Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big 12 [Print without images]

Saturday, November 1, 2008
Waiting for kickoff in Lubbock

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

LUBBOCK, Texas -- To say tonight is a big game at Jones Stadium wouldn't do justice to hyperbole.

It's so big that for the first time in recorded history, a scout from the Rose Bowl has ventured to Jones AT&T Stadium to cover the game for bowl purposes.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said he has been inundated with more media requests than any time during his career. And he still didn't relent and let Graham Harrell or Michael Crabtree talk to any out-of-town media members.

Texas arrives in the final game of a final stretch of four games against top 12 opponents. No team has been able to make that stretch against top teams since Notre Dame in 1943. If the Longhorns can win tonight, they would appear to have a relatively easy finish until the Big 12 championship game.

Tech's 8-0 start is its best since 1976 and has stretched a 10-game winning streak that is tied for the best in the nation. The Red Raiders will be taking a perfect record into November for the first time since 1938. But the program will still have doubters until it can topple Texas and climb into the BCS discussion.

Heading into the game, here are some things I'm looking for:

WEATHER: It's an ideal day for football with temperatures currently in the high 70s. The temperatures are expected to drop before leveling out in the low-60s late in the game. Wind will not be a factor, as it can occasionally be in this stadium. It's expected to be from the south at 5 to 10 mph. Humidity is only 15 percent and there is no chance of any precipitation expected.

INJURIES: Texas' biggest concern is cornerback Chykie Brown, who missed last week with an ankle injury. If he can't go tonight, he'll be replaced by Curtis Brown.
Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree's sprained ankle has gotten better, but he's still not likely to be at 100 percent. Crabtree was injured returning a kickoff against Texas A&M two weeks ago. And starting defensive tackle Rajon Henley has been sidelined for the last two games with a knee injury. Junior Richard Jones would start in front of him if he can't go tonight.