As a new contributor to VTM I wanted to take this as an opportunity to introduce myself. You've already seen a few of my postings. My name is Ryan and I graduated from Texas Tech in 2007. I grew up a fan of Notre Dame and Oklahoma, but that all changed once I arrived in Lubbock. I am die-hard Tech fan and an eternal optimist when it comes to Tech football as long as the Head Coach isn't someone named Tuberville. You've seen the other staff's predictions on how this season will turn out... here's mine. ---->
From a fan's perspective, there hasn't been a whole lot to be happy about from the 2014 campaign. Tech went 4-8 and had 82 hung on them by a former Tech QB and coach turned enemy, Sonny Cumbie. For a program used to hanging points on people, that one was tough to swallow. But even so, most fans still don't realize what Kingsbury has undertaken in Lubbock. From a depleted depth chart, to astronomical expectations, this was supposed to be easy... especially after starting 7-0 in 2013. Will Tech get over 5 wins this season? Let's find out...
Sept. 5th, Sam Houston State
This one has deja vu written all over it for Red Raider fans from week 1 of last year. Sam Houston, which went to the FCS semi-final game last year, gives Tech everything it can handle and more. Both offense and defense struggle in the first half and going into halftime, you start to hear grumblings all over The Jones. Whether it's Mahomes or Webb under center, people are already ready to push the panic button. In the second half, Tech settles down, gets a few turnovers after some halftime adjustments and Tech scores 21 unanswered to pull away, giving Tech their first win in 2015.
Texas Tech 45 - Sam Houston St 31 (1-0)
Sept. 12th, UTEP
UTEP runs around a little bit, puts a few on the board, but two early forced turnovers by Tech's defense puts this one away relatively early. UTEP makes it closer after some starters are pulled in the 4th quarter, but Tech wins, setting up the matchup with Arkansas next week. Game not as close as score indicates.
Texas Tech 52 - UTEP 35 (2-0)
Sept. 19th, at Arkansas
Texas Tech didn't looked outmatched by Arkansas until some untimely turnovers in the second half and the realization that Arkansas's OL was much more physical and dominant than Tech's smaller DL. Arkansas gets out in front, not by running, but by deep play action passes, catching Tech's safetys playing up. Tech answers with a screen to Washington that he takes to the house. This game is lower in score than most people might think. Arkansas is able to run, but not as freely as they did in 2014, but Tech's D holds in the 4th to give the offense a chance to drive for the winning score. Mahomes/Webb hit Grant on an out-n-up, wide open for the TD and the win. Kingsbury gets his first signature win since 2013.
Texas Tech 34 - Arkansas 31 (3-0)
Sept. 26th, TCU
82. TCU hasn't let Tech forget, not that they needed any help in doing so. This is one of the many rematches that has been driving the Red Raiders this off-season. Coming home to a rowdy crowd off a big win... no let down here. Tech wins and wins in shocking fashion. For reference see, Tech v. Nebraska 2005 and Tech v. OU 2009. Tech is ranked for the first time this season... Kingsbury tells his team to "calm down, we've seen this before. Don't get ahead of yourselves."
Texas Tech 63 - TCU 28 (4-0, 1-0)
October 3rd, Baylor (AT&T Stadium, Arlington)
To many Tech fans, Tech outplayed Baylor last year and should have won. A couple of calls that went against Tech and not against Baylor ruffled some feathers, but this one is pretty easy to see the outcome. Tech is catching Baylor early enough in the season to rattle Seth Russell and finally get over the new look Baylor Bears.
Texas Tech 45 - Baylor 38 (5-0, 2-0)
October 10th, Iowa State.... October 17th, at Kansas
One of the few W's Red Raider fans have been able to put on the calendar, have been the next two opponents, ISU and Kansas. Nothing changes here. Texas Tech is rolling and dark horse speculation starts in some circles, where in others, waiting for the implosion.
Texas Tech 56 - ISU 24 (6-0, 3-0)
Texas Tech 45 - Kansas 17 (7-0, 4-0)
October 24th, at Oklahoma
Tech rolls into Norman partying like it's 2008 and soon runs into the same result. The 7-0 start has just been enough of an emotional and physical drain that costly penalties and turnovers put the game out of reach by mid 3rd quarter. Lubbock outlets and national news headlines read: "Here we go again"
Texas Tech 31 - Oklahoma 48 (7-1, 4-1)
October 31st, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State has had its way with the Red Raiders since 2008. Only Texas has beaten Tech for the same length of time. That ends on a scary night in Lubbock. Halloween + Night Game + Tech Fans = WIN. Streak over. Jakeem Grant has a huge night and Justin Stockton runs a kickoff back for a TD.
Texas Tech 38 - Oklahoma State 28 (8-1, 5-1)
November 7th, at West Virginia
In 2013, Kingsbury shouted, "Fortune favors the bold", before the game winning drive. In 2014, a more cautious 4th and 3 punt from mid-field set up West Virginia's last second FG. This time, West Virginia makes it look slightly easier on this rainy November day. Tech keeps it close, but never really seems in the game. No bye weeks is starting to catch up with the team and injuries start to mount.
Texas Tech 31 - West Virgina 45 (8-2, 5-2)
November 14th, Kansas State
The resurgence of Bill Snyder continues to haunt the Red Raiders. On both sides of the ball, Tech looks exhausted and overmatched. Kansas State runs away with this one, sending Tech fans home early.
Texas Tech 24 - Kansas State 41 (8-3, 5-3)
November 26th, at Texas (Thanksgiving)
What a difference a bye week makes. Tech's D looks rested and energetic and they stifle what is again a hit or miss Texas offense without someone named McCoy under center. Ian Sadler and KeKe Coutee have big days and Dylan Cantrell adds a spectacular catch late to give Tech a season everyone can be thankful for.
Texas Tech 41 - Texas 28 (9-3, 6-3)
Bowl Game Prediction: Cotton or Holiday
Optimistic? Maybe. But Tech was able to hang with almost every team, including trading blows with TCU in the first half, before defeating themselves with penalties and turnovers. I think the change back to the 4-3 and an added emphasis on turnovers give Tech just enough breaks to take out some frustration on the Big XII.