AUSTIN, Texas — Texas' last game was a back breaker.
After going up by seven points late in the fourth, West Virginia's Heisman candidate quarterback Will Grier manufactured a Heisman moment in DKR. Grier dropped a 33-yard dime over the top of the Longhorns' defense with 16 seconds left in the game, and then took a one-point lead after he converted the two-point conversion on a quarterback draw.
UT can still qualify for a chance to compete for a Big 12 Championship, but they'll need a little help. Texas needs to be tied in the standings with Oklahoma in order to grab the second and final spot, but the Sooners hold a one-game lead over the Longhorns in the conference standings.
Next, the Longhorns will stare down the barrel of the Red Raiders in a tough road contest. Both teams enter the matchup on a two-game losing streak and all four games were highly competitive. Texas Tech will likely be without its star freshman quarterback, Alan Bowman, who sustained a recurrence of the collapsed lung that he initially suffered Sept. 29 against West Virginia and did not play in the second half against Oklahoma.
Despite being the higher ranked team, ESPN gives Texas a 39.8 percent chance of winning this game, according to its football power index. This is the first time UT has not been favored by the power index since the Oklahoma game. The spread in Vegas, however, favors the Longhorns by two points.
UT PICK 'EM STANDINGS
So, after UT fell to West Virginia 42-41, let's take a look at the KVUE UT pick 'em standings:
Mike Barnes -- 6-1
Bryan Mays -- 5-2
Shawn Clynch -- 5-2
Paul Livengood -- 4-3
Tim Ryan -- 4-3
Hank Cavagnaro -- 4-3
Andrew McKibbin -- 3-3 ***(McKibbin was on vacation for the first pick)***
Jay Wallis -- 3-4
KVUE STAFF PICKS ITS UT-TEXAS TECH WINNER
Now, the KVUE staff members made their picks for the Texas-Texas Tech game. This is what they predicted:
Mike Barnes, KVUE Sports Director:
Texas 31, Texas Tech 24.
Lubbock is often a tough place to play, and Texas Tech’s defense is better this season. But without Bowman at quarterback, the Red Raiders won’t be able to hang with the Longhorns. Texas wins 31-24. But if Bowman makes a miraculous appearance, ala Willis Reed… all bets are off.
Shawn Clynch, KVUE Sports Reporter:
Texas 40, Texas Tech 31.
The Longhorns are honestly right where or near where I thought they would be before season began.
A three or four loss team, but there remains an opportunity to play for a conference championship. Texas needs to be tied with Oklahoma for one of the two spots in the Big 12 Championship Game. Lubbock has historically been a tough place on Texas at night. 2002 and 2008 are fresh on my brain. It’s also a place where countless horns down hand signs are constant.
Texas Tech’s quarterback situation is unknown. Alan Bowman is recovering from collapsed lung. WHOA!! The Longhorns defense has been tentative and porous the past few weeks. Injuries have been an issue, but they will be tested in Lubbock.
Texas ends a two-game losing skid as they beat the Red Raiders, 40-31.
Paul Livengood, KVUE Digital Sports Producer/Digital Desk Editor:
Texas 35, Texas Tech 24.
Texas has really been struggling on defense as of late, but it looks like the Longhorns have dodged a bullet if Alan Bowman doesn't play. Texas Tech's freshman quarterback has thrown for 2638 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions to this point. Missing his production in the passing game should play to the Longhorns' advantage. Texas sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger will control the game, not give the ball away, and lead the Longhorns to their second road win of the season.
Bryan Mays, KVUE Daybreak Anchor:
Texas 38, Texas Tech 17.
Texas Tech would stand a much better chance if they their top quarterback was healthy and he’s not. For that reason, the Texas defense will have a much better showing than they’ve had the past two weeks. Look for Texas to run the ball... a lot. Ehlinger keeps up his stellar play and the Longhorns get the win, 38-17.
Hank Cavagnaro, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 38, Texas Tech 24.
I wish I could convince myself that Texas Tech will be able to get a victory so I can crawl out of the bottom half of this pool, but I just don't think it will happen. Texas has three more games left and I think the team will look to end the season strong after a two-game losing streak. They win by two scores on the road!
Jay Wallis, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 34, Texas Tech 24
These are two programs that have found themselves in similar positions. Both teams are on two-game skids where their offenses weren't the problem. So the key question that will decide this game is who can get more critical stops? If Texas Tech true freshman QB Alan Bowman was planning to suit up rather than backup Jett Duffey (I don't expect Bowman to play), I think I would be taking the Raiders. Night games in Lubbock are hard for all road opponents. I am trusting in Todd Orlando to make the right calls that will remind everyone the dynamic Texas defense we all saw flashes of before these past two weeks. As badly as Texas Tech needs this win as much as Texas does, I think this Longhorns team will avoid losing a third game in a row and be dialed in for the full 60 minutes.
Tim Ryan, KVUE News Director:
Texas 21, Texas Tech 17.
This will be a defensive struggle. Texas Tech takes the lead 17-14 with 1:00 left, but Ehlinger brings the Longhorns back for a stirring last second victory.
Andrew McKibbin, KVUE Dayside Executive Producer:
Texas 34, Texas Tech 38.
This is a dangerous game for the Longhorns. They’re already sliding a bit, and now headed on the road to Lubbock where the Red Raiders hung with Oklahoma blow-for-blow just a week ago. UT could emerge just fine, but I have that weird feeling that trouble awaits. Sorry Longhorn fans (or, given my record, maybe it’s better I pick Tech)...
Kick off for Texas-Texas Tech is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday Nov. 10.