-7 from the 10, and Woods is set up to Graham Harrell's left.
Through four defensive series so far, Tech has sandwiched two three-and-outs around 79- and 72-yard touchdown drives by Kansas. The Raiders just had another good defensive series. Brian Duncan nearly picked off a pass on second down. Then on third-and-10, McKinner Dixon got the sack, barely beating Brandon Williams and Daniel Howard to the quarterback.
Back chance here to take a two-touchdown lead. When that opportunity presents itself in a Big 12 road game, you need to take advantage.
No surprise from Lawrence. With two of the best passing quarterbacks in college football hooking up, both have led two touchdown drives. Graham Harrell has thrown TDs of 55 yards to Edward Britton and 4 yards to Mike Crabtree. Kansas QB Todd Reesing has thrown TD passes of 33 yards to Kerry Meier and 10 yards to Dezmon Briscoe.