Here’s everything you need to know about the season-opening meeting between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Arkansas Razorbacks today on ABC.

When: Today, Sept. 13
Where: Lubbock, Texas – Jones AT&T Stadium
Game Time: 3:30 PM ET
Current Line: Pick ’em

Game Buzz: In a virtual toss up, Arkansas and Texas Tech compete in one of the most interesting games of the weekend. The importance of this game for the Hogs can not be understated. A win in Lubbock keeps Arkansas’ bowl chances alive, while a loss makes the prospects of reaching a bowl game in 2014 much, much harder. This would easily be head coach Bret Bielema’s biggest win as Arkansas head coach.

Saturday Down South previews


Players to watch:

  • QB Brandon Allen
  • DE Trey Flowers
  • WR Keon Hatcher
  • S Alan Turner
  • RB Alex Collins
  • RB Jonathan Williams
  • RB Korliss Marshall
  • OL Denver Kirkland
  • LB Brooks Ellis
  • S Rohan Gaines
  • TE AJ Derby
  • CB Tevin Mitchel

Freshmen to watch:

  • CB Henre’ Toliver
  • S Josh Liddell
  • LB Dwayne Eugene
  • OL Brian Wallace
  • OL Frank Ragnow
  • WR Jared Cornelius

Keys for Arkansas:

  • Pressure the quarterback. Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense will be tough for Arkansas to stop due to a questionable secondary, but their job will be much easier if the guys up front can get pressure on Davis Webb. Trey Flowers and Taiwan Johnson have been very disruptive early on and the Hogs will need both of them to continue their strong play in Lubbock. At times this season, Webb has struggled with consistency, so constant pressure could really force him to make some poor decisions.
  • Establish a running game. This will always be a big key for Arkansas. If there’s no rushing attack, there’s virtually no Arkansas offense. Quarterback Brandon Allen’s day gets much easier if the running backs are effective because it’ll open up more play action plays for the junior. Alex Collins, Jonathan Williams and Korliss Marshall will need to take advantage of a weaker Texas Tech front seven in order for the Hogs to come out on top.
  • Control time of possession. Even with the probable return of cornerback Tevin Mitchel, if you’re a Hogs fan, you have to be nervous about Texas Tech passing all over the Arkansas secondary. So how can Arkansas keep that from happening? Control the time of the possession. This kind of goes along with establishing a running game, but it will also fall on Allen’s shoulders to control the tempo of the game. If Arkansas can drain the clock and keep the ball out of Texas Tech’s hands, the effectiveness of Tech’s Air Raid offense diminishes significantly.

Razorbacks’ glaring weakness to watchSecondary – Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb will throw the football…a lot. The sophomore threw 52 passes in the season-opener against Central Arkansas, so you can bet that Kliff Kingsbury will dial up the passing plays against a questionable Hogs’ secondary. The defensive backs will be tested constantly. How will they respond?

Most interesting part of the game: If Arkansas beats Texas Tech this afternoon, it’ll be the school’s first win against a Power 5 conference opponent since Oct. 13, 2012 against Kentucky.

Team buzz: Arkansas dominated its cupcake opponent last week and the Hogs are hungry to make a real statement now that their 10-game losing streak is officially behind them. The goal this season is to get to a bowl game and if Arkansas plans on doing so, today is a must-win for Bret Bielema and his squad.


Players to watch:

  • QB Davis Webb
  • RB DeAndre Washington
  • WR Bradley Marquez
  • WR Jakeem Grant
  • DE Branden Jackson
  • DT Rika Levi
  • LB Sam Eguavoen

Freshmen to watch:

  • RB Justin Stockton
  • FS JJ Gaines

Keys for Texas Tech:

  • Protect the quarterbackWithout a doubt, the biggest key offensively for Texas Tech will be to protect Davis Webb. Arkansas boasts one of the most underrated defensive lines in the country and they haven’t disappointed in the first two weeks of the season, leading the SEC with seven sacks. The Red Raiders have yet to allow a sack this season, but they haven’t faced a defensive line like Arkansas. Something will have to give this afternoon in Lubbock.
  • Attack the cornerbacks. Arkansas has yet to prove in quite sometime that they can stop a talented offense. Auburn exploited the middle of the field constantly against Arkansas and with receivers like Bradley Marquez and Jakeem Grant, the Red Raiders certainly have the talent to do the exact same thing. Kliff Kingsbury needs to let his sophomore quarterback throw the ball all around the field today as it could be a big day for Webb.
  • Make Brandon Allen beat you. Of course Texas Tech knows all about Arkansas running backs, so they’ll be loading the box up to keep them from a big day on the ground. Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen has improved since last season, but no one knows if he can truly lead the Hogs’ offense if the running backs aren’t having a good day. Today might not be a bad time for the Red Raiders to see what Allen is truly made of.

Red Raiders’ glaring weakness to watch: Texas Tech’s front seven – So far this season, the Red Raiders haven’t proven they can stop the run. Against Central Arkansas and UTEP – two run-heavy teams – they allowed a combined 449 yards on the ground. You can bet that Bret Bielema will attack the middle of their defense with his three-headed rushing attack and try to further exploit Tech’s front seven.

Most interesting part of the game: Texas Tech’s history against the SEC is less than favorable. The Red Raiders are just 7-16-2 when playing SEC teams. They’ll look to change that reputation with a big win against Arkansas.

Team buzz: Texas Tech has struggled early on this season, but you this is an offense that can put up a lot of points when things are going right. Sophomore quarterback Davis Webb will continue to get better and the Hogs’ defense will have its hands full containing all of their offensive weapons. A win against an SEC team should give them the momentum boost they need before entering their Big 12 schedule.