The Texas Longhorns are still alive in the Big-12 title race, and welcome in-state rival Texas Tech to Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.
Texas will need wins over the Red Raiders and Baylor next week, and also need Oklahoma State to fall in two weeks to Oklahoma for even an outside chance at their first Big-12 title since 2009. A conference title might be the only way Mack Brown retains his job as Texas head coach.
Texas rode a six-game win streak through their conference schedule and hold their destiny in their hands despite a nasty 49-17 blowout loss to Oklahoma State two weeks ago.
The Red Raiders are hoping to snap a four-game losing streak, during which they’ve fallen by an average of 19.5 points, including a 29-point loss to Baylor.
The Longhorns hold the all-time record by a wide margin, 47-15, including the last four. The Red Raiders have only won twice since 2002.
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Held to a season-low 13 points, and three interceptions from quarterback Case McCoy against Oklahoma State, Texas may have a difficult time keeping up with Tech’s No. 1 ranked passing offense, averaging 400.2 yards and 37.5 points per game.
Since taking over as the full-time starter, McCoy’s posted three multi-interception games in the last four, but up until the Cowboys loss it didn’t cost the Longhorns.
Junior running back Malcolm Brown moved up the depth chart as Texas’s No. 1 running back after Johnathan Gray went down with a right Achilles injury, and has scored eight of his nine touchdowns in the last four games.
Brown and the Longhorns 192.7 rushing yards per game could be the key to keeping the Red Raiders offense off the field.
Tech and freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield kept up with 20 quick points against Baylor, but were outscored 42-14 over the next three quarters and were outgained 645 to 458 yards.
Big-12 leading receiver Jace Amaro has 92 receptions for 1,157 yards and six touchdowns, and represents the biggest threat to a Longhorns pass defense ranked second in the conference.
Betting Odds: Texas favored by 4 points
Over/Under: 66.5 points
Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox Sports 1, find it on your cable provider here
Prediction: Texas Tech 34, Texas 27