With the Texas Tech football team idle this weekend ahead of Thursday’s critical home game against TCU, it is a natural time to look at what remains for Joey McGuire and his team. Unfortunately, the road ahead looks daunting.
Needing to go 3-1 down the stretch to just get to bowl eligibility, the Red Raiders have their work cut out for themselves. Of course, that all begins with next week’s visit from TCU.
The Frogs have had Tech’s number in recent years (but then again, so have a lot of Big 12 programs). TCU has a four-game winning streak in the series and has won its last four games at Jones Stadium.
Then, the Red Raiders travel to Lawrence Kansas to face a KU team that is flying high after stunning No. 6 Oklahoma this week. What’s more, when Tech visits, preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, Jalon Daniels, may be back at QB for the Jayhawks (he has been getting closer and closer to returning from a back injury that has forced him to miss the bulk of the season).
Speaking of dynamic quarterbacks returning from an injury, UCF’s dual-threat QB, John Rhys Plumlee is back at the helm for the Knights after missing several weeks with a knee sprain. Though Saturday’s home loss to West Virginia keeps UCF winless in Big 12 play, Plumlee’s presence will make UCF’s November 18th trip to Lubbock one that the Red Raiders can’t afford to take for granted.
Then, Tech will end the season will a trip to Austin. Given that the Longhorns could be playing for a spot in both the Big 12 Championship game and the College Football Playoff, winning at Royal-Memorial Stadium this year could be as tough of a task as Tech has faced in the state capitol for quite some time.
Of course, last season, Tech was 4-5 before ending the year with three wins to close out the regular season. That winning streak was one of the first times in quite a while that Tech had been able to pick up steam in November.
Maybe this week’s open date is arriving at just the right time to set up another strong final month of the regular season. Tech left Provo, Utah last week beaten up both physically and emotionally, and a week off to recharge could be just what McGuire and Co. needed.
So let’s take a look at some players that might be ready to end the year by playing their best football. If these four Red Raiders can step up for the rest of the way, they could help save what has been a maddening 2023 for the program.