For a select group of Texas Tech football players, this will be their last week playing Kansas.
Kansas (1-8, 0-6) will search for a Big 12 Conference win — something that has eluded the Jayhawks in their last six outings.
Senior quarterback Seth Doege said he hopes the Red Raiders are able to make the best of the remaining games on their schedule and set themselves up for a great bowl game opportunity.
“Seems like just yesterday was my first start against Kansas,” Doege said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve loved the opportunity of playing here, and I’m glad that — I’m kind of glad that the game (is) kind of set right here. I think it’s a good time for the seniors to battle back and end the season with a winning home record and going out strong.”
This will be Tech’s first 11 a.m. kick off of the season. Tech has had 2:30 p.m. starts for five consecutive weeks.
Doege said as long as the players prepare themselves and adjust their sleep schedules throughout the week, the early start time should not be a major problem for the Red Raiders.
“I think it’s huge on us as players, like during the week, to get some sleep this week and I think come Saturday it won’t be that big of a deal,” he said. “I think anytime you wake up early, you’ve got to move around and wake up. But we do that anyways regardless of what (time) we play. We wake up and go have breakfast and then go do a walk-through, which is more of a jog-through. I think we’ll keep the same routine. We need to get the guys focused early.”
This will be Tech’s first morning game of the season.
Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said finding a way to create energy will be tough with such an early kickoff.
“This will be a different game this week, also, this week playing at 11 a.m. That’s a tough game to play,” Tuberville said. “The fans are usually not as quite into it as they were the game last week, so we’ve got to do a lot of motivational things from the standpoint of coaches and players and seniors.”
After losing to Texas, Tech ended its span of five consecutive weeks playing against nationally ranked opponents. The Red Raiders won two of the five games with losses coming against Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas.
Doege said although the Red Raiders did not win as many games as they originally hoped, he thinks Tech has proved better than many anticipated.
“Obviously it’s not what we expected or what we accept for this team. But overall, I think if you look back on it, we did a good job,” Doege said. “We wish we would have finished a little better, but I think we’re in a really good position.”
The Red Raiders have improved their record from 2011 and Tech is currently tied with TCU for 5th place in the Big 12 with three conference games remaining.
Senior safety D.J. Johnson said he thinks the Red Raiders still have much to prove.
“We have three games left, and we have to make the best of them,” Johnson said. “We can’t have the same season that we had last year. We have a lot better squad, a lot better understanding, more leadership and everything — we’re just an all-around better team.”
The Red Raiders will try to add another victory to their Big 12 Conference record when they face the Jayhawks at 11 a.m. Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.