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Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Texas State Bobcats Free Pick 9/21/13

Texas State Bobcats (2-0) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Jones AT&T Stadium)

The Line: Texas Tech Red Raiders -25 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: When freshman walk-on QB Baker Mayfield went down with an injury in the fourth quarter against TCU Thursday, another freshman, backup Davis Webb, came in and led the game-winning drive, icing the 20-10 victory and making it crystal clear how deep this Red Raider team promises to be under center for, at least, the next several years. Texas State comes into the contest off a solid 28-3 victory over Prairie View A&M, in which they racked up 408 yards of total offense.

The  Breakdown: Mayfield is reportedly already back taking snaps with the first team after sustaining a deep thigh bruise against TCU and has been named the starter for Saturday’s game against the Bobcats. But you can’t help but wonder if a QB controversy might be brewing in Lubbock. After all, Mayfield did come out of nowhere to shakeup the depth chart and displace Soph. Michael Brewer or  Webb as the starter right before the beginning of the season, so it makes for good drama. Before going out in the fourth quarter, Mayfield hit on 21-of-40 for 216 yards and one touchdown, but did throw three picks. The Red Raider rushing game was conspicuously absent, totaling just 43 yards on 14 attempts. Jr. TE Jace Amaro had another strong outing, catching nine balls for 97 yards. Sr. WR Eric Ward, Tech’s leading receiver coming into the game with 16 receptions for 186 yards, was held without a single reception by TCU’s All-American Sr. CB Jason Verett. Defensively, the Red Raiders kept the dangerous running back tandem of Soph. B.J. Catalon and Sr. Waymon James somewhat in check, with 109 yards and 1 touchdown combined, but allowed 101 yards rushing on 20 carries to Soph. QB Trevone Boykin. Boykin also passed for 194 yards on 23-of-36 completions and was intercepted twice.

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Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Texas State Bobcats Free Pick 9/21/13

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Texas State dominated on the ground in its win over Pararie View A&M, rushing for 242 yards and 4 touchdowns, led by Soph. RB Chris Nutall, who ran for 132 yards and two scores on 8 carries, highlighted by a 77-yard gallop in the second quarter. The Bobcat passing game was effective enough and Sr. QB Tyler Arnt connected on 14-of-21 for 147 yards. Defensively, Texas State held the Panthers to 227 total yards and just 45 rushing, while also keeping them to 6-of-15 third down conversions.

Betting Trends: Texas Tech is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games, 5-1 SU in its last 6 home games, 9-1 when playing in September, 5-5 when playing on turf, 10-0 when playing outside the conference and the total has gone over in 5 of its last 7 games. Texas State is 6-19 SU in its last 25 games, 2-18 SU in its last 20 road games, 3-7 in September, 4-6 on turf, 4-6 outside the conference, and the total has gone under in 8 of Texas State’s last 11 games.

Rick’s Pick: The line for this game settled at  -25 for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have the nation’s 29th ranked offense at 40.7 ppg, while Texas State enters with the fourth-ranked defense, surrendering 9 points per game after last week. Those numbers are a bit skewed, with the Bobcats having faced Southern Miss and Prairie View A&M and whether or not they’re for real is still up in the air. We do know that Tech’s offense is for real, though, and they’ll cover easy.

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