Tech Football Preview: Kansas State

Tech Football Preview: Kansas State

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech will look to secure bowl eligibility Saturday afternoon when the Red Raiders travel to Bill Snyder Family Memorial Stadium to face Kansas State in a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.
 
The game will broadcast to a national audience on ESPNU with Jay Alter on the call alongside analyst Mike Golic, Jr. Fans can also find the game on any streaming device by using the ESPN app.
 
The Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Brian Jensen will have the call alongside analyst John Harris, sideline reporter Chris Level and engineer Steve Pitts. The radio broadcast can also be heard XM channel 382 or via the TuneIn app.
 
INSIDE THE KANSAS STATE SERIES

Texas Tech and Kansas State will meet for the 19th time in school history Saturday in a series that is deadlocked at 9-9 all-time following back-to-back wins by the Wildcats.

The two schools have met only three times outside of Big 12 play with the first meeting coming in 1933, which was a 6-0 victory by the Red Raiders.

Kansas State has won six of the last seven meetings against the Red Raiders. Texas Tech's lone win during that span came in 2015 when the Red Raiders secured a 59-44 victory inside Jones AT&T Stadium. Tech had won five games in a row in the series prior to K-State's string of success that began in 2011.

The two teams have averaged over 40 points per game against each other the last three years as K-State followed Texas Tech's 2015 victory with a 44-38 win in the Red Raiders' last visit to Manhattan. Tech scored 28 of its points in the opening half as K-State took advantage of a touchdown on defense and special teams in the win.

Texas Tech and K-State went to overtime a year ago before the Wildcats prevailed with a 42-35 victory at Jones AT&T Stadium. Tech recorded 527 yards of total offense in the loss as current Houston Texans receiver Keke Coutee led all players with 189 receiving yards.

  
RED RAIDERS SEARCHING FOR BOWL ELIGIBILITY

Bowl eligibility is not the only thing on the line Saturday for the Red Raiders as Texas Tech will be looking for its first win in the Little Apple since a 58-28 victory in 2008. The Red Raiders are currently 5-5 on the season and 3-4 in Big 12 play entering the final two games of the season versus Kansas State and Baylor.

All four of Texas Tech's losses in Big 12 play have come to teams currently ranked in both the Associated Press and College Football Playoff polls. The Red Raiders have lost three of those games by one possession or less, falling to No. 12 West Virginia, 42-34 and then No. 7 Oklahoma, 51-46, and No. 19 Texas, 41-34, the last two weeks.

The Red Raiders are looking for their 16th bowl appearance since 2000 and their fourth under Kliff Kingsbury. He is looking to become the fourth head coach in school history to lead Texas Tech to at least four bowl appearances, joining Jim Carlen (4), Spike Dykes (6) and Mike Leach (10).  

 
WESLEY AMONG NATION'S BEST

Antoine Wesley ranks among the top breakout players in the country this season as the junior currently leads the nation in receiving yards per game (134.7) and ranks second with 1,347 receiving yards. Wesley, who entered this season with 10 catches for 137 yards over his first two seasons, was named a semifinalist this week for the Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top receiver regardless of position.

In addition to ranking first in the FBS for receiving yards per game and second in overall receiving yards, Wesley also ranks third in receptions per game (7.8), ninth in receiving touchdowns (9) and 15th in all-purpose yards per game (134.5).

Wesley's 1,347 receiving yards through 10 games ranks second among Texas Tech wideouts since 2000, trailing only the total of two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree from 2007 (chart below). Crabtree had 1,512 yards at the same point of the 2007 season en route to winning his first of two Biletnikoff Awards.

Wesley has gone over 100 yards in six games, including five times during Big 12 play - West Virginia (110), Kansas (155), Iowa State (119), Oklahoma (199) and Texas (171). His six 100-yard games are tied with both Grant (2015) and Amaro (2013) for second in program history, trailing only Crabtree's total of 11 games from 2007.

Wesley enters the Kansas State game with 644 receiving yards over the past four games alone (161 yards per game).

Wesley's 171 yards against Texas marked his fourth game of 150 or more yards this season, which leads all power-five wide receivers and is tied for the national high. Three of those games have come in the last four weekends against Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Wesley is the first Red Raider to notch at least 100 receiving yards in four-straight Big 12 games since Jace Amaro did so over the same span (Iowa State, WVU, OU, OSU) midway through the 2013 season. Crabtree was the last Red Raider to record 100 yards over five-straight games as he reached the mark in each of the first seven games of the 2007 season.

Wesley leads the FBS with 17 catches of 30 yards or longer. The next nearest receivers in the country are Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State) and Andy Isabella (UMass) with 13.

 
NEWS & NOTES

Jett Duffey became the second Red Raider to post 500 yards of total offense this season against Texas, joining Alan Bowman, who racked up 602 yards earlier this season against Houston. Texas Tech is the first FBS program to have two different players record 500 yards of total offense in the same season since Washington State's Connor Halliday and Luke Falk did so in 2014.

Texas Tech currently stands at 3-4 in Big 12 play but can finish with a winning record with wins over both Kansas State and Baylor to close the regular season. The Red Raiders have not posted a winning conference record since 2009 when Tech was 5-3 in league play en route to an appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

A victory over Kansas State would mark Texas Tech's third road win in Big 12 play this year, its most, not including neutral-site contests, since 2008 when the Red Raiders were similarly 3-1 against league foes away from home. Tech previously topped then-No. 15 Oklahoma State, 41-17, and TCU, 17-14, earlier this season.

Texas Tech continues to rank among the nation's offensive leaders as the Red Raiders are second in passing offense (383.4 yards per game), seventh in total offense (529.4 yards per game) and ninth in scoring (41.8 points per game). Tech also leads the country in first down offense with 288.

Texas Tech has already eclipsed 5,000 yards of total offense for the 17th-consecutive season and the 18th time in program history. The Red Raiders currently have 5,294 yards of total offense this season.

Saturday's game in Manhattan will mark just the eighth time in school history where the Red Raiders have played a game north of the state of Oklahoma during the month of November. Traditionally, Texas Tech has played games against in-state rivals with additional trips to the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas (Southwest Conference era) during the month of November.

--TECH--

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