No. 20 Texas Tech (5-0, 2-0) hosts Iowa State (1-3, 0-1) this weekend in a matchup of major importance to both teams. The Red Raiders need to keep their undefeated season going, but the Cyclones look to revive their post-season hopes with a road win over a ranked opponent, which is their forte. Here’s some matchups to keep an eye on this Saturday.
Davis Webb vs. Michael Brewer
Several local media persons report Baker Mayfield is not practicing this week, so the quarterback race is down to Webb, the backup thus far, and now-healthy Brewer.
Webb is technically the more experienced of the two, playing significant minutes and tossing the game winning touchdown against TCU. He’s appeared in every game this season, except for the opener, and has seven touchdowns to his credit. Brewer, on the other hand, only played two series against Kansas and didn’t attempt a pass. Sidelined by injury since the summer, he doesn’t have the reps or experience with the receivers that Webb does, and may be a little timid facing a pass rush. He is, however, the older, more mature option, so perhaps that alone can earn him the job.
Either way, neither Webb nor Brewer have starting experience.
Iowa State Red-Zone Offense vs. Texas Tech Red-Zone Defense
Saturday’s game could come down to red-zone efficiency. The Cyclones are tied for first in the country in red-zone offense, getting points on all 13 of their trips inside the 20. On the other hand, Tech is tied for third in red-zone defense, giving up just two touchdowns and four field goals to opponents inside the 20-yard line on 11 such opportunities. Iowa State’s running game came to life in a win against Tulsa and a loss to Texas, so Tech’s front seven needs to take care of business with their backs against the wall on Saturday in order to win this game.
Texas Tech Secondary vs. Quenton Bundrage
The Red Raider defensive backs gave up some big plays to Kansas’ Tony Pierson last Saturday. Fortunately, none of those plays went for touchdowns, so no real damage done. This Saturday, however, Iowa State brings a wide receiver to town who certainly has big play ability that can hurt.
Backed up on their own three-yard line last Thursday, Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson throws a quick slant to Bundrage, who slips by the entire Texas secondary and goes 97 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest pass play in Iowa State football history, and Bundrage outran some of the fastest defensive backs in the Big 12 to make it happen. Even as well as they’ve played, Tech’s secondary is the weakest group on this defense. They’ll have their hands full containing Bundrage.