TEXAS TECH VS. K-STATE PREVIEW: Red Raiders seek to end 3-game skid

Red Raiders running back Tre King (24) rushes for a touchdown against the Kansas State Wildcats in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium.Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech defense faced with challenge of slowing down Wildcats' running game.

Texas Tech travels to play Kansas State in the Red Raiders final road game of the season. Texas Tech is a 6-point favorite and ESPN's Matchup Predictor gives the Red Raiders a 75.4-percent chance to win.

Here are a few more particulars:

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

WR Antoine Wesley earned recognition as a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He caught 8 passes for 171 yards and a pair of TDs against Texas, bringing him to 78 receptions for 1,347 yards and 9 touchdowns this season.

QB Jett Duffey passed for 444 yards and 4 TDs and rushed for 80 yards, by far his best statistical game running the Air Raid offense. That kind of effort, minus his three turnovers, might start to make Duffey a fan favorite.

LB Jordyn Brooks led the Red Raiders with 15 tackles against Texas, including 1.5 TFLs for 16 yards in losses. Brooks had to pick up the slack when LB Dakota Allen couldn’t play through a knee injury.

S Jah’Shawn Johnson, a senior, is coming to the end of a productive career as a Red Raider. Despite being injured at the start of this season, he’s up to 42 tackles. Johnson’s 8 tackles against Texas pushed him over 300 for his career.

SERIES HISTORY: The Texas Tech vs. Kansas State all-time series is tied 9-9. However, Bill Snyder is 9-5 versus the Red Raiders since Texas Tech and Kansas State both became charter members of the Big 12 in 1996.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think they understand we’ve had three tough losses, but we’re more competitive than we’ve ever been here. We still have a long way to go in finishing and doing things right, making plays necessary to actually win those big games. But I think morale is really high and they know what we can be when we play well.” Kliff Kingsbury on how the Red Raiders have responded to close losses against Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas.

KEY MATCHUP: Texas Tech front seven versus Kansas State running game. Wildcats running back Alex Barnes has already surpassed 1,000 yards this season as he has 1,035 on 196 carries. He rushed for 117 on 22 attempts in the win over Kansas on Saturday. QB Alex Delton pitched in 55 rushing yards on 16 carries against the Jayhawks. Meanwhile, both Oklahoma and Texas won the point of attack in running the ball against Texas Tech, but the Sooners and Longhorns benefitted from more threatening passing games. The Red Raiders will likely try to stuff the run and make Kansas State try to move the ball through the air.

ROSTER REPORT:

--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 Texas game.

--RB Ta’Zhawn Henry didn’t play against Texas due to a turf toe injury. Kingsbury said he can’t push off and, with RBs Da’Leon Ward and Tre King both healthy for the moment, the Red Raiders will likely continue to rest Henry against Kansas State.

--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.

--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.

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