3. Texas Tech is playing with nothing to lose.
The Red Raiders seemed to play with little or no pressure last weekend against Iowa State, squeezing out the somewhat-of-an-upset win against the Cyclones by a 62-yard field goal as time expired. In that 41-38 win, Texas Tech proved that it can be a talented team — especially when they’re hosting in Lubbock.
The Red Raiders haven’t won consecutive Big 12 contests in more than three years and will certainly be hungry for another upending victory in terms of the conference title race.
2. The Texas Tech offense is talented.
Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith had a smashing first start to his college career last Saturday, completing 25-of-32 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns in the Red Raiders’ 41-38 win against Iowa State.
Smith began the season as Tech’s third-string quarterback and has taken advantage of the opportunity provided to him by injuries to both quarterbacks originally ahead of him.
Smith has some serious weapons at the skill positions: look no further than wide receiver Erik Ezukanna. The 6-foot-3 junior had 10 catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys last year, and he’s continued to be a big-play threat for the Red Raiders in 2021.
1. Home field advantage
The Texas Tech football program has never been elite, of course, but they’ve typically been a formidable opponent to face when it’s playing at home. In the 60 night games in Lubbock in the last two decades, the Red Raiders have won 43 (nearly 75 percent). That’s statistically significant for a team that hasn’t finished with a winning record since 2015.
There are some wacky things that can happen when the tortillas come flying — or maybe it’s the miles that you have to put in to reach this solitary West Texas outpost.
Texas Tech won on OSU’s last trip to Lubbock in 2019 by a score of 45-35.