No. 25 Houston visits future Big 12 opponent Texas Tech

No. 25 Houston (1-0) at Texas Tech (1-0), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (FS1)

Line: Texas Tech by 2 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Houston leads 18-14-1, but Texas Tech has won the past four meetings.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The former Southwest Conference rivals meet for the final time before becoming conference opponents again in the Big 12. Houston coach Dana Holgorsen wants to answer last year’s loss to a familiar foe from his days at West Virginia. The Mountaineers won the last five meetings with Texas Tech before Holgorsen left to take over the Cougars in 2019. Houston ran off 11 consecutive victories after a loss to Texas Tech in the 2021 opener before losing to then-undefeated Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference championship game. It’s the first Lone Star State opponent for Red Raiders coach Joey McGuire, a lifelong Texan who spent the previous five seasons at Baylor after winning three state high school state championships.

KEY MATCHUP

Texas Tech defense vs. Houston QB Clayton Tune. The Red Raiders had four sacks, including two from Philip Blidi, among 13 tackles for loss against Murray State. In last year’s 38-21 loss to Texas Tech in the opener, Tune tied his career high with four interceptions.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston: WR Nathaniel Dell caught the first two Houston touchdowns in the opener against UTSA, then had the 2-point conversion catch that ended up being the difference in a 37-35 victory in double overtime. He finished with five catches for 50 yards. Dell had seven catches for 80 yards and a TD against Texas Tech last year.

Texas Tech: QB Donovan Smith will get the start after replacing an injured Tyler Shough, just as he did last year. Shough injured the same left shoulder as a year ago, when he was limited to four games. Smith threw four touchdown passes in last week’s 63-10 victory over Murray State.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is Texas Tech’s first ranked nonconference opponent in the regular season since No. 17 Houston was a 29-28 winner at home 13 years ago. The Red Raiders have lost 13 consecutive games to ranked nonconference opponents since a 24-14 victory over No. 20 Arizona at home in the 1989 opener. … The Cougars have won seven consecutive regular-season road games, their longest streak since a nine-game run from 1987-89. … Texas Tech had 12 plays of at least 20 yards in the opener, and is tied for the most nationally. … Holgorsen was on Mike Leach’s staff at Texas Tech from 2000-07. After five years as the inside receivers coach, he was co-offensive coordinator for a season and offensive coordinator for two. … Shough, Smith and Behren Morton each threw at least one TD pass against Murray State. It’s the first time three QBs have thrown a touchdown pass in the same game since Texas Tech went to its pass-happy offense under Leach in 2000.

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