Note to Texas: This is the same Raiders squad you saw last year
"He's the same guy. Just change the numbers," Brown said. "They all have confidence. [Texas Tech coach]
And that's why Texas should be just as worried about Texas Tech this year as it was last. Saturday's game isn't generating the national buzz it did in 2008, and the circumstances have certainly changed. Texas plays at home this time. The Longhorns aren't coming off a brutal stretch that included games against Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State.
But one thing hasn't changed: Texas Tech. The Red Raiders' offense will roll up yards and score points. In the past five years, every Texas Tech offense has averaged more than 448.8 yards per game. Its lowest scoring average was 32.5 when Harrell took over as the starter in 2006, but the other four teams averaged at least 36.2 points.
Texas Tech's defense also hasn't changed much in the past five years. Except for one anomaly (18.8 points a game in 2005), the Red Raiders have given up between 25.1 and 26.2 points a game.
So on Saturday, the Longhorns will face a team nearly identical to the one that kept them out of the Big 12 title game and the national title game last season. They'll also face a team nearly identical to the one they beat the five previous seasons.
That's why Texas players can't worry about revenge, lest they allow a Texas Tech receiver to streak by them. Texas defensive end
This game is happening now because of the most powerful force in the universe -- television. ESPN/ABC executives were staring down the barrel at a set of Week 3 stinkers, so they promised prime-time exposure and the higher payout (in this case, $375,000 for Texas Tech) that comes with a national network broadcast.
Leach admitted this week that tinkering with the schedule for the sake of dollars and exposure can backfire, but the Red Raiders' nationally televised win against the Longhorns was a boon last year. Besides, Leach cracked, having the Red River Rivalry and a trip to Stillwater on the back side of this game might also give the Red Raiders an advantage. "I imagine that Texas has their focus on all the ranked opponents that they are going to play down the road," Leach said. "So I imagine we are going to be another game for them."
It's never just another game when one team dashed another's national championship hopes with an all-time great play the year before, but Texas players have done their best to forget the Crabtree spin move that shut them out of the national race. "It's pretty much on every commercial, but give them credit," Longhorns quarterback
Instead, the Longhorns need to focus on an opponent that, no matter the names on the roster, seems to bring an identical team every year. "They do the same thing every week, and they're averaging 46.5 points a game and they're throwing for more yards than anybody in the country," Brown said. "It's just the same stuff. Mike does a great job throwing the ball. They do it every year."