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Conference Opening Showdown: Previewing Texas vs. Texas Tech

Steve Sarkisian's Texas Longhorns will open Big 12 play at home against their in-state rival Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Texas Longhorns will begin their 2021 Big 12 slate against their heated in-state rivals, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, in Austin at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Steve Sarkisian will be looking to open his first conference slate as the new Texas head coach on a strong note, with substantial expectations facing his program following the 2-1 start to the season.

After a disappointing 2020 season, Texas Tech is off to a great start of their own, however, sitting at 3-0, including an impressive win over the Houston Cougars on opening weekend. 

The Red Raiders have also been breaking in a new signal-caller in incoming quarterback transfer Tyler Shough, who came to Lubbock from Oregon after starting for the Ducks last season.

Texas Tech

Texas leads the all-time series VS Texas Tech 53-17 and has won three straight games in the series, including 17 of the last 21 matchups since the 2000 season.

2021 Record: 3-0

Head coach: Matt Wells

Matt Wells is 11-14 in three seasons as the Red Raiders head coach and is 55-48 overall in his career.

Offensive set: Air Raid

Defensive set: 3-4

Returning starters on offense: 6

The Red Raiders have made vast improvements so far this season, ranking 26th in the country in scoring offense (40.0 ppg), 36th in total offense (441.3 YPG), 63rd in rush offense (170.7 YPG), and 41st in pass offense (270.7 YPG).

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Projected Texas Tech starting offense

QB: Tyler Shough

RB: SoRodorick Thopson *

WR: Erik Ezukanma *

WR: Trey Cleveland

WR: Myles Price

TE: Travis Koontz *

LT: T.J. Storment

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LG: Weston Wright *

C: Dawson Deaton *

RG: Josh Burger *

RT: Caleb Rogers

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Returning starters on defense: 8

Texas Tech will be bringing one of the most experienced defensive units in the Big 12, including eight seniors and three juniors, eight of which are returning starters. The defense was a weak point for Texas Tech last season, but so far through the first three games of the season, the Red Raiders have improved greatly, ranking 28th in the nation in total defense (290.3 ypg), 88th in pass defense (236 ypg), 5th in rush defense (54.33 ypg), and 59th in scoring defense (21.3 ppg).

Projected Texas Tech starting defense:

DE: Tyree Wilson *

DT: Jaylon Hutchings *

DT: Tony Bradford Jr. *

LB: Riko Jeffers *

LB: Colin Schooler *

LB: Krishon Merriweather *

LB: Bradon Bouyer-Randle

CB: Adrian Frye

SS: DeMarcus Fields *

FS: Eric Monroe *

CB: Marquis Waters

(* = Returning starter)


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