After losing 55-24 on the road to No. 2-ranked Kansas State, according to the BCS, the Texas Tech football team is looking to bounce back at home against their state rivals, No. 23-ranked Texas.
Senior quarterback Seth Doege said in a press conference on Monday the team is hungry going into this game after losing to the Wildcats because he said believes there was a good opportunity missed.
“I think there’s a little fire burning inside of us after what happened Saturday because that was a such a great opportunity and (we had) a good week of practice,” Doege said.
Doege said he believes K-State played well, but there is not a big gap between which team has the overall advantage.
“We don’t feel like they’re better than us at all,” Doege said. “They just played better and we turned the ball over.”
According to a news release by the Tech Athletic Department, both the Longhorns and the No. 18-ranked Red Raiders are 6-2 overall and 3-2 in conference games, meaning the winner of this game will not only have the better record, but also the best Big 12 record in the Lone Star State.
Doege said the fact that Texas pride is on the line gives the often forgotten Red Raiders even more incentive to win.
“I think it’s good that we have this Lone Star pride because I think other people forget there’s other schools in Texas besides the University of Texas,” he said.
The teams’ goals are still to win the Big 12 and to win each future game for the prospect of a higher-ranked bowl game.
Senior safety D.J. Johnson said in a press conference on Monday, even though he is from Austin and he takes this game personally, he does not see a difference between rivalry games or any other game.
“I feel like every game is a rivalry if you ask me because if you lose one of them,” Johnson said, “it’s just as important as (when) you lose to Texas, or Oklahoma, or Oklahoma State, (or) Kansas.”
After giving up 439 rushing yards last year to Texas, according to the news release, Johnson said this year the defense must be a lot more aggressive in order to stop the Longhorn running attack.
Head coach Tommy Tuberville said in a press conference on Monday turnovers were the key mistake that cost his team the victory. The second half against Oklahoma and K-State were similar, Tuberville said, in that the Red Raiders fell by the wayside and the opposing teams did most of the damage.
“Overall, it was tough for us to go in and think we’re going to beat that team (K-State) unless we absolutely played for four quarters and not for two,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville said Texas is similar to TCU, except the Longhorns rushing defense has problems.
Against Kansas, the news release said, Texas benched starting quarterback David Ash in the fourth quarter in favor of Case McCoy, who led the Longhorns to two touchdowns, including a game-winning touchdown pass to D.J. Grant with 12 seconds left.
Tuberville said the game plan does not change defensively no matter who is starting at quarterback. Tubberville then added he heard Ash would be starting.
“It’s almost impossible to practice (for) two quarterbacks,” Tuberville said. “One quarterback gets about 75 percent of the snaps. The other about 25 percent, so they’ll have a starting quarterback.”
Tuberville also said cornerback Eugene Neboh, tight end Jace Amaro and cornerback Cornelius Douglas should all play Saturday. Fullback Omar Ontiveros, Tuberville said, will be evaluated after suffering an injury against K-State.
This is the fifth time, Tuberville said, that Tech has played a team in the top 25 BCS in one season — a Red Raider record. Tuberville said he anticipates a high-scoring game against Texas.
According to the news release, the game will feature a Texas theme. Under Armour has created a uniform for Tech featuring the “Lone Star” on both shoulders, the Double-T Texas logo on the chest, and black helmets with both the Lone Star and the Double-T logo on them.
According to the news release, kickoff is set at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on both ABC and ESPN2.
Contributed by: Austin McNabb