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It’s hard to believe that this will be the 12th year since Mike Leach last roamed the sidelines in Lubbock. It’s also been 12 years since Tech has been relevant in college football. I wonder if there might be a connection there. The program has regressed considerably in the last five years as the Raiders have a 14-31 record in the Big-12 while suffering through 5 consecutive losing seasons. During the glory years Texas Tech trotted out one great quarterback after another but the cupboard has been a little bare lately. They need that to change in 2021.
Offense: The Red Raiders might have the answer at QB with Oregon transfer Tyler Shough. In his lone season as the starter at Oregon, he led the Ducks to the Pac-12 title albeit it was only 7 games. He threw for 223 yards per game with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. He will definitely be an upgrade for Tech but one has to wonder why leave Oregon for Texas Tech? There had to be some problems in Eugene. There is a solid stable of running backs led by SaRodorick Thompson and the offensive line returns 3 starters. Leading receiver Erik Ezukanma (46 catches for 748 yards) is a future star.
Defense: Every year Texas Tech says they are going to be better on defense and while they are improving, they still are average at best. The linebacking position looks good as both leading tacklers, Colin Schooler and Riko Jeffers return. There are 3 transfers to help a secondary that struggled in 2020. They lost defensive lineman Eli Howard who finished in the Top-10 all-time in sacks at Texas Tech. It remains to be seen if the defense improves.
9/4 at Houston
9/11 Stephen F. Austin
9/18 Florida International
The season opener with Houston is not on the Cougars home field but it is in Houston so I rate it a road game. This is a 50/50 game at best for the Raiders. The other two games are at home and are must wins.
9/25 at Texas
10/2 at West Virginia
10/16 at Kansas
10/23 Kansas State
10/30 at Oklahoma
11/13 Iowa State
11/20 Oklahoma State
11/27 at Baylor
The schedule has 2 road games to start the conference season at Texas and at West Virginia. It is very possible the Red Raiders will start the conference at 0-2. They have a game at Kansas that they must win and go to Oklahoma (no chance) before ending the season at Baylor. If they could win 2 of those it would be good. The first two home games are against TCU and Kansas State and they could win those. They close the home schedule with Oklahoma State (who struggles in Lubbock) and Iowa State.
Summary: Texas Tech has to hope that Shough works out at QB. That would solve a lot of problems. They have to win a couple of games they shouldn’t and hope they play well on the road.
Predicted Finish: 9th Place in the Big-12
Overall Record: 4-8
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