Mandatory Credit: Photo by Robert Backman/CSM/Shutterstock (13434562r) QB Hudson Card #1 of the Texas Longhorns in action vs the West Virginia Mountaineers at DKR-Memorial Stadium. Texas leads 28-7 at the half NCAA Football West Virginia vs Texas, Austin, USA – 01 Oct 2022
Primetime in Baton Rouge – There may not be a better environment in the sport than a night game in Baton Rouge. Add to the fact that this game is against the Crimson Tide and you have near perfection for game-week hype leading up to Saturday. Alabama comes in at 7-1 but could very easily have three losses to this point in the season. The challenge, as it is every week for Alabama opponents, is to limit Bryce Young and the explosive plays that the Crimson Tide offense has been known to produce. Tennessee had their way earlier in the season in Baton Rouge in route to a 40-13 Thumping of the Tigers. Expect LSU to have more success against this Alabama defense than we’ve seen in years past. Regardless of how this one finishes, it will be an unbelievable environment.
Unlikely Favorite in Manhattan, Kansas – Texas lost close to Oklahoma State, who then turned around and got handled by the Wildcats 48-0. So of course, when Texas goes on the road for its turn against Kansas State, it is a slight favorite. Makes perfect sense. There have been questions this week as to whether Quinn Ewers was completely healthy against OSU two weeks back. Coming off the bye, we should expect to see him back to full strength, and the challenge will remain as to whether the Longhorns can close out a game when it matters. Fourth quarter collapses have plagued the Longhorns in Steve Sarkisian’s short tenure in Austin and this week presents another opportunity to change that narrative. A win would also keep the Horns’ chances of a Big 12 title appearance alive, although slim.
Game of the Year for Texas Tech – It may feel like a distant offseason memory, but when tickets for Texas Tech at TCU went on sale, the TCU athletic department made it rather difficult for Red Raider fans to get their hands on tickets for this game. What happened next was a week-long cat and mouse game that resulted in a new secondary mascot (the cactus) for Texas Tech, and a renewed energy in this rivalry. TCU is battling for a perfect season and a berth in the college football playoff, while Texas Tech is just hoping to get to .500 for a bowl game. Given the hatred that now lives in the hearts of both fan bases for one another, and the opportunity for Texas Tech to play spoiler, this has the potential to be an incredible game in the early slate.