Texas Tech @ N.C. State
The first road game as head coach at the college level couldn’t be much tougher for McGuire than a trip to N.C. State in game three. What’s more, this will be a night contest meaning the folks in Raleigh will be nice and lubricated before this one kicks off.
The Wolf Pack enters 2022 with perhaps the greatest expectations in program history. Many believe they are the biggest threat to Clemson in the ACC and some even think the Pack could be a darkhorse playoff contender. I don’t buy that but I do see them as a very good team.
QB Devin Leary is one of the best passers in the nation. A season ago, he was 283-of-431 passing for 3,433 yards, with 35 touchdowns and only five picks. Will he be able to pick apart a Red Raider secondary that is experienced and old but which was part of the 119th pass defense in the nation in 2021?
Meanwhile, the Pack features an excellent defense to compliment the offense. Last year, N.C. State gave up just 19.7 points per game and they run the dreaded 3-3-5 scheme that has given Tech so many fits over the years.
In the end, this will be too big of an ask for the Red Raiders in their first road game of the McGuire era. New routines and new procedures await them on this cross-country trip and that could throw them out of alignment.
Tech is going to have a shot but in the end, they don’t have the star power that the Pack does. Losing to N.C. State won’t be the end of the world as the Pack looks like a legitimate contender as 2022 opens. So though the McGuire honeymoon will be over with the season’s first loss, going 2-1 in non-conference play will set Tech up for the potential of a strong season.