Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Houston Cougars.
Saturday, September 10, 2022; 3 p.m. CT; Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
TV: FS1 (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Jake Jalivette)
Radio: Texas Tech: Texas Tech Sports Network; Sirius/XM Channel 136 or 200; Houston: KPRC 950 AM; Sirius/XM 390.
Records: Texas Tech, 1-0; Houston, 1-0.
Rankings: Texas Tech: Not Ranked (Associated Press FBS Top 25); Houston: No. 25.
Series History: Houston leads, 18-14-1.
Last Meeting: Texas Tech 38, Houston 21 (2021).
Favorite: Texas Tech (-3)
Fun Fact: This is the last game of a home-and-home series between the Red Raiders and the Cougars, which was contracted well before Houston was invited to join the Big 12 Conference in 2023.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
RB SaRodorick Thompson
With the injury to quarterback Tyler Shough, more of the load may fall to Thompson, who is well-equipped to handle it. On the career Tech list, he is tied for fifth in career rushing touchdowns (33) and is outside the Top 10 in career rushing yards (2,028). But, he’s now the rare Texas Tech back with at least 2,000 yards rushing for his career. He passed that mark against Murray State, a game in which he rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries against Murray State. He’ll be needed more this week.
EDGE Tyree Wilson
The move from a down-lineman stance to a stand-up edge rusher should agree with Wilson, who had 38 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks last season. He’s hoping to build on a an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention season in 2021 that concluded with Defensive MVP honors at the Liberty Bowl. Houston has plenty of weapons. Wilson is a player that can get to all of them.
QB Clayton Tune
He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country, even if you may not know him by name. If the Cougars were actually in the Big 12 this year, he’d be getting more love nationally. Tune threw for 206 yards in the Cougars’ triple-overtime comeback win over UTSA last week. But, he’s threw for more than 3,550 yards last season and dished out 30 touchdowns. He’s dangerous.
DB Gervarrius Owens
Houston has few defenders as good and as experienced as Owens, who enters his senior season coming off an All-American Athletic Conference First-Team campaign. He played in 13 games, had 52 tackles and tied for the team high with two interceptions. One of those was a pick-six. He’s consistent and he’s a playmaker.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
The Red Raiders are feeling good after destroying Murray State. But keep in mind they destroyed a middling FCS team. Texas Tech’s FCS game from last season, against Stephen F. Austin, nearly turned into a loss. The injury to Shough is tough. But Donovan Smith’s experience from last season should be invaluable to flattening the learning curve. Tech’s defense has the potential to be really good. But Houston is going to provide a much stiffer test. The takeaway after the first week is that you don’t want to oversell the Red Raiders’ blowout win as a sign that the team is significantly better just yet.
By the same token, you don’t want to oversell that Houston is in trouble after needing three overtimes — and overcoming a 14-point deficit at one point — to beat UTSA. The Roadrunners reached the Conference USA title game last year and will be heading to the American Athletic Conference soon, a nod to the quick turnaround head coach Jeff Traylor has executed. The Roadrunners are a quality Group of 5 program now. Plus, Houston was on the road. The Cougars clearly have things to work out, most notably on defense. Facing Texas Tech won’t be as BIG a step-up in competition for the Cougars as the Cougars will be for Texas Tech after facing Murray State.
PREDICTION: Texas Tech 37, Houston 30
Tech beat Houston on the road last season, one of their few early highlights from the season. I’ve covered this game before in Lubbock and Tech flat blew them out. This game should be much closer. But Tech gets an edge at home and Smith gives them something a little different at quarterback than Shough.