Our game by game preview of Texas Tech’s 2017 season enters the home stretch. According to our predictions thus far, the Red Raiders are 4-5 heading into their final three game stretch. Next up is Baylor at Jerry World in Arlington.
Baylor clearly lost a step last season, finishing 6-6 in the regular season after nearly unprecedented success as a program in the years leading up to 2016. Given all the turmoil they have endured as a program and the brand new coaching staff, they’re expected to be rebuilding more in 2017.
This is a pretty fascinating game on paper, and when these two teams have met during the Kingsbury era it’s always a shootout. In fact, in the four games they’ve played between 2013 and 2016, the two squads have combined for an average of 94.5 points per contest. So expect another shootout, and bet the over.
Each team has struggled to play defense in this series, but in 2017 Texas Tech appears to be at an advantage. Former Baylor defensive coordinator never found much success against Texas Tech offenses despite seeing them multiple times. New defensive coordinator Phil Snow will probably have a tough time slowing down the Tech offense in his first go at it.
On the opposite sideline, David Gibbs enters his third year as defensive coordinator at Texas Tech. After surrendering 63 points to Baylor’s offense in 2015, Gibbs’ defense cut that nearly in half in 2016. They gave up “just” 35 points last season and forced multiple turnovers. Granted, Baylor’s scheme will change under the new staff, but Gibbs may be familiar with weak spots in their personnel that he can exploit again in 2017.
Both teams could be fighting for bowl eligibility at this point in the season, making this rivalry at a neutral site a pretty compelling for both sides. Furthermore, the all-time series between the two schools is deadlocked at 37-37-1. If nothing else is on the line at this point, in-state bragging rights sure will be.
Expect another shootout, but Tech has a slight edge coming off some momentum from this matchup last season. The Red Raiders will move to 5-5 with a chance to secure bowl eligibility against TCU or Texas in the final weeks of the season.
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