Nov 24, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Keilan Robinson (7) runs for a touchdown while defended by Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive back Bralyn Lux (12) during the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Texas romps past Texas Tech into Big 12 title game

Jaydon Blue ran for 121 yards and a touchdown and Keilan Robinson scored on 10-yard run and a 95-yard kickoff return as No. 7 Texas produced a statement with a 57-7 victory over Texas Tech on Friday in Austin, Texas, in the teams’ final Big 12 Conference regular-season game.

The Longhorns (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) won their sixth straight contest and cliched a spot in the Big 12 Conference championship game against either No. 13 Oklahoma or No. 20 Oklahoma State.

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers passed for 196 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Jett Bush returned a deflected interception 43 yards for another score, and Burt Auburn kicked five field goals for the Longhorns in the win that featured the much anticipated debut of freshman quarterback Arch Manning late in the third quarter.

The Longhorns’ defense did the rest, holding Texas Tech (6-6, 5-4) to just 198 total yards. Behren Morton passed for 88 yards and Tahj Brooks had 95 yards on 19 carries for the Red Raiders.

Texas scored on its first possession, marching 56 yards in seven plays to a 10-yard TD run by Robinson. The Longhorns added to their lead on Auburn’s 34-yard field goal with 2:15 to play in the first quarter.

Texas Tech found the end zone on Morton’s 2-yard keeper around left end with 29 seconds to play in the first quarter. Blue ripped off a 69-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter to push the Texas’ lead to 17-7.

Auburn added his second field goal, this one from 37 yards away with 10:07 to play in the second quarter, after Michael Taaffe blocked a punt. Auburn was good again on a 26-yarder with 2:55 to play in the second quarter and added a 44-yard field goal on the final snap of the half to build Texas’ lead to 26-7 at the break.

Robinson opened the third quarter with his kickoff return touchdown that blew open the game. Auburn booted a career-long 54-yard field goal with 9:15 to play in the third quarter to make it 36-7.

An Ewers-to-Xavier Worthy 19-yard TD pass with 4:44 to play in the third quarter pushed the Texas advantage to 43-7. Bush then snatched a pass out of the air that hit Brooks in the foot and rumbled for a score. Quintrevion Wisner added a 10-yard TD run with 38 seconds left to cap the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Texas Tech's running back Tahj Brooks (28) runs with the ball against TCU in a Big 12 football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Texas Tech builds cushion, then fends off TCU

Texas Tech topped visiting TCU 35-28 in a back-and-forth Big 12 shootout Thursday night in Lubbock, Texas.

Two teams desperate for a victory played like it Thursday, as Texas Tech constructed a healthy first-half cushion and refused to blink when TCU staged a second-half rally.

Red Raiders quarterback Behren Morton returned to the lineup with 282 yards and two touchdowns on 28-of-36 passing. Tahj Brooks was huge with 146 rushing yards and a TD, and cornerback Dadrion Taylor-Demerson anchored a feisty Red Raider defensive effort with a pair of interceptions, the second with 55 seconds left in the game to slam the door.

Texas Tech (4-5, 3-3 Big 12) scored back-to-back touchdowns after the Horned Frogs erased a halftime deficit and grabbed a 21-20 lead.

Taylor-Demerson set up the go-ahead score when he swiped a pass from Josh Hoover late in the third quarter and returned it to the TCU 16-yard line. Two plays later, Brooks crashed in for a 9-yard touchdown.

Texas Tech’s defense forced the first Horned Frogs punt of the second half on the ensuing possession and the offense provided some breathing room with a quick three-play, 92-yard scoring drive. Morton connected with Xavier White for 39 yards, then hit Drae McCray for a 44-yard touchdown bomb on a deep post pattern.

TCU (4-5, 2-4) clawed back within a touchdown with a long drive that ended with Trey Sanders plowing in from the 1-yard-line with 4:54 to play.

The Horned Frogs got the ball one last time in the final minutes and were on the move, advancing from their 12-yard-line to the 44 when Taylor-Demerson snared his second pick.

TCU’s offense came alive to help them scramble back into the game after trailing 20-7 at halftime.

The Horned Frogs managed only 140 total yards in the opening 30 minutes and punted four times. Texas Tech took advantage with a boost from special teams: The Red Raiders got a 55-yard field goal from Gino Garcia, which Myles Price helped set up with a 29-yard punt return.

Hoover passed for 353 yards, most of that in the second half on three long scoring drives. Emani Bailey ran for 57 yards and two touchdowns for TCU.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars quarterback Donovan Smith (1) runs with the ball during the third quarter against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

QB drama highlights Houston visit to Texas Tech

There will be no shortage of emotional pomp and circumstance on Saturday when Houston faces Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, in a meeting of Big 12 teams desperate to find their stride.

The Red Raiders (1-3, 0-1 Big 12) will induct linebacker Matt Wingo and quarterback — and later coach — Kliff Kingsbury into the school’s Hall of Fame, while coach Mike Leach will be recognized in the Hall of Honor. Leach, who died last December, is the winningest coach in program history.

But the real drama will be under center, as former Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith will start for the Cougars (2-2, 0-1), while Behren Morton will serve as signal-caller for the Red Raiders after starter Tyler Shough broke his fibula in a 20-13 loss to West Virginia last weekend.

Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire praised Smith for how he handled the transfer process and said him suiting up for the opponent adds a “cat-and-mouse part” to the game.

“Hate facing him, but I was just as fired up as anybody when (Houston coach Dana Holgorsen) named him as the starter because I’m a big fan of that kid,” McGuire said.

“He’s seen our defense and will definitely study it all week, it gives us an advantage as well to know his arm angles and how he reacts — when he is going to pull it down and run.”

Meanwhile, the Cougars must contend with a Morton-led offense that sputtered on the road against the Mountaineers until back-to-back scoring drives supplied a flicker of hope. But when the Red Raiders had to have a touchdown late, Morton failed to complete a pass on Texas Tech’s final drive of the game to finish the day 13-for-37 passing for 158 yards and a TD.

Holgorsen tagged Morton as “more of a gunslinger” than Shough and said he expects the change at quarterback to prompt the Red Raiders to adjust their approach to feature running back Tahj Brooks, who averages 6.7 yards per carry and 104.3 yards per game.

Brooks has rushed for 307 yards over the past two weeks, tallying a career-best 158 versus Tarleton State before racking up 149 against West Virginia.

“They have one of the best backs in the Big 12,” Holgorsen said. “I think they’re going to continue to run the ball more.”

Saturday marks the first meeting between the teams as Big 12 foes. Houston is 18-15-1 in the all-time series.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Tyler Shough (12) gestures as he is carted off the field after an injury during the first quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech QB Tyler Shough (leg) out 6-8 weeks

Texas Tech starting quarterback Tyler Shough will miss most, if not all, of this season after coach Joey McGuire said Shough suffered a fractured left fibula last Saturday during his team’s 20-13 defeat at West Virginia.

McGuire said Monday he expects Shough, who was injured in the first quarter, to miss up to two months. He said Shough will have surgery on Tuesday.

Shough began his college career with two seasons at Oregon – leading the Ducks to a Pac-12 conference title in 2020 – before transferring to Texas Tech for the past three seasons.

He has completed 355 of 564 passing attempts (62.9 percent) for 4,625 yards with 36 touchdown passes, 17 interceptions and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Redshirt sophomore Behren Morton, who was 13 for 37 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown in relief of Shough against West Virginia, will start at quarterback Saturday when the Red Raiders (1-3) host Houston in Big 12 play.

— Field Level Media

Eastside High School Micah Hudson (5) drives as Eastside travels to take on Belleview   Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, at Belleview High School in Belleview, Fla. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Star-Banner]

Oca Eastside Vs Belleview Fb

Texas Tech signs five-star recruit Micah Hudson

Texas Tech scored big by not only landing its first five-star recruit in the modern recruiting era, but doing so while also beating out in-state rival Texas for wide receiver Micah Hudson.

Hudson announced his commitment to Texas Tech Monday night on social media, becoming the highest-rated recruit in the history of the Red Raiders.

Listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds, Hudson is out of Lake Belton High School in Temple, Texas, where he has 17 receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns in three games this season.

In 2022, Hudson was named the District 4-5A D1 Most valuable Player after catching 65 passes for 1,198 yards and 14 touchdowns, and carrying the ball 32 times for 243 yards and two scores.

Hudson had also been looking at Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Auburn and others.

The Red Raiders may have had some recruiting help from an alumnus — Hudson’s father, Desmond Royal, played for Texas Tech from 1985-1988.

–Field Level Media

Texas Tech's running back Tahj Brooks (28) runs for a touchdown against Texas, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Baylor, Texas Tech look to stay alive in Big 12 race

Baylor and Texas Tech will play what amounts to an elimination game for the Big 12 Conference title chase Saturday afternoon when they square off in Lubbock, Texas.

The teams have identical records (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) and are tied for fifth in the 10-team league with five games to play. A third conference loss would doom either in their effort to become one of the top two teams at the end of the regular season.

Baylor heads to Lubbock after a 35-23 win at home over Kansas on Saturday. The Bears racked up 273 yards rushing, with freshman running back Richard Reese amassing 186 of those on 31 carries — both career highs.

Baylor bolted to a 28-3 halftime lead and held on to win.

The victory gave the Bears some needed momentum for a stretch run. Both Baylor and Texas Tech can make up ground with November games against first-place TCU, but both have lost to second-place Oklahoma State.

“Killer instinct or whatever that is, we’re aiming to work to get it,” Baylor coach Dave Aranda said. “The best teams have that. For us it’s something we have to teach. I have to teach it better and we have to execute it. With the rest of the schedule the way it lays out, it’s going to be needed.”

Texas Tech also snapped a two-game losing streak and is riding high after a 48-10 win at home over West Virginia on Oct. 22. The Red Raiders got a pair of touchdown passes from Behren Morton and two scoring runs from Tahj Brooks.

The Red Raiders’ resume includes overtime wins over Houston and Texas, but Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire called the victory over West Virginia his team’s most complete game.

Texas Tech excels at wearing down the opposition, averaging an FBS-leading 89.3 plays per game.

“Again, we’re going to try to hit over 100,” said McGuire, a longtime Baylor assistant in his first year leading the Red Raiders. “It’s just one thing in last few games that has helped our offense — and definitely helped our offensive line — is, you know, the amount of time that we can keep people on the field.

“Tempo-wise, I feel like our guys are in really good shape to handle that.”

After the teams spent a decade playing at neutral sites, Baylor has won the past two games played in Waco, and Tech won the last meeting in Lubbock (2020) — with all three games decided by a field goal or less. The Bears will try to snap a 10-game losing streak in Lubbock that dates to 1990.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) runs for a touchdown against the UTSA Roadrunners during the fourth quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Texas looks for faster start against rival Texas Tech

No. 22 Texas will get its first taste of playing in a hostile environment when it squares off against always-dangerous Texas Tech on Saturday in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams in Lubbock, Texas.

The Longhorns (2-1) head to the South Plains after coming from behind to beat Texas-San Antonio 41-20 last Saturday, which was Texas’ third straight home game to start the season. The win came a week after Texas lost to then-top-ranked Alabama 20-19 on a field goal in the final seconds.

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian praised his team for fighting through its first-quarter doldrums against UTSA.

“Being down 17-7, nobody blinked — nobody said, ‘here we go again,’ which I think a year ago we may have,” Sarkisian said. “We just stayed the course.”

Bijan Robinson, the Longhorns’ preseason All-America running back, ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns in the win over UTSA. Robinson scored on runs of 3, 41 and 78 yards, the latter a career-long scoring rush, and has racked up 311 yards and five TDs rushing this season on 51 carries to pace Texas’ ground attack.

Hudson Card, drawing the start at quarterback for the injured Quinn Ewers (left clavicle), passed for 161 yards and a TD and ran for 35 more yards against UTSA. Card will likely start again against Texas Tech, even after Sarkisian said Monday that all of his quarterbacks have been practicing.

Jahdae Barron returned an interception 44 yards for another score in the victory, the third non-offensive score this season, which is Texas’ most through three games since 2017. Barron was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance.

The Red Raiders (2-1) return home after a 27-14 loss at then-No. 16 North Carolina State last weekend. Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith passed for 214 yards and a 24-yard TD to Myles Price and ran 3 yards for the Red Raiders’ other score, but also uncorked two interceptions, including a pick-6 that resulted in a 20-0 deficit at halftime.

The loss was the first in the Joey McGuire coaching era at Texas Tech and came after an easy season-opening win versus Murray State and a double-overtime victory over then-No. 25 Houston, both at home.

“We have to be better in catching all catchable balls, getting vertical when you catch it,” McGuire said. “We’ve got to put ourselves in good situations. … But there’s some stuff that we’ve got to do as a staff to put these guys in better situations.”

Smith was the backup when the season opened but jumped into the starter spot when Tyler Shough suffered a collarbone injury in Week 1. In his two starts, Smith has completed 60.6 percent of his passes while being intercepted five times.

Texas holds a 54-17 advantage over the Red Raiders in the all-time series between the schools and has captured 11 of the past 13 matchups. The Longhorns scored 10 touchdowns in a 70-35 win over Texas Tech in Austin, Texas, in 2021.

“I have not been to Lubbock, but I’ve heard it’s an unbelievable environment,” Sarkisian said when asked about this week’s game. “I’m looking forward to it.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders linebacker Bryce Ramirez (54) is carted off the field after suffering an apparent injury during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech LB Bryce Ramirez (leg) remains in N.C. hospital

Texas Tech linebacker Bryce Ramirez remains in a hospital in Raleigh, N.C. after badly breaking his lower left leg during Saturday’s game at North Carolina State.

Texas Tech announced Sunday that Ramirez will stay at Wake Medical Center until he is able to travel back safely with members of the university’s sports medicine staff.

Ramirez was injured with 4:02 left in the first quarter of Saturday’s game when he collided with Reggie Pearson as the two were trying to tackle NC State running back Jordan Houston. Linebacker Krishon Merriweather came in low to finish the tackle and appeared to pin Ramirez’s lower leg to the turf as his body was twisted backward.

There were reports Saturday night that the bone broke through the skin. Texas Tech hasn’t confirmed those reports but also hasn’t revealed the seriousness of the break.

The contest marked the first start of Ramirez’s career. A junior in his fourth season with the program, Ramirez was a walk-on who eventually earned a scholarship.

“He was in good spirits — a lot of pain, but good spirits,” Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire said afterward. “He kept saying, ‘What’s next, coach?’ and ‘Just tell the guys to win.’ What a great kid.

“I hate it because he was playing really, really well. There’s a reason he was starting (Saturday night), and he was playing really, really well.”

North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren was thinking about Ramirez after his team’s 27-14 victory.

“I feel for that young man. You never want to see something like that in any sport,” Doeren said. “That’s a tough part of any sport when an athlete has an injury like that. I feel for him.”

Ramirez made his season debut one week earlier against Houston after recovering from a hamstring injury. He appeared in seven games as a sophomore, mostly on special teams.

–Field Level Media

Houston quarterback Clayton Tune (3) warms up behind Houston offensive lineman Tank Jenkins (72) before the Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday December 28, 2021.


No. 25 Houston visits Texas Tech after close call

Two teams that experienced completely different season-opening victories will meet when No. 25 Houston visits Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.

While the Red Raiders built a 32-point halftime lead against visiting Murray State and cruised to a 63-10 win, the Cougars gave up a game-tying field goal to Texas-San Antonio on the final play of regulation before prevailing 37-35 in triple overtime.

Texas Tech (1-0) and Houston (1-0) each benefited from solid quarterback play.

Red Raiders backup Donovan Smith completed 14 of 16 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns after taking over when Tyler Shough injured his left (non-throwing) collarbone in the first quarter. Shough had completed six of his 10 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown before suffering the injury that is expected to sideline him for several weeks.

Still, the Red Raiders found the end zone on six straight possessions in the first half.

Texas Tech third-string quarterback Behren Morton was 7-of-10 passing for 97 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He’s now second string behind Smith.

“We are going to prepare for both,” Cougars coach Dana Holgorsen said. “I don’t think their offense is going to change regardless of which one is out there.”

Houston’s Clayton Tune completed 22 of 32 passes for 206 yards and three scores and ran for a team-high 51 yards and a touchdown. He also had the game-winning two-point conversion run in the third overtime. The Roadrunners failed to tie the game on their possession when their conversion pass fell incomplete.

Texas Tech outgained Murray State 605-258 and surrendered just 10 first downs, including none in the second half. Meanwhile, Houston’s defense struggled against the Roadrunners, who amassed 441 yards, including 337 through the air, and led 21-7 entering the fourth quarter before the Cougars rallied.

The Red Raiders have beaten the Cougars in each of the past four meetings and in nine of the past 10 contests, including a come-from-behind 38-21 victory in last season’s season-opening game at NRG Stadium in Houston. Texas Tech scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to rally from a 21-7 halftime deficit.

The Red Raiders will be looking to knock off a Top 25 opponent for the first time since beating No. 21 Oklahoma State in 2019.

While the teams’ meeting on Saturday is a nonconference game, it won’t be in the future as Houston prepares to jump from Conference USA to the Big 12.

“Houston, they are a Big 12 opponent,” Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire said. “This is not a Group of Five team or a lower-level team. They’re a ranked opponent, and we’re going to see each other for a long time, so this is going to be a really good test.

“This is a conference opponent, just getting to play it a year earlier. I’m excited about that.”

–Field Level Media

Jul 14, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Texas Tech Red Raiders helmet logo during the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nonprofit that backs Texas Tech to include 100 players in NIL deal

Football players at Texas Tech — 100 of them — can look forward to receiving a $25,000 contract for their name, image and likeness (NIL) rights this season.

The Matador Club, a nonprofit collective set up by donors to the university, has announced plans to begin the $2.5 million program of payments to players — all 85 who are under scholarship and 15 walk-ons — starting monthly. The first checks are to go out in the first week of August.

Cody Campbell, a member of the Matador Club’s board of directors, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the players are expected to perform charitable work and community service in and around Lubbock, Texas. The contracts will be renewable annually.

Texas law prohibits schools from taking part in NIL deals, so they must come from outside organizations.

Campbell, a former Red Raiders offensive lineman, noted that while “it’s going to become known that Texas Tech has a good NIL program that’ll be appealing to recruits,” there will be no guarantees of compensation.

“We’re not going to make any promises on the front end. We’re not going to break any rules,” Campbell said.

–Field Level Media