1. Texas Tech vs. Texas 11/05
Most of us Tech fans are still thinking about the 2015 game. On a rainy night in Austin, Texas, a place the Red Raiders had not won at since 1997, Kliff Kingsbury led his team to a win over its biggest rival. From the Devin Lauderdale/Jakeem Grant immaculate reception, to Tech's putrid defense giving away the lead in the 4th quarter (again), and the fumblerooski play by Grant to seal the win, this was a game Red Raider fans will remember for a long time.
Last year the Texas Longhorns fell off a cliff (by most standards) under second-year head coach Charlie Strong. They finished 5-7, missing a chance at a bowl game for the first time since 2010. Texas was ranked 100th in total offense in 2015. Yes, you read that correctly. They were 122nd in passing but fortunately, 28th in rushing. This kept Texas afloat in most games. Their defense though was ranked near the bottom of the FBS at 106th.
Unlike most of the teams on this countdown, Texas has a lot of talent returning. They did lose RB Johnathan Gray, even though he was injured most of last year, and DT Hassan Ridgeway, who was drafted by the NFL in the fourth round. However, both QBs are returning from last year in Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard. RBs D'Onta Foreman and Chris Warren III (We all remember him) are also returning. Foreman was the team's leader in rushing last season with 681 yards and 5 touchdowns. Texas' leading receiver John Burt is returning along with Armanti Foreman. The only receiving threats Texas is losing are second leading receiver Daje Johnson and Marcus Johnson. Texas has most of their defense returning, including LB Malik Jefferson. Outside of Ridgeway, Jefferson was the team's best defensive player last year. He was a freshman All-American and Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Texas' run game kept them alive in last year's game against Tech. Warren III ran for 276 yards and 4 touchdowns. Swoopes added 98 more along with 2 touchdowns. The biggest reason I felt Tech won last year was their passing game was far better than Texas'. Swoopes and Heard combined for only 64 yards and no touchdowns. Mahomes threw for 372. It seemed like every time the Longhorns had to go to the air, nothing worked.
With all the talent from Texas' running game last year returning, Tech's defense will have their hands full again. However, again I give Tech's passing game the edge because I believe Mahomes is a far better QB than Swoopes or Heard. It also remains to be seen if Texas will have a clear-cut starter or if both QBs will split time again. Swoopes and Heard both starting was not effective for Texas' offense last year and it showed in the game against Tech.
I see this game having the same script as last year's since both teams have lots of talent returning. Tech's offense will have to be sharp to make up for their defense's inability to stop Texas' running game. This game will likely come down to the final minutes to determine a winner just like last year. I believe it will be the most exciting game at the Jones this year. This is also a chance for Tech to do something they have not done since 1998, beat the University of Texas two years in a row. That's why I had to put it at the top of this list.
That concludes my countdown of the top 5 most intriguing games for Texas Tech football this upcoming season. Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Now let's get ready for another great season of Texas Tech football!