It’s that time of year again. The Texas Tech Red Raiders will take the field Saturday for what should be the start of an interesting season.
Will this be Matt Wells’ final season? Will Tyler Shough live up to the hype? Can Tech make a bowl game? There are many questions surrounding this season for the Red Raiders. But one thing is for sure, this team has a lot of talent.
Without further adieu, here are how I think this season will go for the Red Raiders.
Game 1: vs Houston (at NRG Stadium)
Texas Tech begins with a “neutral site” contest against Houston. This should be a barn burner, and Houston will be good enough to keep it close. Regardless, Tech’s Linebacker core will cause problems for Clayton Tune, who’s prone to turnovers. Tyler Shough shows out in his debut, giving Tech the opening week win.
Score: Tech 38, Houston 30
Game 2: vs Stephen F. Austin
There’s not much to say here. The Lumberjacks are a team Texas Tech should roll through. It’ll be a good opportunity to see some of the backups get a chance as well. Tech wins big in its home opener.
Score: Tech 58, SFA 14
Game 3: vs Florida International
FIU didn’t win a conference game last season, meaning this should be another easy game for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have had many 3-0 records in non-conference, this season should be no different.
Score: Tech 49, FIU 17
Game 4: at Texas
Not the easiest of opponents to start conference play against. Texas Tech has won two of its last three in Austin, but there’s no reason to believe the Red Raiders will win this. Despite the changes within Texas’ program, this is a game they should win.
Score: Tech 27, UT 48
Game 5: at West Virginia
Texas Tech has had West Virginia’s number the past two seasons, with last year’s game being extremely close. This game will also be close, but the Mountaineers’ defense will be the difference in this one.
Score: Tech 31, WVU 34
Game 6: vs TCU
The Red Raider defense had a hard time stopping Max Duggan on the ground last season, as he rushed for over 150 yards and three scores. I see Duggan having another good rushing game, but this time, he won’t get the win. Texas Tech will need a potent passing attack in this one, which is something its receivers can surely provide.
Score: Tech 27, TCU 24
Game 7: at Kansas
I’m aware of what happened the last time Tech visited Lawrence, but I’m also sure that will never happen again. The Red Raiders have had questionable performances against the Jayhawks in recent years, but they’ll make a statement this year. Tech crashes Kansas’ homecoming with a dominant victory.
Score: Tech 42, KU 16
Game 8: vs Kansas State
The Red Raiders always let a victory against Kansas State slip away from them. It’s seemed to have happened countless times. Unfortunately, I think this happens again this season. This is one of those games where I predict Matt Wells to make a fatal coaching error that costs Tech. He’s bound to have at least one of those moments this season.
Score: Tech 30, KSU 33
Game 9: at Oklahoma
Let’s be honest with ourselves, this is the best team Lincoln Riley has had at Oklahoma. This game will be in Norman too. As much as I try to be optimistic, it’s hard to see Tech keeping this game close.
Score: Tech 21, OU 52
Game 10: vs Iowa State
Oklahoma and Iowa State two weeks in a row. That’s brutal. Facing another Big 12 favorite, the easy pick is the Cyclones. The home-field advantage might help, but the Cyclones just have too much talent.
Score: Tech 17, ISU 35
Game 11: vs Oklahoma State
This is another game where I’m predicting Matt Wells to have a Matt Wells moment. Tech will keep this game close, but Wells will find some way to mess it up like he did last year. Oklahoma State escapes Lubbock with a narrow victory.
Score: Tech 45, OSU 48
Game 12: vs Baylor
There’s a lot of hype around Baylor this season and I just don’t see it. With bowl eligibility on the line (perhaps for both teams), the Red Raiders find a way to win in the final seconds. Texas Tech has a six-win season.
Score: Tech 30, Baylor 27
Final Record Prediction: 6-6 (3-6 Big 12)
I think 6-6 is a fair prediction for this team. With the right coaching, this team can win 7-8 games. But alas, we all know Tech doesn’t have that. The talent of this team should see Tech through to a bowl game though. One of the best transfer QBs in Shough, one of the best Big 12 wide receivers in Erik Ezukanma, and a deep Running Back group and Linebacking core. Whether Tech wins its bowl game or not is another story, but I think Red Raider fans would be happy to just see Tech in a bowl game. All things considered, it should be an interesting season on the South Plains.