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Texas vs. Texas Tech football game preview, prediction for Week 4

What to watch for as Texas takes on Texas Tech in our Week 4 college football schedule preview and prediction
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A pair of Lone Star State rivals meet up as Texas takes on Texas Tech in the Big 12 opener in college football's Week 4 action on Saturday.

Both sides come in at 2-1 on the year: Texas with two easy non-conference wins plus a 1-point loss to Alabama; and Tech with a win over a then-ranked Houston, but coming off a 13-point loss on the road to NC State.

Here's what you need to know about this weekend's matchup.

Texas vs. Texas Tech football preview, prediction

Week 4 college football schedule: Texas vs. Texas Tech

Week 4 college football schedule: Texas vs. Texas Tech

How to watch

When: Sat., Sept. 24

Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

TV: ESPN network

Stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)

Odds, point spread, betting lines

Line: Texas -6

O/U: 59.5

Moneyline: UT -300 TECH +200

FPI pick: Texas 80.5%

What you need to know

Texas. Not exactly breaking news that Bijan Robinson is the engine of the Texas offense. The running back is 1st in the Big 12 with 147.67 total yards per game, scoring (12 ppg), total points (36), and total TDs (6), and is 2nd in rush yards (311), rushing TDs (5), and rush yards per game (103.7). Having Robinson there as a credible threat in play-action helps open space for Longhorn receivers like Xavier Worthy to gain ground on Tech's back seven, which has struggled in coverage, 1 of a dozen FBS teams to allow at least 3 pass plays of 50-plus yards this season.

Texas Tech. Don't overlook the Red Raiders' ability to put Robinson and the Longhorn attack overall in jeopardy. Tech is playing better than expected on the line, ranking 9th in FBS so far allowing only a shade over 2 ypc, is 18th by allowing 82.7 rush ypg, and is top 20 nationally allowing fewer than 90 rushing yards per game and all of 0.7 rushing touchdowns. The unit can plug holes and shrink the pocket with a battery of tackles at the behind the line to challenge Robinson early.

Texas vs. Texas Tech: Fast Facts

donovan smith

+ Tech is 4th nationally with 373.7 passing yards per game

+ Texas is 101st nationally in 3rd down offense (0.333)

+ Tech is minus-1.67 in turnover margin, 123rd nationally

+ Texas is 7-1 when it out-gains opponents under Steve Sarkisian and 0-7 when outgained by opponents

+ Tech is 18th nationally in run defense, allowing 82.7 ypg

+ Texas is 1-6 when scoring 0-29 points under Sarkisian and 6-2 when scoring 30 or more

+ Texas Tech has held opponents to under 30 points in 6 straight games

+ Texas is 2-6 under Sark when the game is decided by 1-9 points

+ Tech is 14-12 all-time in Big 12 openers, but 0-5 in openers against Texas

+ Texas is 4-2 under Sark when winning the turnover margin and 1-4 when losing it

+ Tech is 115th nationally rushing for 101.7 ypg

+ UT is 4-1 when it wins the T.O.P. under Sarkisian and 3-7 when losing it

+ Texas Tech is 5-4 in home Big 12 openers

+ Texas is 1-7 under Sark when allowing 30-plus points

Texas vs. Texas Tech Prediction

If this one comes down to turnovers, then Texas should prevail: the Longhorns have just 1 turnover in 3 games and none in the last 2. Donovan Smith has thrown 5 picks in the last 2 outings for Tech with 3 TD passes.

But the Red Raiders can still put the ball in the air. Only 3 other teams do it better than Tech, which is almost at 374 passing yards per game, and has the physicality in the front seven that can challenge Texas' plan to run the ball with power early in the game.

A few net zero or negative plays in the first quarter and Tech can establish important rhythm by forcing the Longhorn offense off the field on 3rd downs. QB is still a question for Texas: Quinn Ewers will be in uniform for the game after the injury against Alabama, but it's unknown if he'll play.

Whoever does will have a marked advantage at the skill positions compared to Texas Tech, especially at receiver, as the Longhorn receivers match up well against the Red Raiders' secondary.

College Football HQ Prediction: Texas 37, Texas Tech 31

College football rankings

According to AP top 25 poll

  1. Georgia
  2. Alabama
  3. Ohio State
  4. Michigan
  5. Clemson
  6. Oklahoma
  7. USC
  8. Kentucky
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Arkansas
  11. Tennessee
  12. NC State
  13. Utah
  14. Penn State
  15. Oregon
  16. Ole Miss
  17. Baylor
  18. Washington
  19. BYU
  20. Florida
  21. Wake Forest
  22. Texas
  23. Texas A&M
  24. Pittsburgh
  25. Miami

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