The visitors are favored in the NCAA week 12 TCU at Texas Tech free pick as the Horned Frogs are listed at -3.5 in Lubbock on Saturday. That line may seem a bit weird since Texas Tech opened as -1 while TCU has a record of just 4-5 including 1-3 on the road this season. TCU has lost 4 of 5 and the Red Raiders have dropped 5 of 7. Do the home ‘dogs get an advantage between two limping teams?
Can TCU Get the Road Win With a Freshman QB?
It was a low scoring matchup a year ago with Texas Christian dropping a 14-17 decision to Tech in Fort Worth. The total was 57.5 in that game and is up there at 54.5 in the NCAA week 12 TCU at Texas Tech free pick. TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson had 290 yards passing in that game but the team turns to freshman Max Duggan in the 2019 rematch.
One of the reasons Tech looks like kind of a nice pick as +3.5 home underdogs is because Duggan has shown a propensity to turn the ball over with 3 INTs in each of his last two games. The conundrum is that the Red Raiders have one of the worst passing defenses in the country though, ranking 127th while allowing 308 yards per game through the air. Gary Patterson’s team can have some balance too as they have a top 25 ground game. Darius Anderson and Seno Olonilua have combined for 1123 yards and 12 TD on the year.
TCU also has balance on the defensive side of the ball where they have a top 30 unit in total yards, rushing yards, and passing yards. The Horned Frogs had a tough OT loss to #13 Baylor last week, but while holding the Bears to under 200 yards passing and just 3.3 ypc on the ground. Any chance the Red Raiders can get to that defense on Saturday?
Can Texas Tech Find Their Offense Again This Week?
The Red Raiders were able to snap a 3-game losing streak last week and they looked good doing it as Jett Duffey had 354 yards in the air including an 81-yard TD. The 38-17 victory over West Virginia was the first road win of the year for TTU. The Red Raiders offense has a tough challenge on Saturday, but they’ve also posted 30+ points in 4 of the past 5 games.
One of the biggest concerns that TTU took out of last week’s win was that they struggled to run the ball with SaRodorick Thompson had just 27 yards on 11 carries. The Red Raiders’ leading rusher is also questionable Saturday with an ankle injury and RB Armand Shyne was lost for the season a week earlier with a rib injury. TCU doesn’t give up much on the ground – or in the air – allowing just 127.1 ypg rushing (31st) and 195.6 passing (30th). Duffey has thrown for 350+ in 3 of the past 5 though so at least there is potential on that side of the ball for the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech can do their offense a favor by continuing to force turnovers from Duggan and the TCU offense. The Red Raiders had a bend-but-dont-break approach in last year’s game, getting outgained 411 to 353 but only allowing 14 points. Things have been different lately as 5 of the last 6 opponents have scored at least 34 points vs. TTU.
NCAA Week 12 TCU at Texas Tech Free Pick
Does the Horned Frogs defense give them the edge in this one? Texas Tech has struggled to run the ball and become very one-dimensional. How is TCU going to get a tough conference road win with a freshman QB with a shaken confidence under center though? The Red Raiders got the road win last season, and have the experience at quarterback to give them the edge.
Pick: Texas Tech +3.5