As we reach hump day of the first week of the 2023 Texas Tech football season, let’s take a look at some Red Raiders that will need to step up Saturday against Wyoming. First, though, let’s review the series history between two programs that do not cross paths very often.
Interestingly enough, the Cowboys hold the edge in this series with a 3-2 advantage. However, two of those wins came over 60 years ago (1956 and 1960) and the other was in 1991.
Meanwhile, the last time these programs squared off, Tech managed to come away with a 49-32 win in Lubbock in 1992. It was the 1991 game that head coach Joey McGuire spoke about on Monday during his press availability, though.
"“1991, the last time Tech went in [to Laramie, Wyoming] we were 17-point favorites,” he said, “we got beat 21-17. You know, we’re going to talk about that tomorrow. I don’t think that team thought that they were going to go in there and get beat.”"
Interestingly enough, that year, Tech went to Wyoming one week after playing Oregon in Lubbock, a 28-13 loss. This year, it will be Oregon coming to Jones Stadium one week after the Red Raiders travel to Wyoming.
That season saw Spike Dykes’ team get off to just a 1-4 start despite having four of those five games at home. But after a four-game losing streak that began in week two, Tech would rebound to win five of their final six games to end the year 6-5 and 5-3 in Southwest Conference play.
Of course, McGuire is hoping for a better start for his team in 2023. That begins with the Cowboys, a team that the head coach says has his team’s full attention despite next week’s showdown with the Ducks.
"“…I want them to understand how important this game is,” he said Monday. “This is an extremely important game to us and whoever we have after this, we don’t care. We know who we have this week…”"
Those comments came as McGuire was laying out his plans to take the team to Fort Collins, Colorado (about an hour south of Laramie) on Thursday to acclimate to the elevation. He said that he believes that traveling a day earlier in the week than usual will also signal to his team that this game is meaningful and to be taken seriously.
Naturally, one would assume that every player in college football would put forth maximum effort in the season’s opening game. After nine months of work in the weight room and after a month of hitting only teammates in fall camp, the opportunity to finally play football that matters should be all the motivation a team needs.
So when the season kicks off and the Red Raiders get to hit someone in a different uniform for the first time this year, look for the intensity to be ramped up. What’s more, pay close attention to the following Red Raiders because they will need to step up and lead their team this week.