Texas Longhorns against Cal Golden Bears during the pre-game of a NCAA college football game, Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Staff takes: If the stakes in Lubbock are higher, will that help Texas solve its road problem?

Posted November 5th, 2016

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Our staff takes ahead of Saturday’s Texas-Texas Tech game:

Brian Davis: Somehow, someway, UT prevails

Two weeks ago, I was the only Statesman writer to pick Kansas State when Texas went to Manhattan. The logic was simple. Sure, the Horns were a better team on paper, but who really trusted them on the road? Sure enough, the Wildcats celebrated a 24-21 win. Now comes the next road game. Texas Tech has lost three straight to Texas in Lubbock. The fact that it’s an 11 a.m. kickoff works in UT’s favor. And Charlie Strong’s postgame comments after the Baylor win reflected a driven coach with plenty of fight still in the tank. Don’t ask me how or why, but the Longhorns will get it done Saturday and move to 5-4.

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Danny Davis: Taking the measure of Texas’ D

The Texas defense bent enough to earn its certification as a yoga teacher last weekend, but it did not break. But after allowing 624 yards — yet making three key red-zone stops in the second half of a 35-34 win — Texas needs to get better. It’s not as if Texas Tech is any better on defense, but the Red Raiders have a high-scoring offense and home-field advantage on their side in case a shootout occurs. As defensive lineman Breckyn Hager said, “This will really prove to everyone if we’re a great defense or not.”

Kirk Bohls: Yet another crossroads game

It’s yet another crossroads game for Charlie Strong, who’s been to so many of these intersections you’d think he works for DPS. Texas has better talent than Texas Tech, an unstoppable force in D’Onta Foreman and a good if not yet great quarterback. This, like most, will come down to a half-dozen critical plays. Texas’ defense made them a week ago, forcing turnovers and Baylor field goals instead of touchdowns. Here’s betting that happens again in a Texas win.

Cedric Golden: Lots at stake for UT in Lubbock

This is where we find out what this team is made of. I was the only staffer to take the Longhorns to beat Baylor at home last week, and that happened. This is a different challenge altogether. Texas Tech is a scary assignment in Lubbock, but just like Kansas State last month, the Red Raiders are beatable. This is where the Horns can take a humongous mental step in getting closer to a bowl game. We’ll know after one quarter if Texas showed up in Lubbock. My guess is the Longhorns will finally overcome their road struggles with a nice win to get over .500.

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