Friday will see the end of an era for the Texas Tech football program as the Red Raiders will face the Texas Longhorns for the final time in the regular season and perhaps for the final time ever. It’s a series that dates back to 1928 and one that has been played annually since 1960 but with UT headed to the SEC next year, it is coming to an end on Friday.
Along the way, the meetings with Texas have provided plenty of memorable moments for the fans in scarlet and black. There was the 1955 game when Tech spoiled the party as Texas played its first-ever game at night. That day, the Red Raiders stunned Texas 20-14 in Austin thanks to a pair of TDs from Don Schmidt, one of which came from 78 yards out.
In 1968, Tech finally beat UT in Lubbock for the first time after five straight losses in the Hub City to open the series. That 31-22 win featured an 84-yard punt return TD by Larry Alford and three TDs by Roger Freeman. Following that game, Texas would begin a streak of 30 consecutive wins.
The 1974 game was Texas Tech’s first televised contest. The 26-3 Red Raider win in Lubbock came about because of an aerial display as Lawrence Williams caught three TD passes.
In 1976, Billy Taylor gave us one of the most iconic photos in Tech history as his dive over the UT defense and into the endzone for the game-winning score in the 4th quarter was perfectly captured on film making the 31-28 win in Lubbock unforgettable.
1998 saw a pair of running backs named Ricky Williams square off with each going for over 148 yards and a TD in Lubbock. However, Tech QB Rob Peters would steal the show by authoring a game-winning 82-yard TD drive in the final two minutes, one that was capped off by his QB sneak into the endzone, for a 42-35 win.
In 2002, Kliff Kingsbury played his final home game in Lubbock throwing for 473 yards and six TDs. That day, it was a late double pass from Kingsbury to Mickey Peters to Wes Welker on 3rd-and-9 with just over two minutes to play that would help seal the 42-38 win over the No. 2 Longhorns.
Then, in 2008, Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree would connect for a TD with one second left as No. 7 Tech would knock off No. 1 Texas in Lubbock for the program’s 500th all-time win. That would vault Tech to No. 2 in the national polls, the highest any Red Raider team has ever been ranked.
However, it is the 2015 Red Raider game in Austin that is worth focusing on today. That night in Austin, Tech pulled off a 48-45 win, the program’s first victory at Royal-Memorial Stadium since 1997.
Interestingly, there are more than a few similarities between that Red Raider team and the 2023 version. So let’s revisit that classic game and discuss if this year’s team can follow that season’s recipe for an upset in the state capital.