Today, the Texas Tech football program will host its annual game against a team from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). So you’ll have to excuse those among us who are less than juiced for this game.
Sure, anytime the Red Raiders play a football game, it’s a must-see event for most folks around Raiderland. And given that tonight’s game will be the home opener, there will be a near-capacity crowd on hand.
But still, the yearly bloodletting against a hapless FCS program is one of those traditions that we simply have to live with. Of course, we learned last year that not every FCS opponent is going to just roll over and play dead at the sight of the Red Raiders running out of the tunnel.
In the 2020 season opener, Tech hosted Houston Baptist, a team that had lost to North Texas 57-31 the week prior. Yet, the Red Raiders were nearly upset by the Huskies as Tech had to hang on for a 35-33 win.
However, that marked just the second time in the “Air Raid” era of the program that an FCS opponent threatened to stun the Red Raiders. The other came in 2014 when Central Arkansas put a scare into a bad Tech team in a 42-35 Red Raider win.
This year, no one expects Stephen F. Austin to do the same. The Lumberjacks are coming off of a rather unimpressive 20-10 win over Tarleton State last week and that comes on the heels of a season that saw SFA go 0-4 against FBS opponents.
Of course, the Red Raider coaching staff has likely spent all week pointing out to their team the success that FCS teams had in week one of the season. A week ago, Montana took down Washington, South Dakota State throttled Colorado State, Eastern Washington defeated UNLV, East Tennessee State took down Vanderbilt, and Holy Cross scored a win over UCONN.
Meanwhile, a host of other FCS programs put a scare into FBS teams. Iowa State narrowly escaped Northern Iowa 16-10 while Oklahoma State had to hold off Missouri State 23-16. Therefore, the Red Raiders have plenty of reasons to be on guard this weekend.
Still, this is not a classic trap game given that next week’s opponent, Florida International, is not a team that Tech is going to look past this week towards. What’s more, being the home opener, this night game should be full of energy for the Red Raiders.
So let’s take a look at what we want to see from the Red Raiders because every game is an important opportunity to get better. And we will start by hoping that a receiver other than Erik Ezukanma makes his presence known.