Red Raiders face Wyoming in 2023 season opener Saturday night
LUBBOCK, Texas (News Release) -After a long but productive fall camp that began Aug. 4, it’s time for Texas Tech to kick off the 2023 football season.
The Red Raiders are set to travel to Wyoming for game No. 1, its first season opener at a true road opponent’s stadium since a 2013 victory at SMU, and it will be the first trip to Laramie for Tech since 1991.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT as the Red Raiders seek their fifth straight win dating back to the end of last season, notching a 42-25 win over Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl.
Television coverage will be provided by CBS with Rich Waltz behind the mic.
He will be joined by former Notre Dame All-American Aaron Taylor in the booth while Amanda Guerra will be covering action from the sideline.
Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Brian Jensen will have the call alongside analyst John Harris and sideline reporter Chris Level. The radio broadcast can also be heard on SiriusXM channel 109 or 203, as well as on the Varsity app.
TECH ENTERS 2023 WITH BIG EXPECTATIONS
- Texas Tech will kick off its 99th season of football Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie. The Red Raiders enter the season with expectations at their highest in more than a decade as Texas Tech enters the season ranked 24th in the USA Today AFCA coaches poll and receiving votes from the Associated Press. Tech is also picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 standings, its highest preseason prediction since the league moved to a division-less format in 2011.
RED RAIDERS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
- Texas Tech will be a preseason top-25 team for the first time since 2008 as the Red Raiders are ranked No. 24 in the USA Today AFCA coaches poll. Texas Tech is also the leading vote-getter among teams not in the Associated Press top-25 preseason poll.
- The Red Raiders received votes in both polls to close the 2022 season as Texas Tech picked up 19 points in the Associated Press rankings and then 13 points in the AFCA top 25. Based on total points, the Red Raiders closed 2022 ranked at No. 31 in the AP poll and then No. 32 in the AFCA poll.
TECH AIMS TO BUILD OFF STRONG END TO 2022
- Texas Tech closed the 2022 campaign on a four-game winning streak, its longest winning streak to end a season since the Red Raiders had a similar four-game run in 1995 during their final year in the Southwest Conference. With a victory over Wyoming in the season opener, the Red Raiders would boast their longest winning streak since being on the right side of the scoreboard over eight-consecutive games over the 2012-13 seasons. This will be only the second trip to Laramie all-time for the Red Raiders, who last visited Wyoming in 1991.
SHOUGH TAKES 8-1 RECORD TO WYOMING
- Tyler Shough will enter the season as Texas Tech’s starting quarterback for a third-consecutive season after earning the job following spring practices. The Red Raiders are 8-1 in games Shough has started the previous two seasons, which includes a 5-0 mark in 2022 alone. Shough closed the 2022 season by earning MVP honors in the TaxAct Texas Bowl after throwing for 242 yards and a touchdown, while also becoming the first Red Raider quarterback to rush for 100 yards since 1976. He found the end zone via his legs twice in the victory over Ole Miss.
IT’S BROOKS TIME AT RUNNING BACK
- For the past three seasons, Tahj Brooks and SaRodorick Thompson have formed one of the top 1-2 punches at running back in college football. With Thompson’s departure, it’s officially Brooks’ time for the Red Raiders as the senior has totaled 1,514 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns over the past three seasons.
- Brooks bested Thompson by only seven yards for the team rushing title in 2022, marking the second-consecutive year he has led the Red Raiders on the ground. Brooks, who had 691 rushing yards and seven touchdowns a year ago, will look to become the first Red Raider since Baron Batch (2008-10) to lead Texas Tech in rushing over three-consecutive seasons. In the process, he would become the ninth Red Raider since 1950 to lead the team in rushing in three different seasons.
TONY & JAYLON SHOW RETURNS
- Texas Tech’s prospects for the 2023 season got a boost this past December when the duo of Jaylon Hutchings and Tony Bradford Jr. announced their return for a final year of eligibility. The pair has formed one of the Big 12′s top interior units the past four seasons as they have combined to make 71 starts between the two with 254 tackles, 43,5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks.
- The duo combined for 66 pressures in 2022, according to Pro Football Focus, with Bradford leading the way with 35 followed by Hutchings with 31 of his own. The two combined to become one of only three FBS duos of interior defensive linemen to record 30 or more pressures each this past season. Hutchings was the third-highest graded interior defensive lineman (84.5) by PFF in the Big 12 last season and was ninth overall among his power-five counterparts. The nose tackle recorded 50 tackles on the season, which led all down-linemen, to go along with 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He has 149 tackles for his career, including 18.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
EXCITEMENT AT ALL-TIME LEVEL FOR 2023
- For months, Joey McGuire encouraged Red Raider fans to purchase their season tickets before it’d be too late. That time officially came in early August when Texas Tech announced it had officially sold out of season tickets for the 2023 campaign. In total, Texas Tech sold 31,649 season tickets for this season, which includes 6,511 new season tickets after an impressive debut for the Red Raiders under McGuire and his staff.
- In addition, Texas Tech has already reached sellout status for two of its first three home games against both Oregon and then Houston in its Big 12 home opener. Texas Tech’s capacity has been set for 56,200 for the 2023 season due to the ongoing construction on the south end zone portion of Jones AT&T Stadium.
- Over his two seasons as head coach, Texas Tech has added more than 13,000 season tickets since McGuire’s hiring in November 2021. Texas Tech previously sold 28,000 season tickets for McGuire’s debut season in 2022, which, like this year’s total, ranks among the top-10 highest season ticket counts in program history.
INSIDE THE WYOMING SERIES
- Texas Tech and Wyoming will face each other for only the sixth time in history on Saturday and the second time in Laramie. The Red Raiders are 2-3 all-time in the series versus the Cowboys, having won the original meeting, 39-0, in 1938 and then the most-recent contest, a 49-32 victory early in the 1992 season.
- This will be only the second trip to Laramie all-time for the Red Raiders, who last visited Wyoming in 1991. The Cowboys limited the Red Raiders to only 254 yards of total offense en route to a 22-17 victory.
- The Cowboys were also one of Texas Tech’s first bowl opponents in its history as the two schools previously met in the 1956 Sun Bowl. That was the eighth of now 40 bowl appearances in school history for the Red Raiders, who fell to the Cowboys, 21-14, in El Paso.
- Texas Tech will host one of its most-anticipated non-conference matchups in its history the second week of the season when Oregon travels to Jones AT&T Stadium. The Ducks, ranked 15th in both preseason polls, could potentially be the highest-ranked, power-five non-conference opponent to visit Lubbock since No. 1 Nebraska came to town during the second week of the 1994 season while a then-member of the Big Eight Conference. Texas Tech previously hosted No. 16 North Carolina State early in the 2002 campaign in another highly-anticipated matchup.
- The Red Raiders enter the 2023 season having won each of its last 16 non-conference games at home and 41 of its last 42 contests dating back to the 2002 season. The Red Raiders are also an impressive 48-2 overall in non-conference home games since moving to a spread offense in 2000.
- Texas Tech’s success against non-conference opponents from either the FCS level or a Group of Five conference is even more impressive as the Red Raiders have won each of their last 34 regular-season contests at home or on the road against non-power five members. In fact, Texas Tech has not dropped a non-conference game against a Group of Five foe since falling at No. 17 Houston, 29-28, early in the 2009 season. In addition, Texas Tech has not lost to an unranked, Group of Five opponent since New Mexico surprised the Red Raiders, 27-24, in 2004.
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