Texas Tech vs. Houston Baptist
When: 7:00 p.m. Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock
Records: Texas Tech (0-0); Houston Baptist (0-1)
Last meeting: No previous meetings
What’s at stake?
In a normal year with a 12-game schedule and multiple tune up games this game would mean almost nothing. But since 2020 isn’t a normal year and this is far from a normal schedule, this game has importance for Texas Tech.
Since the turn of the century, Texas Tech football is undefeated in home openers, a perfect 20-0. The last loss came in 1999 when Spike Dykes’ squad lost 21-14 to North Texas. This game will be vital for Texas Tech to shake off the rust of a shortened spring, nonexistent summer, and shortened preseason camp all in one game.
When Texas Tech has the ball
Offensively the Red Raiders took a step back in 2019, which makes sense when the starting quarterback misses nine games in a season. Texas Tech put up 30.5 points per game last season (53rd in FBS) down from 37.3 points per game in 2018. Last year’s squad of skill players were mostly comprised of underclassmen who will be juniors and seniors this season and have another year under Ned Yost’s offense to better familiarize themselves with the plays.
Additionally, last season Texas Tech was without its best offensive player for the final nine games: offensive lineman Jack Anderson. A healthy Anderson and Alan Bowman should dominate a defense that just gave up 57 points to a North Texas team in its first game breaking in a new quarterback.
Look for a heavy dose of up tempo balanced offense with SaRodorick Thompson tearing it up on the ground and Bowman dropping quick passes all over this Husky defense.
When Houston Baptist has the ball
Nothing about the Husky offense works without star quarterback Bailey Zappe. The senior gunslinger threw for 480 yards and three touchdowns without an interception against North Texas last week and could do some damage to a Texas Tech defense that struggled mightily last season.
This year’s iteration of the Red Raider defense should be a marked improvement thanks to the help of moving Adrian Frye back to his natural position at cornerback and the added depth from transfers, including former all-conference linebacker Colin Schooler from Arizona.
Struggles in a season opener should be expected, especially during an offseason this difficult. Houston Baptist will put up a fight and will end up putting up a few big plays on this defense to make the game interesting early, but ultimately Texas Tech’s talent will win out.
Zappe’s turnover troubles will be brought up by this aggressive Red Raider defense and the porris defense of the Huskies won’t be able to stop Bowman through the air or Thompson on the ground. Texas Tech will pull away in the second half and keep pouring it on with the starters to get as many snaps as possible together in a real game so that the Red Raiders take full advantage of their only nonconference game.
Score: Texas Tech 45, Houston Baptist 21
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