The Texas Longhorns are kicking off their Big 12 slate against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin in what will be Steve Sarkisian's first game as the programs new head coach.
The Red Raiders, who are led by third-year head coach Matt Wells, are hoping for a turnaround season after finishing 2020 with a 4-6 record and missing out on the post-season.
In preparation for the matchup, Longhorns Country sat down with Red Raider Nation's Phil Mayer to break down everything Texas fans need to know about Week 4's matchup at DKR.
Longhorns Country: Matt wells is entering his third season as the Texas Tech head coach. What are the expectations for the program heading into 2021?
Mayer: The expectation for the program right now is to make a bowl game. The team has failed to do so in both of Matt Wells' first two seasons, and in year three, it's time for him to show some progress if he wants to keep his job.
Longhorns Country: Landing Tyler Shough was a major win for the Red Raiders. What has been the word around the QB competition so far?
Mayer: I think it's Tyler Shough's job to lose. He has the best blend of experience and talent in that quarterback room and should be the starter. Henry Colombi is fine as a backup but is fairly limited. Behren Morton could turn into a very good player, but he would really have to impress in practice to leapfrog Shough as a true freshman.
Longhorns Country: Tech’s offense was inconsistent last season. What has to happen for them to take the next step in 2021?
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Mayer: With Sonny Cumbie coming in at offensive coordinator and Shough likely replacing Alan Bowman at quarterback, the pieces are in place for Tech's offense to make a leap. Shough has a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Erik Ezukanma; those two will be a scary duo if Shough plays to his potential and Ezukanma is recovered from the broken arm he suffered in the spring. I expect Cumbie to institute a more aggressive passing attack than last season's, which should open up space in the run game. With a new offensive coordinator and quarterback -- and offensive line stalwart Jack Anderson gone -- there is a lot of unknown in this offense, but it has the potential to be much better if Shough is as billed.
Longhorns Country: Tech returns arguably the most experienced defense in the Big 12. What are the expectations for that side of the ball?
Mayer: I don't think anyone expects Texas Tech to have a dominant defense, but with a fair amount of talent returning, it should be more consistent than it was last season. The defense looked decent in some games but turned in embarrassing performances against Houston Baptist and Oklahoma. Colin Schooler, Riko Jeffers, and Krishon Merriweather form an impressive linebacker group. The big question is the secondary, which lost its best and most versatile player in Zech McPhearson. Tech brought in a bunch of transfers to juice that unit, and if those guys step up, the defense could be well-rounded, if unspectacular.
Longhorns Country: Texas has dominated this series as of late. What is your prediction for the game?
Mayer: I think Texas rolls on with another win. Tech almost upset the Longhorns last year, but that will be harder to do in Austin. Give me Texas by 10 points.
How do you feel about the Longhorns matchup with Texas Tech? Comment and join in on the discussion below!
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The Texas Longhorns are kicking off their Big 12 slate against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin in what will be Steve Sarkisian's first game as the programs new head coach. Subscribe for full article
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