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Red Raiders Week 4 Opponent Preview: Texas Longhorns

The Longhorns and Red Raiders will open up conference play against each other for the third-straight season

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will open up Big 12 play on Saturday, Sept. 24 in Lubbock when the Texas Longhorns come to town looking to get a win with a crowd that is likely to be the rowdiest of the season at Jones AT&T Stadium. 

It's the third-straight year that the heated in-state rivals will begin the conference slate against one another. Last season, the Longhorns obliterated the Red Raiders 70-35 in Austin. The loss marked Texas Tech's fourth-straight defeat against Texas, as the Longhorns easily lead the all-time series 54-17. 

Tech's loss in Austin seemed to signal the beginning of the end for Matt Wells' coaching tenure, as it was the first of three defeats that preceded his firing on Oct. 25, two days after a 25-24 loss against Kansas State. The Red Raiders had a 5-3 record at the time of his departure. 

But despite the loss, Tech finished with a better record (7-6) than Texas, as the blowout win for the Longhorns served as nothing more than bragging rights. The Red Raiders got to play in a bowl game while the Horns sat at home and watched. 

Last week here at, we previewed the Week 3 matchup with the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Now, let's look at what the Longhorns have to offer.

Texas Longhorns

2021 Record: 5-7 (3-6 in Big 12)

Offensive Scheme: Pro Spread

Defensive Set: Multiple 4-2-5

Head Coach: Steve Sarkisian

Sarkisian enters his second season at the helm in Austin after a disappointing 5-7 record last year. The Longhorns got off to a solid 4-1 start but proceeded to lose six in a row before winning their final game of the season. As a head coach, Sarkisian has a combined record of 51-42. 

Despite the losing season, the Longhorns were third in the Big 12 in total offensive yards per game (424.8) and were the second-best rushing offensive by average yardage (199.3). 

Perhaps luckily for the Red Raiders' defense, Texas will be without quarterback Casey Thompson this time around after he transferred to the Nebraska Cornhuskers this offseason. Completing only 18-23 of his passes, Thompson lit up Tech's defense to the tune of 303 yards and six total touchdowns last season. Breakout freshman receiver Xavier Worthy caught three of those scores on just five catches for 100 yards.

This time around, the role under center will be occupied by either the less-experienced Hudson Card or the star-studded Ohio State transfer who has still yet to complete a pass, Quinn Ewers. Based on Sarkisian's approach last season, both guys could see playing time. 

Projected offensive starters:

QB Quinn Ewers OR Hudson Card

RB Bijan Robinson

WR Xavier Worthy

WR Isaiah Neyor

WR Jordan Whittington

TE Jahleel Billingsley

LT Andrej Karic

LG Junior Angilau

C Jake Majors

RG Cole Hutson

RT Christian Jones

The Longhorns had almost an equally as poor defense as Tech did last season. Texas allowed the third-most total yards (5,107) and rushing yards per game (201.6) while allowing the fourth-most points per game (31.1). 

Texas also tied the Kansas Jayhawks for the fewest interceptions last season with just seven picks. 

Projected defensive starters:

JACK: Alfred Collins

DT Moro Ojomo

NT Keondre Coburn

BUCK: Ovie Oghoufo

WILL: DeMarvion Overshown

MIKE: Luke Brockermeyer

CB D'Shawn Jamison

CB Ryan Watts

STAR: Jahdae Barron

S Anthony Cook

FS Jerrin Thompson

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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