Texas Tech Hosts Houston as the Red Raiders Look to Get Back on Track
Texas Tech has fallen to 1-3(0-1) on the season, and in already on the brink of a failed season. The Red Raiders now welcome in a Houston Cougars team who is new to the Big 12 and hungry for that first conference win.
The Cougars are 2-2, 0-1 in the Big 12. Their 2 losses have came on the road at Rice, and at home against TCU. This team is in a very similar spot to where Texas Tech is at, the only difference is Houston didn’t come into the season with conference title aspirations.
Houston is lead by former Texas Tech QB Donovan Smith, who funny enough, lead the Red Raiders to an OT win against Houston last year in Lubbock. Smith has gotten off to a solid start for the Cougars this year, passing for 1,012 yards and 5 TD so far, with 3 INTs. Smith has had a 62.3 completion percentage, and has been a threat on the ground.
Everyone knows how good of a playmaker Donovan can be. He knows how to put his head down and get yards. Smith was a vital part to wins over Houston and Texas last year for the Red Raiders. As good as a playmaker that Smith is, he also has his flaws. He tends to make some bad decisions when under pressure, and tries to force some throws. Last season in the 4 games for Tech that Smith started, he threw 7 INTs. Donovan is a very talented QB, everyone knows that, but if you can get pressure on him, you can force some mistakes.
On the rushing end, Houston takes an RB by committee approach. Freshman Parker Jenkins and Sophomore Stacy Sneed make up the bulk of the carries for the Cougars. Jenkins has been the best back so far this year taking 28 carries for 147 yards and 3 TDs, while Sneed has taken 29 carries for 124 yards and 1 TD. Sneed is also a threat in the pass game as he has made 7 catches for 69 yards and a TD this season.
Both of these backs can cause issues for Tech if they get an opening. Both backs are averaging over 4 yards per carry and can kill you in open space. The front line is going to have to be ready for this rushing attack.
On the receiving end, Houston is led by sophomore Samuel Brown. Brown has caught 24 passes for 405 yards this season. Brown’s best game came against Rice, where he caught 9 passes for 138 yards. Brown has had to fill the shoes of former star Houston receiver Tank Dell, and he’s had a decent start in doing that thus far this season.
Defensively, Houston definitely has its flaws. In their 2 losses, the Cougars defense has allowed 79 points and has been killed through the air. Both Rice and TCU passed for over 300 yards and multiple TDs against this defense, and Tech might have to do the same to walk out with a W.
This game is one that Tech desperately needs to come out with a W. Now, I feel like I’ve said that for every game besides Tarleton this year, but this is truly a must-win if the Red Raiders want to try to salvage this season. My prediction? Tech wins 34-24.
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