On Saturday, the Jones AT&T Stadium, in Lubbock, Texas, will be the site for what’s shaping up to be a display of offensive fireworks. The high scoring Texas Tech Red Raiders host the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils in a contest that could emulate popular NCAAF video games.
Arizona State leads the head-to-head series 2-1, which includes last year’s victory that was an epic display of offensive firepower as the two teams combined for 123 total points.
This season, Texas Tech (1-0) only has one game under its belt, but it was a sweet performance as the Red Raiders defeated Eastern Washington 56-10. The offense put up 626 total yards including 449 yards through the air. The Red Raiders have revenge on their minds for last year’s loss in Tempe and look to duplicate their Week 1 offensive output.
Arizona State (1-1) is coming off a loss at home vs. San Diego State that saw their offense held to 20 points. There is some panicking going on in Tempe as fans are worried that the performance against SDSU was a sign of things to come.
Texas Tech opened as a 7 point favorite. Since then, several major books have the Red Raiders at a -7.5 favorite. If you can get it at -7, jump on it. The Over/Under opened at 76 total points and it hasn’t changed.
For the Red Raiders, Nic Shimonek had the dubious honor of replacing Patrick Mahomes who was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. In his first start, Shimonek threw for 384 yards and 3 TD’s on 26-of-30 passes. You can say that his debut was a huge success. However, he is facing a step up in talent as ASU is far superior to the FCS opponent that Texas Tech played in Week 1.
Fortunately for the Red Raiders powerful offense, the ASU defense is giving up over 450 total yards per game. That bodes well for Shimonek and lead rusher Desmond Nisby. For the last 2 seasons, Texas Tech has been a top 5 scoring offense. This week, you will see why as they hang 50+ points on the Sun Devils.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Texas Tech defense gave up only 10 points to FCS Eastern Washington. Ultimately, the game was nothing more than a glorified scrimmage. However, the one thing that the Red Raiders do have as an advantage, is the fact that they had last week off. This gives them two weeks to prepare for and scout the Arizona State Sun Devils.
For ASU to win the game, they will need their defense to slow down the TT offense. Unfortunately, this will not happen. If last season was any indication, the Sun Devils gave up 55 points to the Red Raiders and they allow at least that many points this time around. ASU is giving up 30.5 points per season already, and that was against New Mexico State and San Diego State. It’s safe to say that those two teams don’t have the firepower that Texas Tech does.
Offensively, ASU’s Manny Wilkins has totaled nearly 600 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in two games. Just like Texas Tech, the Sun Devils like to throw the ball as well. But, unlike the Red Raiders, ASU has a running game to go with their air attack. Senior running back Kalen Ballage already has over 120 yards rushing this year and 3 touchdowns. Last year, Ballage set an NCAA record with 8 touchdowns against Texas Tech. This year, you can expect TTU to stop Ballage from setting any records.
Look for Texas Tech to get their revenge this week as they go up and down the field scoring at will. I don’t see ASU being able to keep up in the end. Texas Tech should pull away in the 4th quarter to cover the spread.
Arizona State is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall, and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. ASU is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on turf, and 3-6 ATS in non-conference games. The Red Raiders are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games at home. Texas Tech is also 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games where they’re favored 7.5 to 10 points.