College Football Picks: Texas State vs. Texas Tech

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 1:52 PM GMT

Texas State will travel to in-state big brother on Saturday night to play Texas Tech. This will be the third consecutive year these teams have met; Texas Tech has won the previous two meetings by a combined score of 108-20.

The Bobcats have the same coach in tow with Dennis Franchione while the Red Raiders will be led in this game by the youngest head coach at a BCS school in Kliff Kingsbury who is only 34 years old.

Both teams come into this game undefeated. Texas State is 2-0 (1-1 ATS) after stealing a 22-15 win at Southern Mississippi and a 28-3 home win over FCS Prairie View A&M. Texas Tech is a perfect 3-0 SU & ATS with a win at SMU (41-23) and home wins over Stephen F. Austin (61-13) and TCU (20-10).

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 4.

Texas State has a nice scheduling advantage for this game as they come in off a bye. The Bobcats have had two weeks to prepare for this game, and with 15 returning starters remembering their blowout losses to Texas Tech, this game means something to them. In their last visit to Lubbock, the Bobcats actually led 10-9 at the half. They were driving for another score when they fumbled on the Tech 16-yard line and the game changed on that play as the Red Raiders scored 41 unanswered points over the next 18 minutes of football.

The Bobcats have played good pass defense in their first two games albeit against weak opposition. They’ve allowed only 56.8% completions with just 1 TD pass and 2 interceptions. Texas State will get a stiff challenge in this game against the “Air Raid” passing attack of the Red Raiders, but they’ve had two weeks to get ready so they should be well prepared.

Texas Tech is in a flat spot for this game. Their season opener and last week’s game against ranked TCU were both on ESPN. The Red Raiders were 3-point home underdogs in that game against the Horned Frogs and now they are laying 26.5 points into a team they’ve waxed twice in the last two seasons. Texas Tech also has a bye on deck so it’s highly likely that they are looking beyond this game.

Despite beating TCU, the Red Raiders were thoroughly out-played in that game. TCU had a 23-16 first down edge and a 401-336 yardage edge, including a 207-43 rushing edge. Walk-on QB Baker Mayfield came out of nowhere to play tremendous in the first two games after Texas Tech lost their starting quarterback in the off-season. But Mayfield completed just 21 of his 40 passes against TCU while throwing 1 TD pass and 3 interceptions.

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The Red Raiders haven’t been playing disciplined football as they are averaging 91 yards in penalties per game. Mistakes and turnovers are not good qualities to have, especially for a team that is a 26.5-point favorite at the majority of college football odds sites.

Texas State pulled a big upset last season when they won at Houston as 36.5-point underdogs. They were also competitive while covering the pointspread as double digits underdogs in games against Nevada, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, and Navy. And don’t forget they won outright at Southern Mississippi as 7.5-point underdogs this year. Overall, Texas State is 5-2 ATS their last seven times as a double digit underdog under HC Franchione.

Texas Tech really has no need to blowout Texas State in this game. We are fairly certain that they will not be primed for their best effort since they are coming off a big spotlight win over TCU with a bye on deck. The Bobcats are in a tremendous scheduling situation to make this a game so we’ll place our college football picks on Texas State to cover in this game on Saturday night.

Free College Football Pick: TEXAS STATE +26.5.