TEXAS TECH VS. BAYLOR PREVIEW: Chips on the table.

Red Raiders offensive lineman Terence Steele (78) blocks Baylor Bears defensive end Brian Nance (5) during the second half at AT&T Stadium.Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Red Raiders, Bears battle for a bowl bid.

Baylor and Texas Tech face off at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. The winner will go to a bowl game and the loser will be finished for the season. The Red Raiders are a 5-point favorite and ESPN's Matchup Predictor gives Texas Tech a 75.9-percent chance to win.

Here are some particulars.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

--WR Antoine Wesley was snubbed when the finalists were announced for the Biletnikoff award despite being second in the nation in receiving yards with 1,375. He had a down game against Kansas State, along with the rest of the Red Raiders, catching 6 passes for 28 yards. But he has a chance to bounce back against Baylor.

--RB Da’Leon Ward has been the bell cow in the backfield in the last several games, although Texas Tech’s running game has continued to struggle. The Red Raiders need Ward to have a big game both as a rusher and receiver on Saturday.

--LB Riko Jeffers has been vital for the Texas Tech defense this season, especially with Dakota Allen injured lately. Jeffers posted 10 solo and 11 total tackles against Kansas State

--DT Broderick Washington was second on the Red Raiders with seven tackles, including two for losses, against Kansas State. He was a big reason Texas Tech stood up to the Wildcats rushing attack and the defense gave the offense at least a chance to rally in the fourth quarter.

SERIES HISTORY: Texas Tech leads the all-time series, 38-37-1. The Red Raiders have won the last two games in the streaky series. Prior to that Baylor won five straight to answer Texas Tech’s surge of 15-consecutive victories from 1996 to 2010.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I dealt with a lot of that last year and this year. The focus has just been on our team and our program and these seniors. So that’s been my focus this week is ‘How can we extend this for these seniors?’” Kliff Kingsbury on rumors circulating that he won’t be back as Texas Tech’s coach.

KEY MATCHUP: Baylor QB Charlie Brewer versus the Texas Tech secondary. With the Red Raiders’ QB scenario unknown, the focus will fall on Brewer and whether or not he can energize the Bears’ offense. Turnovers, dropped passes and inefficiency on third down all hurt the Bears in their loss to TCU on Saturday. Although the Horned Frogs defense is ranked much higher in a multitude of defensive categories, the Red Raiders have a capable and improving group of cornerbacks and safeties. Texas Tech needs to limit big plays by Baylor’s Jalen Hurd and Denzel Mims and thus relieve the pressure on whoever is playing QB for the Red Raiders to simply outscore the Bears.

ROSTER REPORT:

--QB Jett Duffey was banged up in the Texas game and is questionable this week versus Baylor according to Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. Duffey was seen leaving the Red Raiders’ football facility wearing a boot and using crutches on Sunday evening. Kingsbury has said he doesn’t know who will start at quarterback.

--QB Alan Bowman left the Oklahoma game with a re-occurrence of the lung injury that caused him to miss the TCU game. Initial reports were that the re-occurrence is less severe than the original injury, but Bowman remained in the hospital until the following Wednesday and missed the last two games.

--RB Ta’Zhawn Henry didn’t play against Texas due to a turf toe injury, but returned to action with one carry against Kansas State. He will likely be a game-time decision on Saturday.

--LB Dakota Allen left the Oklahoma game with a knee injury. He started against Texas on senior day, but left the contest when he appeared to reinjure the knee and didn’t play against Kansas State.

--RB Tre King missed two games dealing with a knee injury. He returned to the RB rotation against Texas and totaled 27 yards on 5 touches. But he had just 1 carry for 9 yards against Kansas State.

Comments