If it weren’t the first Texas Tech football game in over nine months, there wouldn’t be a whole lot to be excited about for Saturday’s matchup against Stephen F. Austin. The Red Raiders should make quick work of the Lumberjacks in a game that shouldn’t be close on the scoreboard.
But I would get hyped for a Texas Tech matchup against the 7th grade B team for which I was the backup quarterback, so I’m excited for Saturday nonetheless.
In honor of the beginning of the new season, I wanted to celebrate some of Texas Tech’s first notable games in program history – games from long before you and I stepped foot in The Jones to cheer them on.
October 3rd, 1925: THE FIRST GAME IN PROGRAM HISTORY
The Texas Technological College Matadors played their very first game against McMurry from Abilene. It was an anticlimactic 0-0 tie. The next week, Texas Tech tied Austin College from Sherman, Texas in a 3-3 tie. The Matadors finally broke through the next week, winning 30-0 over Montezuma College.
November 5th, 1925: THE BAPTIST BEATDOWN
In their highest scoring game and their largest ever margin of victory, Texas Tech beat neighboring Wayland Baptist from Plainview 120-0. Allegedly unrelatedly, Wayland Baptist discontinued their football program a few years later.
November 11th, 1939: “WHEN PUNTS RAINED FROM THE SKY”
Texas Tech travelled to Shreveport in 1939 to play the Centenary Gentlemen. The old phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs” could be adjusted to say “it was raining footballs”, quite literally.
The rain was so heavy and the field conditions so poor, both teams’ offenses were doing more harm than good by losing grip of the ball and slipping while running. To counter, each team decided to just start punting on 1st down each series to switch the field position and hope the other team fumbled the punt return way down field.
By the end of the 0-0 tie, the two teams combined for 30 total yards on offense and 77 punts. Texas Tech’s punter in the game, Charlie Calhoun, still holds (and will likely forever hold) the NCAA records for punts in a game with 36 and punt yardage in a game with 1,318.
Note: Baylor and TCU tried their best to break the record last season in similar rainy conditions, but fell 54 punts short in their double overtime bout.
September 28th, 1946: AN AWAITED ADVANTAGE AGAINST THE AGGIES
Between 1927 and 1945, Texas Tech played their east Texas rival Texas A&M six times, losing all six games. At a neutral site game in San Antonio (where the two schools played for eight years in a row) in 1946, the Red Raiders finally bested the Aggies. In the modern era, Texas Tech has gotten the better of A&M, winning 29 matchups to the Aggies’ 24 since 1958 and 10 out of 16 in Big 12 play.
September 17th, 1955: AT LONG LAST, A LACK OF LOSS TO THE LONGHORNS
Texas Tech and Texas first faced off in 1928. Between then and 1950, they played seven times, all Texas victories by a combined score of 186-32. But in their eighth meeting in 1955, the Red Raiders finally grabbed Bevo by the horns, winning 20-14.