Big 12 Previews

Texas Tech vs. Tarleton State: Preview, Prediction, and Game Odds

Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the matchup between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Tarleton State Texans.


Saturday, September 16; 6:00 PM (CT); Jones AT&T Stadium; Lubbock, Texas


Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network

Records: Texas Tech (0-2), Tarleton State (2-0)

Rankings: N/A

Series History: First Ever Meeting

Last Meeting: N/A

Spread: N/A

Fun Fact: Texas Tech heads into Saturday’s matchup boasting a 20-game win streak against FCS opponents dating back ton 1988. The Red Raiders have lost just one FCS matchup dating back to 1978, with North Texas shocking Texas Tech 29-24 during the 1988 season.





Whether it’s by design or not, offensive coordinator Zach Kittley has been relying on quarterback Tyler Shough heavily to move the football in the ground game, and for better or worse, that comes at the expense of Tahj Brooks. Brooks is one of the most talented running backs in the Big 12 Conference and while he hasn’t seen nearly enough carries in the Red Raiders’ first two games, with Tyler Shough carrying the football 23 times on Saturday against Oregon, Brooks will need to step up to take some of the workload off of Shough. Brooks averaged an impressive 11 yards per carry against the Ducks but with only six carries to show for it, Texas Tech may need to switch things up a bit against Tarleton State on Saturday.


While Texas Tech is heading into Week 3 with a record of 0-2 following tough losses against Wyoming and Oregon, the Red Raiders defense has been solid in both games. While fans can point to the Oregon game and mention that holding someone to 30 points may not be a great outing, keeping a top 15 team within reach following a game where they put up 81 points should not be lost on Red Raider fans. Senior safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson has been a big part of that and currently checks in as the leading tackler for Texas Tech. Taylor-Demerson enters Week 3 with 16 total tackles, putting him well on the way to a potential 100 tackle season.




Tarleton State wideout Keylan Johnson had one of the most impressive performances in all of college football against North Alabama bringing in six catches for 219 yards and four scores. Johnson made four house calls on the day with a 13-yard score, a 64-yard score, a 55-yard score, and a 16-yard score to help propel the Texans to a 52-31 win. The 5-foot-11 sophomore will have a significantly tougher matchup against Texas Tech on Saturday but anytime a player puts up 28 points in one game by himself, he instantly becomes a player to watch.


While Tarleton State did come away with an impressive win against North Alabama, the Texans weren’t spectacular on the defensive side of the ball. The unit gave up a total of 31 points to the Lions and while that was enough to get the win against North Alabama, Texas Tech likely won’t be the same way. The lone bright spot for Tarleton State came in the form of junior linebacker O’tay Baker who returned an interception 50-yards for a score to put the game on ice. Texas Tech QB Tyler Shough is no stranger to the turnover bug and if Taylor can get his hands on an interception against the Red Raiders, things could get trickier for Zach Kittley’s offense.




It is high time for Joey McGuire and company ton get in the win column following two brutal losses in Weeks 1 and 2. While Tarleton State is currently listed with a 1.2% chance of taking down Texas Tech, the Red Raiders can use Week 3 as a tune up to inspire confidence from the team while approaching Big 12 play on September 23rd. One sleeper storyline to follow in Saturday’s matchup is the likelihood of seeing sophomore quarterback Behren Morton. While Tyler Shough should handle Tarleton State with ease, if the Red Raiders get up big fans might get a glimpse at Morton, which could lead to some interesting conversations to watch for as the season continues.


While Texas Tech’s 26-1 record against FCS opponents may seem pretty bleak in terms of walking out of Lubbock with a win, there is not a better time for the Texans to take on the Red Raiders. Following back-to-back losses against Wyoming and Oregon, the Red Raiders have some questions to address on their plate and while it should be a challenging task to compete with McGuire’s group, Tarleton State could have very easily been playing a top 25, 2-0 version of the Red Raiders at this point in the year.



Texas Tech is done messing around. While the Texans technically have a chance to pull of the upset and shock fans in Lubbock, there is no way that Joey McGuire will be heading into Big 12 play winless. Tyler Shough, Tahj Brooks, and the offense should comfortably move the football and look like the dark-horse Big 12 team that fans expected this season. Tech gets their first win of the 2023 season.

To Top