In six months, the Joey McGuire era will officially kick-off. Red Raider fans have been riding a tidal wave of optimism thanks to McGuire and his staff setting the recruiting trail on fire. And while hope will spring eternal for the next six months, games will eventually be played. And while he should not be solely defined by wins and losses this year, this team is not expected to bottom out and finish last in the Big 12. How a schedule breaks each year can be impactful to the success of a season. Here’s the first chance to examine what lies ahead for the Texas Tech 2022 season.
Texas Tech 2022 Season Opener: Murray State
The Racers out of the Ohio Valley Conference should not be a tough task for the Red Raiders in the opening weekend. Murray State finished 6-5 in their 2021 campaign with zero notable wins. Texas Tech is not immune to playing down to competition in recent years, playing one-score games against FCS opponents in two consecutive seasons. But barring something unforeseen, this game should not test the Red Raiders.
At the time, Texas Tech beating Houston to open the 2021 season did not send any message to the college football world. But Houston would go undefeated in AAC regular season play, only losing to eventual playoff participant Cincinnati in the AAC conference championship game. Now this is a team in ranked 13th in ESPN’s way-too-early Top 25. Dana Holgorsen’s squad will be primed and ready for this one. Expect a closely contested game in Lubbock and an early litmus test for the Red Raiders.
At NC State
Most Red Raider fans likely haven’t paid close attention to the ACC, but NC State is going to be a real player for the ACC championship next year. Coming off a nine-win campaign with most of its starters back from a stout defense, this first road test of the Texas Tech 2022 season is going to be tough sledding. The Red Raiders will undoubtedly come into this game as the underdog, and this very well could be the toughest team they play all season.
Texas Tech 2022 Season Begins Conference Play Against Texas
70-35. It was an ugly day down in Austin for Texas Tech in 2021. Putting aside all “Texas is back” jokes, the Longhorns should be much improved in year two under Steve Sarkisian. It is a stiff test for Big 12 play to open for the Texas Tech 2022 season against its biggest rival. It very likely could be the third consecutive week the Red Raiders face a top-25 ranked team.
At Kansas State
Can Texas Tech finally beat the Wildcats for the first time in seven years? It looked like the streak was gonna last year, until another horrific collapse happened and ultimately led to the firing of Matt Wells. A trip to the Little Apple is not easy for any Big 12 opponent, but the talent on the field should be equal and the Red Raiders have a solid opportunity to finally end their losing streak against Kansas State.
At Oklahoma State
A lowered shoulder by running back Dezmond Jackson, instead of a dive for the pylon, would have given the Pokes the 2021 Big 12 championship. Nonetheless, this trip to Stillwater in the Texas Tech 2022 season will be challenging for the Red Raiders. Depending on how the first half of the season plays out across college football, this will be the fourth top-25 team Texas Tech will face in its first six games.
After a much-needed bye week, Texas Tech resumes play against the Mountaineers. The Red Raiders have owned West Virginia in recent years, having won the last three meetings. But this time, Texas Tech fans will recognize a familiar face on the Mountaineer sidelines. West Virginia hired former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell as their offensive coordinator. It will be Harrell’s first visit as an opposing coach.
Halloween weekend could be scary for the Red Raiders. The defending Big 12 champs come to town and should be right in the thick of the Big 12 title race again for 2022. At this point in the season, we will know exactly where both Baylor and Texas Tech stand. Depending on how the season plays out, the results could vary from a one-sided affair to a competitive, tight battle from kickoff to the end of the game.
With the calendar turning to November, the Texas Tech 2022 season hits its final four-game stretch. The Red Raiders head to Fort Worth to take on another team breaking in a new head coach. Much was (rightfully) made about former SMU coach Sonny Dykes making the move to the Ponys’ biggest rival. With TCU going through its own transition year like Texa Tech, this presents a great opportunity to get a road win.
Kansas showed signs of improvement, even in a two-win 2021 season. No one should expect this team to jump to the top tier of the conference, but they likely will be able to compete with most/all teams in the conference. Texas Tech will likely be favored in this one but will need to stay sharp against the Jayhakws.
At Iowa State
It’s highly unlikely this game will match the excitement from the 2021 season. But this will be an interesting season for Iowa State. Many of its stars from the last few seasons are finally out of eligibility/left for the NFL draft. Could Texas Tech get its first win in Ames since 2014?
Texas Tech 2022 Season Finale: Oklahoma
The Sooners will have a new look to them for the 2022 season. Oklahoma will still be an immensely talented team and should finish in the top third of the conference at worse. But will former Sooner defensive coordinator/newly head coach Brent Venables be able to solve their long-time defensive struggles? That answer likely will take a few years to answer. This will likely be the last time Oklahoma visits Lubbock as a conference opponent before they join the SEC. But if Red Raider fans want to close the season out with an upset, it will require a very crisp and mistake-free game.