Longhorns and Red Raiders are preparing for a shootout in Lubbock.
The Longhorns exploded for 59 points and gave up only three against the UTEP Miners in their first game. The Red Raiders survived a scare from FCS member Houston Baptist in a 35-33 thriller.
That points to a blowout in Lubbock this weekend. Can the Red Raiders keep Texas from running away with the game?
Texas at Texas Tech
Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Texas -19
When Texas Has the Ball
Texas head coach Tom Herman made a change at offensive coordinator in the offseason to help add some explosiveness to the team's passing game. Game 1 with new coordinator Mike Yurcich at the controls turned out well: The Longhorns threw for 481 yards at an average of nearly 12 yards per attempt versus UTEP.
If Tech's first game was any indication, UT will keep posting pretty passing stats this week. Houston Baptist gained 572 yards through the air by completing 31-of-51 attempts versus Tech despite posing almost no threat to move the ball on the ground.
Keep in mind that Texas rolled up more than 600 total yards of offense last season on Tech's defense. An encore this time around should surprise no one.
When Texas Tech Has the Ball
Once again, quarterback Alan Bowman has taken command of Tech's offense. The results were solid in the first game of the year, with Bowman completing 38-of-52 passing attempts for 430 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception versus Houston Baptist.
Bowman is throwing to a group of productive receivers. They include junior KeSean Carter and senior T.J. Vasher. The pair combined for 14 catches in the season opener, yielding 165 total yards and a touchdown.
Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, the news of running back SaRodorick Thompson's arrest for street racing this week gave the program some unwanted attention, but he is still expected to play. Thompson's presence is needed to keep the Longhorns honest against the run instead of pinning their ears back and going after Bowman.
A shootout may be brewing in Lubbock, with oddsmakers setting the total points scored in the game at 69. Would that much scoring give the home team a shot at a win? Probably not.
It's hard to find a path to victory for the Red Raiders, especially if Thompson doesn't end up playing. Tech may have a shot at pulling off an upset if it can mount a few sustained drives. A bend-but-don't-break defensive game plan would force Texas to do the same.
The Longhorns seem unlikely to commit enough mistakes to keep Tech in the game, though. Count on a big game through the air for UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger — along with a couple of timely plays with his feet to keep the Red Raiders from seriously challenging his team.
Prediction: Texas 41, Texas Tech 24
Podcast: The SEC is Back Too & Week 4 Preview
— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.