The memories of 2008 still linger (and burn), but the Texas Longhorns are now looking for a seventh straight win against the Texas Tech Red Raiders as head coach Kliff Kingsbury's team comes to Austin for the second Thanksgiving tilt between the two non-rivals on Thursday.
In 2013, the Horns wrecked the Red Raiders, 41-16, and haven't lost at home to the red and black bandits since 1997. Yet, every game is a good game for a new historical low for this program right now. Watch out!
Kingsbury's offense, led by sophomore quarterback Pat Mahomes, is the second-highest scoring group in the country and the No. 2 offense in S&P+. Unlike former head coach Mike Leach's one-dimensional offenses, this Texas Tech team can run the football with some authority thanks to one of the Big 12's best running backs in senior DeAndre Washington, who is averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Combined with the ability of Mahomes to pick up yardage with his feet, this is the No. 7 rushing offense in S&P+.
And senior wide reciever Jakeem Grant and sophomore wide receiver Devin Lauderdale are both dangerous threats to take short passes and convert them into long gains. If the cornerbacks don't make the initial play, Texas could be in trouble because neither starting safety matches up well with either one of those playmakers in the open field. Few defensive backs do, truth be told.
Meanwhile, the Texas offense will look to avoid the turnovers that sunk that team in Morgantown and continue to show progress in the passing game. Make no mistake, however -- if Texas can't run the ball against the nation's No. 120 rush defense in S&P+, it will be a disappointing evening for the burnt orange faithful. The inconsistent offense will also have to overcome the probable loss of three key contributors in senior running back Johnathan Gray, sophomore running back D'Onta Foreman, and freshman offensive guard Patrick Vahe.
Absent a "here we go again" moment for the Longhorns, this game will come down to the defense creating stops and perhaps even a key turnover or two and the offense executing consistently enough to score with one of the most Dprolific offenses in the country.
This isn't a particularly good Red Raiders football team, but it will be a difficult one to beat for a program that isn't even guaranteed to show up from week to week.
How to watch, listen, and stream
TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. CT
Radio: The Longhorn IMG Radio Network Broadcast, and participating affiliates
Weather: High of 75 degrees / Low of 68 degrees / Precipitation 80%