|Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville will go up against Dennis Franchione for the fourth time in their careers on Saturday. Tuberville leads the series 2-1 with each winning a game while they coached at Auburn and Alabama, and Tuberville winning last season's matchup between Texas Tech and Texas State. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Spread: Texas Tech by 17.
Watchability: A week ago this probably looked like another cream puff on a Big 12 team's schedule, considering Texas Tech handled Texas State 50-10 last season. Then Dennis Franchione took his squad to Houston as a 36-point underdog and won 30-13. A trip to San Marcos no longer appears to be a gimme for the Red Raiders, although the oddsmakers
still aren't giving Texas State much respect.
Shining stars: Texas Tech: QB Seth Doege threw for 331 yards and three TDs against Texas State last season. The Red Raiders appeared to take it easy on Doege in the opener -- at least to Tech standards -- as Doege only attempted 34 passes and Tech ran it 46 times. Doege averaged more than 48 pass attempts per game last season. Expect a more Tech-like wide-open attack against the Bobcats. Texas State: RB Marcus Curry ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries against Houston. The Red Raiders had the worst run defense in the country last season, and Curry will test whether they've truly improved that phase
Who could steal the show: Texas Tech: Granted, it was against Northwestern State, but the Red Raiders' run defense showed up in the opener, holding the Demons to 13 rushing yards. A big reason was NT Kerry Hyder. Hyder had only five tackles for a loss in 2011; he had three against the Demons and also batted down two passes. For Tech to slow down Texas State's rushing attack, Hyder will need to play big in the middle. Texas State: QB Shaun Rutherford was not spectacular in the opener -- throwing for 196 yards and a touchdown on 19-of-25 passing -- but it was more passes completed than he had in one game all of last year. It was also the kind of efficient performance he will need to duplicate to beat Tech.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Texas State renovated its Bobcat Stadium which now holds 30,000. Considering the Bobcats are coming off one of the biggest wins in the program's history, it's as good a time as any to take in a game in San Marcos.
Magic number for Texas Tech: 300. Texas Tech allowed 300-plus rushing yards in five games last season, going 1-4 in those contests. The one win was a one-point victory against Nevada. As long as the Red Raiders can keep the Bobcats from that 300 range, they should avoid the upset.
Magic number for Texas State: 43:09. Texas State pulled off the upset against Houston by dominating the time of possession -- 43:09 to 16:51. For the Bobcats to win, they'll need to do their best to keep Doege off the field.
The game comes down to: Run defense. The way to beat the Red Raiders is to pound them on the ground. One thing to remember is that Texas State led 10-9 at halftime a year ago and was able to rack up 256 yards on the ground. That was against the worst run defense in college football. Was Tech's Week One run defense an aberration -- the result of playing an FCS school -- or a sign of improvement? We'll see after this week.
Prediction: Texas Tech 38, Texas State 17
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).