TTU Football Preview: Texas Tech, Texas clash Saturday in Lubbock
LUBBOCK, Texas – Another week, another Top 25 foe. The difference, it’s the beginning of Big 12 play as Texas Tech gets set to welcome No. 22 Texas to Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. while pregame festivities start with the Raider Walk at 12:15 p.m. followed by a concert in Raider Alley performed by country music artist Jon Wolfe at 12:30 p.m.

Dave Flemming will call the game on ESPN on-site alongside analyst Rod Gilmore and sideline reporter Tiffany Blackmon.

THIRD-STRAIGHT RANKED OPPONENT ON DECK SATURDAY

  • Texas Tech will look across at another Top 25 opponent this weekend as Texas heads to Lubbock ranked No. 22 in the AP Top 25 and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Red Raiders are 1-1 in their two other contests against ranked foes already this season after edging then-No. 25 Houston, 33-30, in double overtime two weeks ago before falling at No. 16 N.C. State, 27-14, this past Saturday.
  • Texas Tech is one of only two schools in the country that will begin its season by facing three opponents ranked in the top 25 of either of the two polls. Florida, the other school to do so, has split games with No. 7 Utah and No. 20 Kentucky and will face No. 11 Tennessee this weekend.

GOOD TO BE HOME; BIG 12 PLAY STARTS WITH TEXAS

  • Fresh off its first loss of the season, Texas Tech returns to the friendly confines of Jones AT&T Stadium Saturday afternoon for the 72nd all-time meeting with in-state rival Texas. It will be the 63rd-consecutive season Texas Tech and Texas have met on the gridiron.
  • The Red Raiders and Longhorns will open Big 12 Conference play against each other for a third-consecutive season after Texas opened league with wins in each of those two contests. The series has resulted in several close games in recent years as Texas has escaped Jones AT&T Stadium via one-possession wins in each of its last three trips to Lubbock.
Tyree Wilson

TEXAS TECH, TEXAS SET FOR 72ND ALL-TIME MEETING

  • Texas Tech and Texas will meet for the 72nd time in history and the 63rd-consecutive year Saturday afternoon at Jones AT&T Stadium. The Longhorns control a 54-17 all-time advantage in the series, which includes a 22-10 mark in games played in Lubbock.
  • The Red Raiders will be looking for their first win over Texas at home since the memorable 2008 victory against the top-ranked Longhorns. Since then, the Longhorns have departed Lubbock with a win in each of their last six trips, including a 63-56 overtime victory in 2020. Five of those meetings have been determined by 10 points or less as Texas’ current winning streak at Jones AT&T Stadium is the longest all-time in the series.
  • Texas enters this weekend riding a four-game winning streak over the Red Raiders, who last topped the Longhorns in 2017 in Austin. It was the second-consecutive win for the Red Raiders in the state capital, marking the first time in program history that Texas Tech had won back-to-back road games over its in-state rival.
  • Texas Tech used some late-game heroics in both of those wins as Jakeem Grant hid behind the offensive line before scampering 40 yards around the left side to the end zone to give Texas Tech a 48-38 lead with 2:41 remaining in the 2015 victory. Justus Parker, meanwhile, picked off a Sam Ehlinger pass with just over two minutes remaining in 2017, setting up a Cameron Batson touchdown from Nic Shimonek that was followed by a Douglas Coleman III interception to seal the victory.
  • Texas heads into this weekend’s matchup ranked as high as No. 19 nationally, making this only the third time since 2013 where one of the two schools has entered the game ranked in the polls. Prior to the 2013 season, at least one of the two schools entered the annual matchup ranked nationally in each of the previous 15 meetings from 1998-2012. The two exceptions came in 2018 when Texas was ranked 19th and then in 2020 when the Longhorns were No. 8 nationally.

TEXAS TECH, TEXAS CONNECTIONS

  • This weekend’s matchup will pit Texas Tech tight ends coach Josh Cochran against his alma mater. Cochran, who was a student assistant coach for the Longhorns under Charlie Strong in 2014, was a three-year letterwinner for Texas from 2011-13, making 23 starts on the offensive line where he was a Freshman All-American in 2011.
  • Texas Tech passing game coordinator Marcel Yates will recognize several faces on the Texas sideline this weekend dating back to his time as an assistant at Boise State. Yates, who spent nine years as an assistant with the Broncos (2003-11) and two more as defensive coordinator (2014-15), worked along Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski as position coaches from 2006-09 before Kwiatkowski became defensive coordinator in 2010. Yates ultimately replace Kwiatkowski as Boise State’s defensive coordinator in 2014 following two seasons (2011-12) as the co-defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.
  • In addition to Kwiatkowski, those Boise State staffs featured Texas co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Jeff Choate, who served as special teams coordinator and a position coach from 2006-11.
  • Both Yates and defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter both worked alongside Texas director of football performance Torre Becton at Cal. DeRuyter and Becton were on staff together for four-straight seasons from 2017-20, while Yates joined the Bears for only one season in 2020.
  • Texas Tech also has one former Longhorn on its roster in senior defensive back Tyler Owens, who saw action in 27 games with one start over three years in Austin. Owens totaled 12 tackles during his Texas tenure to go along with a punt block, which, ironically, came against the Red Raiders as part of a back-and-forth 2020 contest in Lubbock. Owens has now blocked a punt in two of his three career games at Jones AT&T Stadium after getting his hands on one in the season opener versus Murray State.

TEXAS TECH CAREER NOTABLES AGAINST THE LONGHORNS

  • Donovan Smith saw the most-significant action of his career in the 2021 meeting against Texas as he came off the bench to rush twice for six yards and a touchdown. Smith, who had limited action the week prior against Florida International, found the end zone on Texas Tech’s final touchdown of the afternoon, which came via a one-yard scamper with 6:40 remaining in the game.
  • Prior to his first 100-yard outing earlier this season versus Murray State, Loic Fouonji’s best performance of his career likely came a year ago at Texas as the then-sophomore hauled in two passes for 78 yards, which included a 69-yard touchdown strike from Henry Colombi midway through the third quarter. It was only the second touchdown of Fouonji’s career to that point as he set a career-high for receiving yards that have since been broken.
  • Austin McNamara has had several memorable performances in the punting game against Texas as he is averaging 48.1 yards per attempt off 11 attempts the past three seasons, considerably higher than his already impressive 46.1 career average.
  • Dadrion Taylor-Demerson recorded the first interception of his career against Texas a year ago to go along with five stops and two pass breakups. Taylor-Demerson added two more interceptions later in Big 12 play to lead the Red Raiders with three on the season.
  • SaRodorick Thompson might be the most-experienced Red Raider against Texas besides Frye as he has totaled 16 carries each of the last three meetings versus the Longhorns, resulting in 244 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Thompson carried for 86 yards and a score in the 2019 meeting between the two teams before breaking loose for 104 yards in 2020, which featured a 75-yard touchdown scamper late in the fourth quarter. It was the third of five career 100-yard games now for Thompson, who added 54 rushing yards on the ground a year ago against Texas. He’s also caught seven passes for 26 yards over his three career games as well.
  • Tyree Wilson has recorded a sack in each of his two career meetings against Texas as he has five tackles overall and a quarterback hurry. The 2020 meeting versus Texas marked Wilson’s debut as a Red Raider after missing the season opener against Houston Baptist.
Donovan Smith

CRABTREE RETURNS TO LUBBOCK FOR CFB HALL OF FAME CAMPUS SALUTE

  • Michael Crabtree will return to Lubbock this weekend as part of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, which will recognize his upcoming induction into the most stories body of college football greats. Crabtree will be honored during Saturday’s game with a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at Texas Tech to honor his induction. The NFF began its On-Campus Salutes with its inaugural class in 1951, a tradition that continues today.
  • Crabtree, a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner and recent inductee into the Texas Tech Ring of Honor, will become the sixth Red Raider in program history to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame when he is enshrined Dec. 6 in Las Vegas. Crabtree was selected in only his first year as a nominee following a national vote by the National Football Foundation.
  • Crabtree will join a prestigious group of fellow Red Raiders already in the College Football Hall of Fame, a list consisting of E.J. Holub (inducted in 1986), Donny Anderson (1989 class), Dave Parks (2008 class), Gabe Rivera (2012 class) and Zach Thomas (2015 class).

RAIDER WALK RETURNS UNDER MCGUIRE

  • Texas Tech has brought back the Raider Walk. It begins prior to every home game at Jones AT&T Stadium as the football program debuted an improved route under new head coach Joey McGuire. Fans can greet the Red Raiders roughly two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff each Saturday as Texas Tech will unload the team buses immediately south of the Sports Performance Center and walk north down Drive of Champions Avenue to the home tunnel. The Goin’ Band from Raiderland and Texas Tech spirit squads will be on hand each week to cheer on the Red Raiders as they begin pregame preparations. Fans are asked to line the streets prior to the team’s arrival and then enjoy other pregame entertainment such as Raider Alley presented by Bud Light.

TICKETS WILL NOT LAST FOR THIS ONE

  • The excitement for this year’s Big 12 opener has been felt at the ticket office as Texas Tech has roughly 1,000 tickets remaining as of Monday morning. If the game ultimately reaches sellout status, it will mark the sixth time in series history where at least 60,000 fans have packed Jones AT&T Stadium for the annual matchup with the Longhorns.
  • The excitement over Joey McGuire’s hire has been felt across Texas Tech Athletics since last November as the athletics department has seen significant increases in ticket sales heading into the season opener. As of Sunday, Texas Tech boasts more than 7,000 new season ticket holders this year, pushing its total to more than 28,000, which ranks in the top 10 all-time in school history.
  • In addition to the rise in ticket sales, McGuire experienced sold out crowds throughout the state of Texas as part of the Red Raider Club  Wreck’Em Tour. McGuire, who spoke to more than 50 groups since his hire this past year, sold out events in Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland, Abilene, San Antonio and Houston as part of the tour to greet donors and supporters throughout the state. Texas Tech also benefited from sold out crowds in Lubbock with more than 1,300 fans who attended the Red Raider Club Kickoff Luncheon prior to the season.
  • The hype is real: Game one of the Joey McGuire era marked the largest home opening crowd (58,823) since 2016 when Tech hosted Stephen F. Austin (60,097).

–TECH–

Release provided by MATT BURKHOLDER  Texas Tech Athletics
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