Texas Bowl – LSU Tigers (-7) versus Texas Tech Red Raiders

Posted: January 10, 2016 in College football, Football
Tags: , , , ,

texas bowl

These schools have had two previous meetings, with both coming in the 1950’s. This bowl game was initially known as the Texas Bowl from 2006-2010, but changed to the Car Care Bowl before being re-named this year. Texas Tech used a late comeback to beat Minnesota 34-31 (-13) in the Car Care Bowl in 2012 and this is their 17th bowl game in the last 20 years. They’re 10-6 SU/6-10 ATS and head coach Cliff Kingsbury won his only bowl, 37-23 (+14) vs Arizona State in the 2013 Holiday Bowl, the Red Raiders last post season appearance. LSU is making their first appearance here, but this is their 16th straight bowl gm. They’re 6-4 SU/5-5 ATS in bowls under head coach Les Miles and he was 1-2 SU/0-2-1 ATS in bowls while the head coach at Oklahoma State. 

LSU entered this season as a National Title contender and while they fell short, they still won at least eight games for the 16th straight season. Their opener was cancelled due to weather and they were 7-0, but lost their huge showdown with Alabama. Despite poor quarterback play, running back Leonard Fournette was the Heisman frontrunner mid-season. Fournette was shut down against the Tide and the Tigers then lost to Arkansas and Ole Miss and it appeared Miles was going to be let go. They beat Texas A&M in the finale. LSU was held under 100 passing yards four times, but on defense they are No. 16 in the FBS, holding their opponents to 80 yards per game below their season average.

Texas Tech could really only improve after winning just four games last year and returned 17 starters, including their top playmakers on offense. They started 3-0, including an outright upset win at Arkansas (+10.5). In Big 12 play, they won all their games as a favorite and lost all their games as a ‘dog except in the finale, whey they upset Texas. Despite a new defensive coordinator in David Gibbs, they still struggled as they are No. 120 in the FBS, allowing 90 yards per game more then their opponents average on the season. Their offense bailed them out many times as they enter No. 1 in the FBS, averaging 182 yards per game more then their opponents allow on average. Stopping Fournette could be a tall task as they have one of the weakest rush defenses in the nation. 

LSU is much more talented at just about every position with the exception of quarterback. Texas Tech needed to become more balanced offensively and have done that, rushing 438 times this year as opposed to 329 last years. LSU has the much better defense and Fournette should have a field day as the Red Raiders allow 5.9 yards per carry. While Texas Tech is known for their passing attack, LSU has a great secondary and despite the fact that this game is in Texas, LSU is actually 250 miles closer Houston and should have the crowd edge.

 

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