Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury will look to his seniors as he welcomes K-State into Lubbock, Texas, for a Senior Day matchup on Saturday.
The Red Raiders hope that a struggling Wildcat team, carrying a large load with five straight losses, will be the cure that ails their own three-game losing skid.
Kingsbury understands, though, that 0-5 K-State might be more than what their record says about them.
“I think they’ve played some good teams,” Kingsbury said at the Texas Tech University Football Media Conference. “You look at some of those scores with the exception of, I think, one, they’ve been competitive games. They’re a tough team. Watching them last week against a very good Baylor team, hung right in there until the end. So we know they’re a good football team. We know we’ll get their best shot. They’re fighting and clawing like we are, and that’s what we’re expecting.”
Meanwhile, the Red Raiders have been hard at work practicing for their seniors’ final game at Jones AT&T Stadium.
“It’s been good,” Kingsbury said of practices leading up to Saturday’s game. “With it being Senior Day (on Saturday) it’s been very spirited. Those seniors have taken the leadership role that you’d expect with them knowing it’s their last game at this stadium. They’re excited and they’re pushing the pace of practice.”
Texas Tech will look to improve after a falling last week in a close five-point loss versus West Virginia.
The Mountaineers put up 300 yards rushing on the Red Raiders, including four touchdowns on the ground.
“That was a tough team physically and they got after us,” Kingsbury said. “We didn’t respond the way we should have at times. (We) had opportunities throughout the game. (We) kind of hung in there but never made the push we needed to make.”
The poor effort in stopping the rush has been par for the course for the Red Raiders, who rank dead last in the conference in stopping the run.
Offensively though, the Red Raiders have been trucking, ranking second in passing offense and third in total offense in the Big 12.
Leading the way for Texas Tech is sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.
Mahomes has been airing it out a lot this season, putting him up at No. 2 in yards per game in the conference with 353.2 yards.
“Well to me, he’s a very competitive young guy,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. “I appreciate that about him. … He’s not afraid to run the ball by any stretch of the imagination. He’ll bring it down and bring it out, and he’s not afraid to put his pads down and run into you. I just like his competitive spirit, and I think that provides a great deal of leadership for his football team.”
Mahomes hasn’t been alone in offense production for the Red Raiders.
Last week versus West Virginia, Texas Tech senior running back DeAndre Washington quietly crossed the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season for the second straight season.
“He does a lot of it on his own,” Kingsbury said. “He’s great at making people miss and great after contact. He’s a guy that our young players can look up to. His work ethic and the way he carries himself, so can’t say enough good things about him.”
So far Kingsbury has had trouble with both K-State and on Senior Day as he is winless when either is involved. K-State has won four straight matchups versus the Red Raiders.
Kickoff between the Red Raiders and the Wildcats is set for 2:30 p.m. at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.