Here is everything you need to know about the Red Raiders’ home opener in our Texas Tech vs. Lamar Preview.
3 p.m. Central Time, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
TV: FSN, Fox Sports Go app (Brendan Burke, David Anderson, Christian Steckel)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network; Sirius 134/XM 199
Fun Fact: Texas Tech has won 18 consecutive home openers. The last time they lost a home opener was Sept. 18, 1999 when North Texas defeated the Red Raiders 21-14 during Spike Dykes’ final season at the helm. Tech would upset No.5 Texas A&M 21-19 the following week, providing the defending Big 12 Champions with an 0-1 conference record. The loss to Tech prevented the Aggies from winning back-to-back Big 12 South Championships. Mack Brown’s Texas team would claim the title with a 6-2 record despite losing to Texas A&M in the season finale.
QB Darrel Colbert
The senior quarterback completed 12-of-15 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns against NAIA foe Kentucky Christian. It’s worth noting that he threw one interception, considering FCS teams normally blow NAIA teams out of the water. Any mistake against subpar competition glares.
S Willie Sykes
It’s been a rough road for Sykes. Prior to the start of Heartland College Sports, I worked for Scout.com and was in attendance for Sykes’ signing at Spring High School. He signed with Arkansas and spent one season under Bret Bielema. He transferred to Texas Tech where he joined Lonzell Gilmore, who signed his National Letter of Intent at the table next to Sykes. The fall has brought Sykes to Lamar now. It’s clear Sykes has the talent to compete in the Power Five conferences. Expect him to come into this game with a chip on his shoulder.
Will McLane Carter return? If he does, will he keep his job? Kliff Kingsbury has been known to keep quarterbacks on the sideline after an injury. Let’s not forget the Baker Mayfield vs. Davis Webb dilemma in 2013. Both of those quarterbacks got hurt during the season, and the starter became whoever had been healthiest the longest. True freshman Alan Bowman showed amazing potential after being thrust into the game on short notice. Bowman is the quarterback of the future for this Red Raiders team. It’s not a matter of if he will start, but when he will start.
Despite being tabbed as the top secondary, Tech was no match for the wide receivers of Ole Miss. Of course, the Rebels didn’t face Jah’shawn Johnson. But how much impact would Johnson really have made? Sure, he’s a crucial player. Is he the glue that holds this defense together though? The main question on eveeryone’s mind this week: Is he ready to play? He missed the Ole Miss game with a shoulder injury, and Ole Miss exposed the weakness.
This school brought back football in the 2010 season. They’ve played numerous NAIA schools in that time, trying to strengthen their win total. This is a program picked 10th out of 11 teams in the Southland Conference. The only school they were picked ahead of is also an upstart program in Houston Baptist.
This team has a history of being hampered by injuries, and they’ve already suffered two critical injuries. They must get healthy, strengthen their confidence, and build up momentum. Lamar put up 70 on Kentucky Christian. It would make the fanbase feel good if Tech put up 70 on the Cardinals.
Prediction: Texas Tech 70, Lamar 10. I can see Lamar scoring in garbage time against Tech’s backups. This Lamar team went 3-9 last season, allowing more than 30 points per game. This should get out of hand quickly.