TEXAS TECH VS. KANSAS PREVIEW: Red Raiders trying to stay hot

Jayhawks defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) rushes against Texas Tech Red Raiders offensive lineman Terence Steele (78) in the second half at Memorial Stadium.Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Can defense build on its breakout performance against TCU?

Texas Tech hosts Kansas at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon at Jones AT&T Stadium. The Red Raiders are an 18-point favorite and ESPN's Matchup Predictor gives Texas Tech an 89.5 percent chance to win.

Here are some particulars:

PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Jett Duffey showed how valuable of an asset he can be when he darted through a hole on the right side and ran 38 yards for the Red Raiders’ go-ahead touchdown in their victory in Fort Worth. He also completed 13 of 24 passes for 190 yards, a TD and an INT in his first Big 12 start. If he’s the starter against Kansas, he’ll have the opportunity to build on the TCU game against a lesser defense in the friendly confines of Jones AT&T Stadium.

RB Tre King carried 10 times for 60 yards in the win over TCU. He’s always had a knack for finding holes and getting through them quickly, and he finally appears to be healthy this season.

DL Eli Howard has emerged as a workhorse and a play-maker on the Red Raiders defensive front. He had two tackles and a QB hurry against the Horned Frogs, raising his season totals to 18 tackles, 4 TFLs and 5 QB hurries.

S Jah’Shawn Johnson is back in the flow after missing the first several games of this season with a shoulder injury. He had four tackles in the win over TCU, but he’s still looking for his first takeaway of the season.

SERIES HISTORY: Texas Tech leads the all-time series against Kansas, 18-1. The Red Raiders have won 11 straight over the Jayhawks.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think resilient is the only thing I’ve seen that I can put my finger on. They’ll fight, they’ll play hard to the end. So you can work with that.” Kliff Kingsbury on the identity of this year’s Red Raider team.

KEY MATCHUP: Texas Tech QB vs. Kansas DBs. The Jayhawks rank eighth in the Big 12 in conference play as they’re allowing 300 yards per game. Now Kansas travels to play the Red Raiders, who rank third in the Big 12 in passing yards per game and second nationally when factoring in nonconference games. Texas Tech’s ability to exploit the Jayhawks might depend on whether or not Alan Bowman has fully recovered from his lung injury, which he suffered three weeks ago.

INJURY REPORT:

--QB Alan Bowman left the West Virginia game late in the first half when he was hit by two Mountaineers in the upper body. Bowman was diagnosed with a partially collapsed lung and admitted to a Lubbock hospital, where he was observed until the following Wednesday. He warmed up, but then dressed in street clothes for the TCU game. He will be a game-time decision this week.

--C Paul Stawarz was in the concussion protocol and missed the TCU game. Kingsbury said the team will find out later in the week if Stawarz can return to practice in time to play against Kansas.

--QB McLane Carter suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter versus Ole Miss and didn’t play in the next four games. He entered the game against TCU, but couldn’t push off the injured ankle. If Bowman can return from injury quicker, it could keep Carter on the sideline for a while.

--WR T.J. Vasher has a lower body injury that kept him out of the West Virginia game and limited him to one series against TCU. Kingsbury said Sunday that medical tests on his hip, upper leg area were negative, so it’s a matter of Vasher being comfortable enough to play.

--LT Travis Bruffy left the TCU game with an apparent lower leg injury. Kingsbury said he has been getting work in practice this week, but will be a game-time decision.

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