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Texas Longhorns 2021 Opponent Preview: Texas Tech Red Raiders

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. 

Texas Tech will be coming off of a disappointing 4-6 campaign under head coach Matt Wells, who is entering his third season as the leader of the Red Raiders program. 

The Red Raiders will also be breaking in a new signal-caller in incoming quarterback transfer Tyler Shough, who comes 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: 4-6 (3-6 Big 12)

Head coach: Matt Wells

Matt Wells is 8-14 in two seasons as the Red Raiders head coach and is 52-48 overall in his career.

Offensive set: Air Raid

Defensive set: 3-4

Returning starters on offense: 6

The Red Raiders offense was inconsistent last season, ranking 57th in the country in scoring offense (29.1 ppg), 38th in total offense (429.5 YPG), 64th in rush offense (162.8 YPG), and 33rd in pass offense (266.7 YPG).

READ MORE: Texas Commit Maalik Murphy and 2022 Class Targets Make Visits to Austin

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

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, with the Red Raiders ranking 99th in the nation in total defense (444.9 ypg), 101st in pass defense (258.8 ypg), 89th in rush defense (186.4 ypg), and 108th in scoring defense (36.7 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)

Newcomers to know:

QB Tyler Shough

If the Texas Tech offense had a weakness last season, it was quarterback play, and incoming transfer Tyler Shough is expected to help remedy that sooner, rather than later. Last season with Oregon, Shough played in seven games, completing 106-of-167 passes for 1,553 yards, with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.

LT T.J. Storment 

To help keep Shough upright, incoming transfer T.J. Storment will be charged with protecting his blindside at left tackle. Storment comes to Lubbock from another Big 12 rival, the TCU Horned Frogs, who will be joining his fifth different school in five seasons. Storment started at Old Dominion, before transferring to Fullerton College.  Storment would then join Colorado State, transferring to TCU the following season.

DB Marquis Waters

Another incoming transfer, Marquis Waters will be brought in to help secure the back end of the Texas Tech pass defense, which struggled mightily in 2020. Waters comes to Lubbock after spending four seasons with the Duke Blue Devils in the ACC.

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