One interesting aspect of this week’s showdown between the Texas Tech football team and the Houston Cougars is the number of former Red Raiders playing key roles for the visitors. That will serve to only add more fire to what is likely to be a chippy contest.
In all, three prominent members of the Houston roster, KeSean Carter, Alex Hogan, and Ta’Zhawn Henry, started their careers in Lubbock and each will be looking to make a splash in his return to the 806.
Carter, an inside receiver with elite top-end speed, was perhaps the biggest loss of the three when he decided to defect following the 2020 season. He had shown tremendous potential as a Red Raider following a 30-catch, 290-yard, 4-TD season in just six games of the COVID-19 shortened campaign.
But since joining the Cougars, he’s been merely a bit player. Last year, he caught only 26 passes for 331 yards and no scores while appearing in nine games. And in week one of this season, he mustered just three catches for a whopping ten yards against UTSA.
Meanwhile, Ta’Zhawn Henry has become a member of the Cougars’ running back rotation. Now in his third season with the U of H program (he redshirted in 2020 due to NCAA transfer rules), he is a viable threat out of the backfield.
Last year, he carried the ball 111 times for 524 yards and seven scores. He also hauled in 20 passes for 105 more yards.
Interestingly, the last time Tech and Houston squared off in Lubbock, it was Henry who had a huge day on the ground for the Red Raiders. Rushing 24 times for 111 yards and four touchdowns, he helped carry Tech to a 63-49 win. Now, he’ll hope to turn the tables in 2022.
Defensive back Alex Hogan also showed some serious promise as a young Red Raider in two seasons. Credited with six combined pass breakups in 2019 and 2020, he was a feisty corner who battled when thrown into action early in his career; earlier than he likely should have been asked to play due to Tech’s lack of depth at that position at the time.
In 2021, Hogan had 27 tackles, two interceptions (one he returned for a TD), and six pass breakups. He’ll certainly be a key figure in Houston’s game plan this week as he squares off with a dangerous Texas Tech passing game.
All three of these players are Houston-area natives who decided to return to familiar grounds and represent their hometown team. Of course, all three will want to make a huge impact this weekend as they return to Jones Stadium and try to hang a loss on their former school.
Wednesday, we discussed three other Houston players that Tech fans need to know ahead of this matchup. So today, let’s turn our attention back to the good guys and look at some Red Raiders that will be worth watching this weekend.