AUSTIN, Texas – Three road losses in the past month have derailed things a bit for Texas, but the Longhorns have a chance to finish out the regular season on a good note at home when they host Texas Tech on Friday. Since topping then-No. 20 Kansas State in Austin on Nov. 9, Texas dropped back-to-back contests at Iowa State and then No. 10 Baylor to sink to the middle of the pack in the Big 12.
TV: Noon ET, FOX. LINE: Texas -10
The Longhorns are 2-4 overall since an early three-game winning streak and third-year coach Tom Herman knows the program is at a bit of a crossroads after a 10-win campaign capped by a Sugar Bowl victory last year. "I'm not shaken," he said Monday at his weekly press conference. "Obviously in big-time evaluation mode of everything throughout our program. I'm not going to bury my head in the sand. It's my job to make sure that we play to the level that is expected at the University of Texas." The Red Raiders are doing some soul-searching as well amid a 1-5 slide that has clinched the program's fourth straight losing season. Each of those five losses have come by 10 points or fewer and four of them by three points or fewer, including last Saturday's 30-27 setback against Kansas State.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (4-7, 2-6 Big 12)
The string of narrow defeats has eliminated the Red Raiders from bowl eligibility, and knowing how close the team was in so many contests has certainly left a mark. “This loss solidifying the fact that we can’t make a bowl game is really heart breaking, really devastating,” sophomore defensive back Adrian Frye told reporters Saturday. Junior quarterback Jett Duffey is finishing strong, however, throwing for at least 333 yards in each of the last three games.
ABOUT TEXAS (6-5, 4-4)
The Longhorns averaged nearly 41 points per game in their 5-2 start, but they’ve been held to 27 or fewer during the current 1-3 stretch. Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger ranks third in the Big 12 in passing yards (3,114) and second in touchdown passes (27), but he had a season-low 200 yards and no TDs in the 24-10 loss to Baylor. Senior wide receiver Devin Duvernay tops the conference in receiving yards (1,095) and leads all FBS players with 97 catches.
1. Ehlinger threw for 312 yards and four TDs - two to Duvernay - in last year's 41-34 win at Texas Tech.
2. Red Raiders freshman RB SaRodorick Thompson has eight rushing scores over his last six games.
3. The teams have split the last four meetings, each of them decided by single digits.
PREDICTION: Texas 37, Texas Tech 26