California vs

Texas Tech

at Shreveport
Sat, Dec 16
6:15 PM Pacific
Rotation: 211
Odds: Texas Tech -3, Total: 58

Game Analysis

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Texas Tech (-3)  29   California  27

Cal won their final 3 games of the season to qualify for a bowl game, including wins over good teams Washington State and 33-7 at UCLA in the final game. Four of Cal’s six losses were to ranked teams Washington, Oregon State, Utah and Oregon and their other two losses were by just 1 point to USC and by 4 points to Auburn in a game they should have won (3 missed field goals). Auburn was the worst team that Cal lost to and that was before Fernando Mendoza took over at quarterback. Mendoza started the last 7 games after Sam Jackson and Ben Finley failed to ignite and offense that also includes RB Jaydn Ott, who ranks 5th in the nation in rushing yards per game and was names 1st-Team All-Pac 12. Mendoza has been 0.9 yards per pass play better than average (6.3 yppp against teams that would allow 5.4 yppp to an average QB) while Jackson and Finley combined to rate at 1.4 yppp worse than an average FBS quarterback (Jackson was -2.4 yppp and Finley -0.4 yppp). The Golden Bears’ offense was 0.1 yards per play better than average for the season, but they are +0.6 yppl with Mendoza behind center.

The Texas Tech defense is also 0.6 yppl better than average but they should be a bit worse without NT Jaylon Hutchings, who is out with injury. Hutchings ranks 5th on the team in tackles, which is impressive for an interior lineman, and his 7.5 total tackles for loss leads the team. The Red Raiders’ normally good run defense gave up 325 rushing yards at 8.1 yprp to Texas in the week 13 game without their run-stuffing nose tackle and Ott could find some holes to run through in this game. I project 438 yards at 5.8 yppl for Cal in this game.

Texas Tech is not as good with their current quarterback Behren Morton, who has averaged just 5.3 yppp since taking over for the injured Tyler Shough in week 4. I decided to exclude that bad performance off the bench against West Virginia after Shough got hurt (just 3.5 yppp on 39 pass plays) but Morton is still 0.4 yppp worse than an average FBS quarterback in his 7 starts. The rushing attack with Tahj Brooks (1443 yard at 5.4 ypr) is better than average but the Red Raiders’ attack rates at 0.2 yppl worse than average with Morton at quarterback and with starting LT Monroe Mills deciding to transfer.

Cal’s defense had trouble against elite offensive teams Washington, Oregon State, USC, and Oregon (7.7 yppl allowed) but they were good against everyone else (5.2 yppl allowed) and overall the Bears rate at 0.4 yppl better than average (6.0 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 6.5 yppl against an average team). Cal will also be without a key defender, as top tackler Kaleb Elarms-Orr has decided to transfer. His numbers, aside from tackles, weren’t particularly impressive and I still rate the Bears’ defense at 0.3 yppl better than average heading into this game. That unit is projected to yield just 379 yards at 5.2 yppl to the Red Raiders.

Cal has a significant edge from the line of scrimmage but Texas Tech is very good in special teams, which could become even greater if Cal PK Mateen Bhaghani doesn’t play. Bhaghani made 8 of 9 field goals and all 27 extra points after taking over for Michael Luckhurst, who made just 3 of 9 field goals and missed 3 extra points in the first 4 games. Bhaghani has entered the transfer portal but coach Wilcox said that doesn’t necessarily mean that a player won’t play in the bowl game and Bhaghani is listed as the kicker on the bowl game depth chart while some other transfer portal players are not. I’ll assume that Bhaghani is going to be the placekicker for Cal. The math favors Cal by 1 even with Tech’s special teams edge, but the Bears apply to a 12-57-1 ATS bowl game situation that is based on their strong finish to the regular season. I’d still rather take 3 with the Bears but I’m not going to bet against that strong situation.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • California
  • Texas Tech


  • Run Plays 35.9 31.8
  • Run Yards 191.5 154.5
  • YPRP 5.3 4.9


  • Pass Comp 19.4 23.3
  • Pass Att 33.3 36.7
  • Comp % 58.4% 63.6%
  • Pass Yards 208.0 283.8
  • Sacks 1.5 2.0
  • Sack Yards 11.9 12.7
  • Sack % 4.3% 5.2%
  • Pass Plays 34.8 38.7
  • Net Pass Yards 196.1 271.2
  • YPPP 5.6 7.0


  • Total Plays 70.7 70.5
  • Total Yards 387.6 425.7
  • YPPL 5.5 6.0


  • Int 1.0 0.8
  • Int % 3.0% 2.3%
  • Fumbles 0.9 1.2
  • Turnovers 1.9 2.0
  • Points 31.6 32.7
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