It’s year three of the Matt Wells era at Texas Tech, and there are more questions than answers about the Red Raiders going into this season. They are replacing their starting quarterback and lost some other key players off of last year’s team that went 4-6 on the season. Oregon transfer Tyler Shough is expected to get the nod at quarterback after leading the Ducks to the Pac 12 championship last season.
FanDuel has set the over/under on wins for the Red Raiders at five. At first glance, it looks doable. Let’s take a deeper dive.
September 4 vs. Houston, Houston, Texas (NRG Stadium)
Dana Holgorsen’s Houston Cougars have struggled, finishing 4-8 in his first season and 3-5 in 2020. Vegas thinks this game will be close, making Texas Tech a 2.5 point favorite. I don’t have a strong feeling on this one, so I’m going with Vegas.
September 11 vs. Stephen F. Austin
Texas Tech should take care of Stephen F. Austin easily. Stephen F Austin moves into the Western Athletic Conference in 2021, which is sponsoring FCS football for the first time since it moved away from FBS football a decade ago. They’re not a particularly good FCS team.
September 18 vs. Florida International
Florida International finished winless in Conference USA last season. There’s no reason not to think Texas Tech takes care of business here.
September 25 at Texas
Last season’s matchup between these two teams went to overtime before Texas got the 63-56 win. There have been a lot of changes with both programs since that game, but I’m going with Texas in this one.
October 2 at West Virginia
West Virginia beat Tech by a touchdown last season. This one may be close, but I’m going with the Mountaineers.
October 9 vs. TCU
TCU beat Tech 34-18 last season and with all the question marks coming into this season for Tech, it’s hard to predict a victory in this one.
October 16 at Kansas
Tech beat Kansas 16-13 in last season’s finale. They should be able to get the win here.
October 23 vs. Kansas State
K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson suffered a season-ending injury in a 10 point victory over Tech last season. Assuming Thompson is healthy for this game, K-State should have enough to get the victory here.
October 30 at Oklahoma
Oklahoma beat Tech 62-28 last season. This year the game is in Norman. The easy pick is OU.
November 13 vs. Iowa State
Iowa State won the game against Tech 31-15 last season and the Cyclones are one of the favorites in the Big 12 this year. I’m going with Iowa State.
November 20 vs. Oklahoma State
Tech played Oklahoma State tough last season, losing 50-44. Oklahoma State figures to have a good team once again. This one could be close, but the slight edge goes to the Cowboys. Prediction: Loss. November 27 at Baylor
We’re at four wins, one win away from a “push” on the over/under. I can see this game going either way. Baylor returns a lot of players on defense, which should be the strength of their team. I’m going with Baylor because of home-field advantage.
Season Prediction: 4-8
Best Case: 7-5. It wouldn’t shock me if they get to seven wins. Baylor, West Virginia, and K-State are winnable games depending on how the season plays out.
Worst Case: 3-9. The Red Raiders should start the season 3-0, but the Houston game will likely be a close one. I don’t see them winning less than three.