One could say that Texas Tech is not a good football team.
And one would be correct.
But because it is the year 2021 (which is basically a redux of 2007 to this point), a not good football team can go on the road and win in the home stadium of the Mountaineers who recently knocked off a top 20 team.
And then we have to ask ourselves, is Texas Tech actually not a bad football team?
The Horned Frogs will have their chance to make the Red Raiders look either really bad or maybe not terrible when they travel west this weekend to play in Lubbock, a homecoming game under the lights.
Yes, TCU Football has become opposing team’s homecoming game.
The times, they are a changin’.
Let’s take a look at who they’ll be facing.
There was a point this summer when some “experts” were saying that Tyler Shough was going to be the first QB selected in the 2022 NFL Draft — and possibly the top overall pick.
Well, the Oregon transfer looked pretty average through the first three games of the season — though he did lead his team to an impressive come from behind victory over Houston in week one — before breaking his collarbone in the Red Raiders’ 70-35 loss to Texas. Shough will be out until mid-November, meaning former starting quarterback Henry Colombi is back behind center. The blond-locked Colombi wasn’t good in 2020; though he is at times a dynamic runner, he was an inconsistent at best passer, finishing with four touchdowns against three interceptions a season ago. He’s shown promise in three games so far this season, completely 70% of his passes and throwing for four touchdowns against one pick. He’s got nearly 600 yards through the air and nearly 50 on the ground, and has been integral to the Red Raiders’ 4-1 start.
It helps that he’s got some dynamos at the skill positions; Tahj Brooks is an exceptional running back that is picking up yards at an eight yard per carry clip. Xavier White and Sa’Roderick Thompson don’t have the eye-popping stats of their teammate, but they are dangerous runners in their own right and should give a TCU defense that has not proven it can even slow the run fits.
At wide receiver, well, Tech rarely has a shortage of talent there, and 2021 is no exception — though star Erik Ezukanma may miss some time as he nurses an arm injury. Should Ezukanma play, he will be a threat: the speedster 23 receptions for 406 yards and a score, with a long of 75 in four games played. If he doesn’t play, a depleted TCU secondary will still have to deal with Kaylon Geiger (21/314/1), Loic Fouonji, who has come on strong in the last two games, and senior Dalton Rigdon, who is a reliable target for whoever is throwing the ball.
Tech isn’t a laughingstock on this side of the ball anymore, regardless of what Texas did to them a week ago.
Now, this isn’t an elite defense, but it does have some star power, and Matt Wells has done a good job completely rebuilding a unit that has been about as dangerous as a West Texas tumbleweed for most of this century.
Even with that 70-burger that the Burnt Orange put up, the Red Raiders are allowing 30 points, and recently held a pretty good West Virginia team to just 20 in Morgantown, and hasn’t allowed more than 22 points a game — albeit it meh competition — otherwise. The Red Raiders allow just over 100 yards per game on the ground and about 270 through the air, and have been pretty good at rushing the passer, with 11 sacks by nine different players. Defensive linemen Jaylon Hutchings and Tyree Wilson lead the team with two sacks apiece. Six different players have an interception on the season and linebacker Colin Schooler — an Arizona transfer — has been as good as advertised leading the team with 44 tackles and six QB hits. Schooler versus Max/Zach should be fun... if Evans gets the ball.
Here’s the deal: Texas Tech isn’t as bad as they have been, and playing at night in Lubbock is never normal. But, if you’re TCU, and you’ve lost two games and you’re facing a backup quarterback, well you damn sure better win this game.
The Horned Frogs are at a reckoning and the Red Raiders are looking for respect. TCU is the more talented team, but based on what we have seen the last two weeks, are we convinced that matters?
I think it will Saturday.
TCU Football 35, Texas Tech 22.