Houston vs Texas Tech Football: Saturday will be an in-state clash for the Lone Star State when Houston and Texas Tech faceoff at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.
Time: 4:15 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Click here to Watch Live Stream free in HD
Houston enters the game riding an early 2-0 record after an impressive 45-18 win over Arizona last week. Quarterback D’Eriq King has established himself to be a big playmaker, putting up 566 yards with seven touchdowns this year. He also has 64 rushing yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns.
Texas Tech hit a bump in the road early in the season when quarterback McLane Carter sustained an ankle sprain in Week 1. Carter’s injury came in the first quarter of the Red Raiders’ 47-27 loss to Ole Miss. Freshman Alan Bowman got the nod in Carter’s absence and has delivered with 555 yards and three touchdowns in two weeks.
If athletic director Kirby Hocutt is to be believed when he says that he expects to see progress from Kingsbury this year, then it is fair to assume that a losing season will likely spell the end of the current regime. And after six years, there would be ample evidence to support such a move.
No one can accuse Hocutt of not giving Kingsbury time to grow as a coach and figure out how to turn the Texas Tech football program into a Big 12 contender. Through all of Kingsbury’s growing pains as a first-time head coach, he has had the unwavering support of his AD, even when that support has defied popular opinion.
But consider what Kingsbury will have to accomplish if his team can’t figure out a way to knock off Houston this week. A loss would put the Red Raiders at just 1-2 headed into Big 12 play.
That would mean Kingsbury would have to go 5-4 in conference play just to reach bowl eligibility. Considering that the Red Raiders have averaged just 3.2 Big 12 wins per year in Kingsbury’s first five seasons, imagining any scenario in which the Red Raiders manage to find five conference wins might be a bit too much for even the most optimistic of fans.
In fact, the five-win plateau is something that Tech has not reached in league play since 2009, the final year of Mike Leach’s run on the South Plains. In the eight seasons since, Tech has struggled to even win four Big 12 games, accomplishing that meager feat only three times (2012 under Tommy Tuberville and in 2013 and 2015 with Kingsbury).
Another factor that puts an even greater importance on this week’s game is the three-game Big 12 gauntlet awaiting the Red Raiders following the Houston game. Next week, the Red Raiders open conference play with a night game against Oklahoma State, which Tech has not beaten since 2008. What’s more, Tech currently sports a 7-game losing streak in Stillwater where it has not won since 2001.