Texas Tech football: Why K-State has owned the Red Raiders lately

Texas Tech football: Why K-State has owned the Red Raiders lately
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Oct 1, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Donovan Smith (7) is tackled by Kansas State Wildcats defensive end Brendan Mott (38) during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the Texas Tech football team will try to end over a decade of frustration against Kansas State.  Since 2011, the Wildcats have owned this series winning eleven of the last twelve editions leading to plenty of frustration on the South Plains.

What’s more, the current 7-game losing streak to KSU is the longest active losing streak the Red Raiders face.  It’s also the second-longest streak of futility Tech has endured against any Big 12 opponent behind the 10-game skid against Oklahoma that came to an end last season.

There once was a time when the Red Raiders owned the Wildcats, though.  From the time that the teams first met in 1933 until 2009, Tech was 8-3.  That included a mark of 5-3 in Big 12 play from 1996-2009.

Now, though, the Cats hold a 14-9 edge over the Red Raiders.  What’s interesting is that many of those wins were there for the taking only to see Tech fail to make enough plays down the stretch.

Five times since 2011, KSU’s margin of victory over Tech was just one score.  That includes recent games in 2021, 2019, and 2017.

To find Tech’s last win over the Wildcats, we have to go back to 2015.  That afternoon in Lubbock, DeAndre Washington had a career performance in his final home game as a Red Raider going off for 284 total yards and 3 touchdowns.  248 of those yards and all three scores came on the ground, including an 80-yard TD run in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Pat Mahomes was 33-42 for 384 yards and 3 TDs through the air.  That day he found Justin Stockton twice for scores and Devin Lauderdale once while also rushing for his own TD as the Red Raiders won 59-44 to secure a bowl birth.  A week later, Mahomes would lead Tech to a 48-45 win over Texas in Austin.

Since then, Tech has known nothing but disappointment in this series.  It hasn’t mattered which campus the teams have met on, what the weather has been like, or how early or late in the season the series was renewed.  Tech simply hasn’t had an answer for the Wildcats.

So let’s dive deeper into this losing streak to see what has caused Tech to struggle against a team that annually fields rosters that don’t strike a ton of fear into Red Raider fans.  As we do, maybe we will find some factors that Tech should be aware of as the Red Raiders look for their first win over K-State since the Obama administration.

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Tech would lose the turnover battle in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022.  Meanwhile, KSU would lose it just once, in 2021.

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2016 saw Mahomes throw a pick-six to gift KSU a 14-7 lead.  It was the only turnover in a game that saw Tech lose 44-38.

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In 2017, KSU took a 24-21 lead in 3rd quarter thanks to a Nic Shimonek pick-six.  Tech would lose in OT so that play was pivotal, to say the least.

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2018’s game included a Jett Duffey INT at the KSU 7 to take points off the board.  KSU scored a FG on the next drive meaning that sequence was possibly a 10-point swing.  Overall, Tech lost the TO battle 3-1 that day.

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A year later, in 2019 Duffey was intercepted in the endzone in the 4th quarter as Tech was trailing 30-20.  Those missed points would be deadly in a 30-27 loss.

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Henry Colomi was picked off in the endzone in the 4th quarter of the 2020 game when Tech was down only 24-21.  What’s more, Colombi picked off at KSU 35 in the 2021 game.  That mistake resulted in a first-half FG in a game that KSU would win by one point.

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This year, KSU is second to last in the conference in turnover margin at -0.6 per game.  Tech sits at 9th with the same number of giveaways as takeaways.  Hopefully, that category falls the way of McGuire’s team this year because Tech really needs to find a way to end this awful losing streak to Kansas State.

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