Aug. 30 @ SMU
Beginning of an era
This day is what Texas Tech football fans have been waiting for since December. The Kliff Kingsbury era begins on the road against the SMU Mustangs. This game should be closer than expected, with SMU returning its quarterback in Garrett Gilbert. SMU’s new offensive coordinator, Hal Mumme, along with former Tech head coach Mike Leach, developed the Air Raid offense. This game will test the Red Raiders new-look secondary and showcase its lightning fast offense.
Sept. 12 vs. TCU
Put your best foot forward
The Horned Frogs venture to Lubbock after losing to Texas Tech in Fort Worth in triple overtime. Not only will TCU come to town with a vengeance, it will also bring 15 returning starters – the second most in the Big 12 behind Texas. With two starting quarterbacks returning for TCU, its main strength is in the defense. This first conference game for Tech will be huge. In a league with such great parity, every win counts to put a team ahead of the pack.
Oct. 5 @ Kansas
Not buying it
At Big 12 Media Days last month, Kansas head coach Charlie Weis called his team a “pile of crap.” Be careful not to fall into the deception of overlooking Kansas because it’s Kansas. In the offseason, Weis signed 15 JUCO players and hauled in three transfers. Of the 15 JUCO athletes, three of them are three-star athletes. Furthermore, the Jayhawks play better on its home field. With Late Night in the Phog the night before in Lawrence, the home crowd is sure to be fired up. Overlooking this game could result in a loss if Tech isn’t careful.
Oct. 12 vs. Iowa State
This homecoming matchup is Texas Tech’s lone game in Lubbock during the month of October. Iowa State sophomore quarterback Sam Richardson played the final three games for the Cyclones, bringing experience to the team. This game should be a good opportunity for the Red Raiders to add to the win column.
Oct. 19 @ West Virginia
West Virginia lost three of its top offensive threats to the NFL Draft this past April. The Mountaineers’ run game, however, will be a force to be reckoned with on the road for Texas Tech. Juniors Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison, junior college transfer Dreamius Smith and Houston transfer Charles Sims lead the ground attack. Last season, Texas Tech was ninth in the Big 12 in rushing defense, but the story most likely won’t come on the defensive side of the ball. With WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen and Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, this game will be high scoring.
Oct. 26 @ Oklahoma
The last time the Red Raiders played in Norman, they snapped Oklahoma’s 39-game win streak with a 41-38 victory. Both teams have changed substantially since then. Tech gained a new head coach. Both teams lost starting quarterbacks. And, for the first time since the Big 12 had 10 schools, the Sooners weren’t picked to win the conference. While anything can happen under the lights of college football, a win would be a bit of a stretch.
Nov. 2 vs. Oklahoma State
Quarterback to coach
Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury joins Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy as a quarterback for his alma mater turned head coach of that same team. In recent years, Oklahoma State has finished at the top of the Big 12 due to its prolific offense. The Cowboys and Red Raiders are both deep in the receiver positions and should move the ball up and down the field. Tech’s advantage is that this ball game is played in Lubbock; however, that could not be enough to upset Oklahoma State.
Nov. 9 vs. Kansas State
Final home stand
This is the final home game for the Red Raiders in 2013. Defending Big 12 Champion Kansas State lost Heisman finalist Collin Klein but returns eight starters on offense. While the Wildcats only return a pair of starters on the defensive side of the ball, Kansas State has an abundance of players on defense that saw action last year. Most importantly, don’t underestimate Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. This game could come at a crucial time for Texas Tech if the Red Raiders are still short of six wins on the season.
Nov. 16 vs. Baylor
Return to upper echelon
Both sides won’t admit it, but these two teams battle each year in November to achieve turf in the upper echelon of the Big 12. The past two years Tech has lost to Baylor and found itself in the bottom half of the conference. Yet again, this game could make or break Tech’s bowl game chances for the season. Furthermore, with its depth at running back, Baylor will be a force to reckon with on the ground, something the Texas Tech defense has struggled with. While most people will point to the next game on the schedule for the Red Raiders, the Thanksgiving game at Texas, this game holds more importance to Texas Tech. Getting back to the upper half of the Big 12 starts with a win over Baylor.
Nov. 28 @ Texas
Turkey or steak?
Texas Tech finishes off the regular season with a Thanksgiving matchup at Texas. The biggest question for this game is whether or not junior David Ash will still have the reigns for the Longhorn offense at quarterback. Another factor that will play into this game is how injuries have plagued both teams. For Texas Tech to come out with a win, it must stop the trio of forces on the ground Texas has in juniors Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron and sophomore Johnathan Gray.
Compiled by Krista Pirtle
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