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The Texas Tech Red Raiders are set to face the Houston Cougars of the American Athletic Conference for the fourth time in six seasons when they welcome the Cougars to Lubbock on Saturday during Week 2 of the young college football season.

The Red Raiders have won the last four meetings dating back to 2010, including a 38-21 win last season at NRG Stadium. But it's Houston who leads the all-time series 18-14-1 dating back to the days of the Missouri Valley and Southwest Conferences.

The Cougars were an impressive 12-2 last season with a perfect 8-0 record in conference play. They fell just short of an AAC championship after falling 35-20 to the Cincinnati Bearcats, who became the first non-Power 5 program to make the College Football Playoff in January.

Houston had some major playmakers on offense last year, though there are some slight changes in personnel on that side of the ball as the team looks for revenge over Tech after last season's Week 1 loss.

Despite finishing fifth in the AAC in offensive yards per game (413.9), the Cougars led the conference in total offensive yards (5,794) by the season's end. The team was also the conference leader in total passing yards (3,802) despite being third in offensive passing yards per game (271.6). Houston was second in total points scored (502) and was third in points per game (35.9). The rushing offense was one of the team's few weaknesses, as the Cougars had the third-fewest rushing yards per game (142.3).

The Cougars pulled off a thrilling 37-35 win over the UTSA Roadrunners in triple overtime Saturday, as Houston's defense stopped the Runners from converting the game-tying two-point conversion to send it to a fourth overtime.

With one game under their belts, let's look at the Houston offensive weapons the Red Raiders will be going up against when factoring in last year's performance as well. 

QB Clayton Tune

Tune went 22 of 32 passing for 206 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks in Saturday's win over UTSA. He also led the Cougars in rushing with 15 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown while also running for the go-ahead two-point conversion in the third overtime. 

Houston's offensive success last season started and ended with Tune, who opened up 2021 with an abysmal four interceptions against the Red Raiders. After that game, he would only throw six picks over the final 13 games of the season, with his best performance coming on Oct. 30 against No. 19 SMU. Tune threw for 412 yards and four scores with no interceptions as the Cougars picked up their seventh-straight win, a streak that eventually ended at 11.

Tune's 3,546 passing yards were good for second in the AAC last season and he was tied for second with 30 passing touchdowns. His poor play against Tech last season should light a fire in the senior as he looks for a major bounce-back in Lubbock.

WR Nathaniel Dell

Much like last season, Dell was Tune's top target in Week 1, leading the team in catches (five) and receiving yards (50) while adding two touchdowns 

Dell showed some streaky play to begin the season but finished as arguably one of the best receivers in the country, let alone in the AAC. He finished off the year with 100 or more receiving yards in five out of the last seven games. Four of those games saw him have 150 yards or more. 

In terms of national production, Dell was tied for fifth in touchdowns (12) and was 12th in receiving yards (1,329). No other Houston receiver had more than 500 yards. With the connection he has with Tune only set to get stronger this season, the 5-10, 155-pound Daytona Beach native should be in for a monster game against a Tech secondary that surrendered the most total passing yards (3,197) and passing yards per game (266.4) in the Big 12.

RB Ta'Zhawn Henry

Henry took a bit of a backseat to USC transfer Brandon Campbell on Saturday, as he only had eight carries for 25 yards compared to 15 carries for 49 yards for Campbell. 

Alton McCaskill, Houston's leading-rusher from a season ago, suffered a torn ACL in April, leaving Henry in line for a lead-back role. Henry, a former Red Raider, showed flashes last season. At 5-7, 170-pounds, the Houston native is quite undersized but has proved that means little as a speedster out of the backfield on handoffs or run-after-catch scenarios.

He finished last season with 111 carries for 513 yards and seven scores. Henry's best game came against South Florida, as he had 10 carries for 130 yards and a touchdown, most of which came on a 97-yard touchdown run. 

WR KeSean Carter 

Carter was quiet in Saturday's win, totaling three catches for 10 yards. 

Another former Red Raider, Carter possesses game-breaking track speed and could take the top off of Tech's defense, who will likely have eyes focused on Dell. Carter didn't reach full potential last season after a foot injury forced him into season-ending surgery in December. He did end his year off on a high note though, tallying a season-high 123 yards on six grabs in his final game against USF.

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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