January 31, 2023

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Know Your Opponent: Texas Tech and the Wildcats in for a detailed sport

Freshmen operating again Deuce Vaughn runs previous Texas Tech defenders. Freshmen Operating Again Deuce Vaughn outruns Texas Tech defender for contact down in first half. The Wildcats beat the Purple Raiders 31-21 on Fort Riley day at Invoice Snyder Household Stadium. (Archive photograph by Dalton Wainscott | Collegian Media Group).

Group Outlook

Texas Tech (3-1) (1-0)

Equally to Kansas State, Texas Tech has gained optimistic recognition from followers after an upset win. The Purple Raiders defeated the Texas Longhorns 37-34 in an additional time victory. It was the third time they confronted off towards a ranked opponent this season and their second win towards one. They’ve performed in two additional time video games already and are not any stranger to competitors to date. With a excessive powered offense led by quarterback Donovan Smith, the Purple Raiders will come to Manhattan prepared for one more potential battle to the tip with the No. 25 ranked Wildcats.

Kansas State (3-1) (1-0)

Okay-State is coming off a season-changing win towards Oklahoma. The offense helped lead the staff as they took down the Sooners 41-34. Whereas the protection has been the face of the staff, it was quarterback Adrian Martinez who starred towards the then-ranked No. 6 staff within the nation. It was the primary time the Okay-State protection discovered themselves being pushed again by an offense this season. The staff is in for one more take a look at with the Purple Raiders bringing within the fifth most passing yards per sport within the nation.

 

Key Matchup to Watch: Donovan Smith vs. Okay-State Secondary

Smith has helped lead the Purple Raiders to changing into top-of-the-line passing offenses in faculty soccer. Throwing the ball at a excessive price has led to 9 touchdowns but in addition loads of interceptions. Smith has thrown 5 interceptions this season, two towards North Carolina State and three towards Houston. The Longhorns had been unable to select off Smith as he bounced again within the upset win.

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This up-and-down passing sport consistency faces off towards the Wildcats protection, which has caught seven interceptions this season. The secondary is led in interceptions by safeties Kobe Savage and Cincere Mason, every with two. Alongside them are safeties Josh Hayes and Drake Cheatum. All 4 have confirmed their means to trace the ball down the sector and make a play. On the skin are veteran cornerbacks Julius Brents and Ekow Boye-Doe. Neither have an interception this yr, however each have collected a deflected cross this season.

As Smith appears to be like to throw the ball downfield, he can have to bear in mind the athletes on the backend ready for him to make a mistake. Smith’s athleticism additionally brings the opportunity of him operating down the sector from the pocket. This may power the secondary to proceed their success as tacklers, in addition to ballhawks on this matchup.

 

Key Gamers

Texas Tech

Vast Receiver Myles Value: Value enters the sport after amassing 13 catches towards the Longhorns. He’ll probably be Smith’s major goal, as he leads the staff in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The passing assault will closely depend on Value’s means to be open and his timeliness to make large time performs when wanted.

Defensive Lineman Tyree Wilson: Wilson has been the focus of the protection, main the staff in tackles — tackles for loss and sacks. He’s a heavy contributor in stopping the run and the cross sport by reaching the quarterback. Quarterback Adrian Martinez and operating again Deuce Vaughn will must be looking out for Wilson close to the road of scrimmage whereas he makes use of energy towards the Wildcat offensive line.

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Okay-State

Security TJ Smith: At his press convention on Tuesday, head coach Chris Klieman mentioned Smith can anticipate extra taking part in time on Saturday than he has been beforehand getting. In his time towards the Sooners, Smith recorded three solo tackles. He could play a key position in each the run and cross sport towards the Purple Raiders offense.

Vast Receiver Malik Knowles: Knowles’ largest affect this season got here within the first week when he scored a 75-yard landing on the primary offensive play of the yr. Since then, he has not had an enormous statistical sport, however nonetheless leads the staff in receptions and receiving yards; he has additionally left an affect on the return sport. If the Texas Tech offense finds a approach to push by way of the Wildcat protection, Knowles could also be wanted to make just a few large performs — both to maintain up, or make sure the Purple Raiders keep behind.

 

Prediction

Whoever wins this sport will probably discover themselves positioned within the high 25. Every staff has performed in large moments and has come out on high. The sport has an opportunity to be much like the groups’ earlier excessive scoring matchups. Texas Tech has the power to maintain up with the Wildcats’ newly discovered offensive rhythm. Martinez and Vaughn might want to hold the operating sport going similarly to final week’s efficiency the place they mixed for 264 dashing yards. This might result in Smith throwing the ball all around the area and risking the prospect of Wildcat takeaways. 

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This sport has potential to return all the way down to the ultimate minutes of motion. The primary issue shall be how the battle between Smith and the Wildcat protection flows all through the night time. Whereas protecting the 7.5-point unfold for the Wildcats could also be a difficulty, limiting errors ought to hold Okay-State forward when the clock hits zero.

Okay-State 31-26