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Texas Tech will square 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.

Below, the staff of the Red Raider Review predicts the outcome of Saturday's game.

Timm Hamm, Editor-in-Chief: Although Houston might be looking for a bit of revenge for last year's loss to Tech, it won't happen this weekend. Look for a much-improved Red Raiders team to dominate early and often. Texas Tech 41, Houston 16

Logan Collier, Staff Writer: This in-state battle should be a barn burner, but Texas Tech comes out on top. Texas Tech 49, Houston 35

Zach Dimmitt, Staff Writer: Tech quarterback Donovan Smith has a tough test in front of him after having just a week to prepare as the starter following Tyler Shough’s injury. The Red Raiders have had a mini in-state rivalry going with the Cougars over the past couple of seasons. 

Many of Houston’s top players on both sides of the ball are former Texas Tech players, making this matchup all the more intriguing. For me, it comes down to if Tech’s defense can hold up against a Houston offense that returns many of the same key weapons from a season ago, weapons like Nathaniel Dell and Clayton Tune that propelled the Cougars to a triple-overtime win over UTSA on Saturday. 

Even on the road, I think the Cougars’ added motivation from last season's loss gives them a slight edge. Houston 31, Texas Tech 27

Matthew Postins, Staff Writer: Don’t read too much into Texas Tech blowing out Murray State. That was an average FCS team. Don’t read too much into Houston needing three overtimes to beat UTSA last week. 

The Roadrunners won 12 games last year. Texas Tech won this game on the road last year. Turnabout is fair play, right? Houston 31, Texas Tech 24

Cole Thompson, Staff Writer: The Cougars are coming off a grueling win against UTSA on the road. They'll be coming for blood in Lubbock against Donovan Smith and the Red Raiders offensive line. Houston 38, Texas Tech 20

Connor Zimmerlee, Staff Writer: Houston looked beatable against UTSA in Week 1, but they shake off the rust and secure a road win over Texas Tech. Houston 35, Texas 28

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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