LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The 2019 season opener has arrived for the Red Raider Football team, and here are my three keys to victory for them to beat Montana State and start the Matt Wells era off - the right way.
The Home Field Advantage: This one sounds pretty basic, but it is huge for Texas Tech. For the last 20-years, the Red Raiders haven’t lost a home opener (1999 against North Texas was the last home opener loss.)
And, that is a huge reason why Coach Wells and many others, like coach Beard, have gone out and made appearances trying to get fans out for the season opener.
“We’re excited to play in front of you in Jones stadium and just we under understand how important it is for us to play well at home in front of our fans and you’re our alumni and the players that have played in this program before us,” Wells said at his weekly news conference. “We take that as an honor to do that but also a tremendous responsibility to play well in front of our home people.”
Slow down Montana States rushing attack: Every year, there are plenty of FCS programs that have pulled off the upset against FBS schools.
Well, if Montana State hopes to do that in 2019 they will look to utilize the running game. Last season, the Bobcats ran for over three thousand yards and 37 touchdowns.
With an offensive line returning four starters, don’t be surprised if they look to establish the running game and try to dominate the time of possession.
Don’t underestimate: Any time a team like Texas Tech plays an FCS program, this has to be a key... last year, the Red Raiders started the season “Guns a Blazin” against Lamar, and I am willing to be they want to do the same.
But, Montana State is no pushover. They enter the season ranked No. 17 in the FSC, and will most likely be a tougher game for the Red Raiders than UTEP. The Bobcats will put up a fight but the Red Raiders will look to be too effective and should take control to win the game.
But here is the bottom line - don’t overlook this team, otherwise, they might surprise you.
“It’s a very, very good team that’s coming in here," Wells said. "We’ll have to be very well prepared, we will have to be very ready for this team.”
Prediction: The odds are stacked in the favor for the Red Raiders. Vegas has Tech favored by 25-points, and the ESPN Power Index gives them a 96.1-percent chance to win.
And I really like these odds.
The game will be more of a battle than the final score will indicate but I am going with Tech winning big, 48-17.