Skip to main content

Texas Tech squares off with an old — and future — conference rival when it hosts the Houston Cougars on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.

Texas Tech (1-0) started the Joey McGuire era with a relatively easy 63-10 win over Murray State, which plays in the FCS. The win came at a cost, however. Red Raiders starting quarterback Tyler Shough suffered an injury that will keep him out for the next two to three weeks. His backup, Donovan Smith — who started a few games for Tech last season — should be this week’s starter.

Houston (1-0) is coming off a triple-overtime win over UTSA, 37-35. The Cougars are considered one of the favorites to win the American Athletic Conference this season. Cincinnati is the defending champion and beat the Cougars in the league’s title game last season.

Houston and the Red Raiders used to be in the same conference — the Southwest Conference. Houston joined the league in the late 1970s after a long period of being an independent program. When the SWC broke up, Texas Tech joined the Big 12 and Houston was left out in the cold, until last September, when the Big 12 invited Houston, BYU, Cincinnati, and UCF to join the league.

So, the two teams have quite the history. Saturday’s game will be the 34th meeting, and it also ends a home-and-home arrangement the two teams signed long before Houston had a Big 12 invite. Last year’s meeting, at NRG Stadium in Houston, saw the Red Raiders win, 38-21. Texas Tech has won four straight over Houston and nine of the last 10 meetings.

In-game updates will appear after kickoff. 


Texas Tech took the football first with Donovan Smith starting at quarterback for the injured Tyler Shough. The Red Raiders drove into Houston territory and inside the 10-yard line as Texas Tech had to settle for a field goal. Trey Wolff's 25-yard field goal capped off an 11-play, 68-yard drive that gave the Red Raiders the lead with 11:26 left in the first quarter. Texas Tech 3, Houston 0

After forcing Houston three-and-out on the Cougars' first possession, a 67-yard punt put the Red Raiders inside their own 20-yard line. The Red Raiders had to punt and Houston returner Nathaniel Dell took the punt to the house for what appeared to be the Cougars' first touchdown of the game. But, Houston was called for a roughing the kicker penalty on the play, which gave the Red Raiders the football back with a fresh set of downs with 7:46 left.  

The fresh set of downs didn't help as the Red Raiders went three-and-out again, but a Houston personal foul penalty for unnecessary roughness gave the Red Raiders a second fresh set of downs. That led to a Houston time out, as coach Dana Holgorsen was displeased with his team's back-to-back personal fouls that gave Texas Tech extra possessions.

Texas Tech ultimately couldn't make good on its 'third chance' and punted again. This time, Houston didn't commit a penalty to keep the drive alive and the Cougars took over at their own 9-yard line with 3:58 left in the first quarter. 

Houston was making its move down the field late in the first quarter as Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune connected with Ta'Zhawn Henry for a 17-yard gain that put the Cougars near midfield. But, Texas Tech forced a fumble and Dadrion Taylor-Demerson recovered the ball with 2:41 left in the first quarter. 

From there, the Red Raiders ended up going three-and-out after the Cougars defense continued to pressure Smith and the Red Raider offense. The ensuing punt put the Cougars at their own 14-yard line after a 36-yard punt and a holding penalty on Houston with 1:21 left.

Houston was driving and was facing 1st-and-10 at the Cougars 47 when the quarter ended. Texas Tech 3, Houston 0, end of first quarter


Houston started the quarter on offense at its own 47. The Cougars left on offense quickly, but Texas Tech nearly had an interception on a Tune pass that Red Raiders Rayshad Williams dropped, despite it hitting him in the numbers. Houston's punt left the Red Raiders at their own 1-yard line with 13:55 left in the second quarter. 

Texas Tech wasn't able to do much on offense, but Austin McNamara's 53-yard punt should have put the Cougars in their own territory. But, Houston's Nathaniel Dell had a 35-yard return to put the Cougars at the Red Raider 19, which was their best field position of the day to that point.

Tune navigated the Cougars inside the Red Raiders' 10-yard line, but he and the Cougars were unable to convert that into a touchdown on three plays. Bubba Baxa's 24-yard field goal tied the game with 11:17 left in the second quarter. Texas Tech 3, Houston 3

On the ensuing drive, the Red Raiders found the end zone, as Smith connected with Nehemiah Martinez on a 43-yard touchdown pass over the middle, breaking a tackle to reach the end zone with 10:10 left in the second quarter. Texas Tech 10, Houston 3

The Red Raiders had a chance to add to their lead with 2:39 left in the second quarter on a 45-yard field goal from Wolff, put he pushed it and the Cougars took over with one more chance to put points on the before before halftime. 

On the next drive, Houston drove into Texas Tech territory but failed to convert a fourth down that gave the Red Raiders about a minute to get into scoring range before halftime. Smith connected with Myles Price on a crossing route and he took it 54 yards to the end zone with 18 seconds left. It was Smith's second touchdown pass of the game. Texas Tech 17, Houston 3

Houston ended the half with the football and down 14 points. Texas Tech 17, Houston 3, Halftime


Houston started the third quarter with the football and Tune went right to work, as he connected with Dell for a 63-yard pass to inside the Red Raider 5-yard line. Brandon Campbell cashed in with a 2-yard touchdown run to help the Cougars cut the Red Raiders' lead in half with 13:24 left in the third quarter. Texas Tech 17, Houston 14

On the ensuing possession, Red Raiders offensive lineman Weston Wright went down with an injury on the second play of the drive. Wright needed help getting off the field. Jacoby Jackson came in to replace Wright. The Red Raiders ended up punting on the drive, as Houston took over at its own 10-yard line. 

Houston failed to turn that possession into much, and the Cougars punted it away, with Texas Tech taking over near midfield with 8:16 left in the third quarter. 

Texas Tech looked like it would have to punt quickly before a 22-yard run by Smith moved the chains and the Red Raiders into Cougars territory at the 38-yard-line. But Smith followed that a few plays later by throwing an interception, picked off by Houston's Art Green. There was also a 15-yard penalty on Texas Tech, which moved Houston to the Red Raider 43 with 5:25 left. 

The Cougars had a shot at at least a field goal, but a great play by Texas Tech's Kosi Eldridge led to a 15-yard sack of Tune and pushed the Cougars back to the Red Raider 30. Baxa attempted a 48-yard field goal and missed it left with 2:24 left, meaning Eldridge's sack costs the Cougars at least three points. 

Texas Tech had the football as the game moved to the fourth quarter, up seven points and in Houston territory. End of third quarter, Texas Tech 17, Houston 10.


On the first play of the fourth quarter, Smith ran a play to the right and fumbled, but Landon Peterson appeared to recover it. Texas Tech then went for it, but Smith slipped to the ground short of the first down, and Houston took over at its 37 with 14:08 left. 

The Cougars tried to put together a game-tying drive, but Tune took a shot downfield and the Red Raiders' Reggie Pearson picked off the past to stop the drive and give Texas Tech the football. There was 12:41 left in the game. 

Houston's Jayce Rogers picked off a Smith pass on the ensuing drive. He jumped a route in the slot and there was no doubt he was going to score on the play, which became a 54-yard touchdown return. The extra point tied the game with 12:25 left. Texas Tech 17, Houston 17

Martinez gave the Red Raiders good field position with a kickoff return to the Texas Tech 35-yard line. Texas Tech was backed up to the 10-yard line due to a penalty. The Red Raiders were able to move the chains on the first series of plays, but Rogers went down with an injury on the 11-yard catch by Tyler King with 12:01 left. 

Texas Tech continued the drive, with Smith converting a fourth-down pass to JJ Sparkman to the Cougars 29. The play was reviewed and the play stood, giving the Red Raiders a fresh set of downs.

With 7:45 remaining, Smith and the Red Raiders got back to work and converted another third down on a Smith run, putting the ball at the Cougars 20. On the next play, Smith was called for intentional grounding and the Red Raiders were pushed back 10 yards. Two plays later, Smith nearly had a touchdown pass on a back shoulder fade to Jerand Bradley, but he couldn't make the catch. Then, Garcia missed the field goal and the game remained tied with 5:30 left. 

Houston took over after the missed field goal at its 41-yard line, but a holding call pushed it back 10 yards. Then, the Cougars committed another holding call. Houston was unable to convert a first down and had to punt. The Red Raiders took over at their own 23 at the punt. But a penalty on Texas Tech for an illegal block in the back set the ball back 10 more yards with 1:47 left. 

The Red Raiders, deep in their own territory, tried to take a deep shot on third down, but Smith threw an interception to Houston's Gervarrius Owens, who returned it to the Texas Tech 21 with 57 seconds left. 

With no time outs, Houston took over trying to set up a game-winning field goal. Bexa came into attempt a 35-yarder. He made it with 37 seconds left, but the Red Raiders would get the ball one more time. Houston 20, Texas Tech 17

Texas Tech got the ball back with 37 seconds left at its own 25. On the first play, Smith ran the ball all the way to the Houston 47 with 28 seconds left. A couple of plays later Smith completed another pass to Loui Fouongi get the Red Raiders to the Cougars 37 with 17 seconds left. Smith hit Bradley on an out route to get the Red Raiders closer to field goal range. The Red Raiders decided to down the ball at the Cougars 30 to set up Wolff for a 47-yard field goal. He pushed one earlier in the game. 

After Houston took a time out to try and ice him, Wolff split the uprights to tie the game. Houston 20, Texas Tech 20


Houston got the ball first and moved the chains on a short run by Tune on third down. Two plays later, Tune connected with Matthew Golden for a 15-yard touchdown pass to push Houston ahead. The extra point was good. Houston 27, Texas Tech 20 

Texas Tech then took the football and Smith was sacked by Houston's Derek Parish on the first play. Smith was then flushed out of the pocket and threw the ball away on second down. On third down, Smith was flushed out and Parish sacked him again. On fourth down, with the need to either move the chains or score, Smith connected with Bradley for a first down. 

Tahj Brooks then rushed to inside the 5-yard line. Brooks followed with a rushing touchdown. The extra point was good. Houston 27, Texas Tech 27


The Cougars started with the football first. They drove inside the 5-yard line, and the Red Raiders nearly picked off a slant route pass from Tune in the end zone on third down. Baxa kicked a field goal to give Houston the lead. Houston 30, Texas Tech 27

Texas Tech took over with a chance to win the game with a touchdown. The Red Raiders needed two plays to convert the first down and looked much sharper than the previous drive. Smith ran in the game-winning touchdown on a quarterback keeper to end the game. Final score: Texas Tech 33, Houston 30