Game Preview: Tech Faces First Road Test at Arizona

Game Preview: Tech Faces First Road Test at Arizona

Texas Tech will play away from home for the first time this season as it takes a 2-0 record to the desert for a late night showdown at Arizona on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. CT from Arizona Stadium.  
 
The game will air nationally on ESPN with Jason Benetti on the call alongside analyst Rod Gilmore with Quint Kessenich reporting from the sidelines. Fans can also find the game on any streaming device by using the ESPN app.
 
The Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Brian Jensen will have the call alongside analyst John Harris, sideline reporter Chris Level and engineer Steve Pitts. The radio broadcast can also be heard XM channel 200, Sirius channel 105 or via the TuneIn app.
 
INSIDE THE ARIZONA SERIES

  • This will be the first meeting between Texas Tech and Arizona since 1989 as the Red Raiders are 26-4-2 all-time against its former Border Conference rival. Tech has won eight of the last 11 meetings against the Wildcats with one of those games being a 17-17 tie in 1979. Over its seven-game winning streak against the Miners, Texas Tech has averaged 19.1 points as its margin of victory. The Red Raiders routed UTEP, 69-20, in its last visit to Jones AT&T Stadium, marking their most points versus the Miners in series history.
  • Texas Tech faced Arizona regularly during the course of the Border Conference (1932-55) as the Red Raiders were 15-1-1 against the Wildcats over that period. Tech departed the Border Conference following the 1955 season and eventually joined the Southwest Conference in 1960. The Red Raiders faced Arizona a total of 11 times after moving to the SWC, going 8-2-1 in those games.
  • Texas Tech claimed nine of its 11 conference titles in its history during its stint in the Border Conference as the Red Raiders won the league crown in four of its final five years (1951, 1953-55).
  • The Red Raiders are 13-3-2 all-time in their previous visits to Tucson as Tech last traveled to Arizona Stadium in 1988 to start a two-game agreement with the Wildcats. Arizona won that meeting, 35-19, in only the second year for the Red Raiders under then head coach Spike Dykes.

TEXAS TECH AGAINST THE PAC-12, POWER-5 FOES

  • Texas Tech is 39-18-2 all-time against current members of the Pac-12 Conference, which includes a 38-17-2 mark in regular-season games versus the league. Tech has played 10 of the 12 members of the Pac-12 over its history with the only exceptions being Stanford and UCLA.
  • The Red Raiders last traveled to the state of Arizona in 2016 as Texas Tech fell in a 68-55 shootout at Arizona State. The game marked the first regular-season contest between Tech and a Pac-12 opponent since 1999 when the Red Raiders dropped a 31-13 decision to the Sun Devils. Tech also hosted Arizona State in 2017, which resulted in a 52-45 victory.
  • Texas Tech's non-conference slate features a power-five counterpart for now the sixth-consecutive year and the 14th time during the course of the Big 12 Conference. The Red Raiders are 4-9 in those games with wins over Arizona State (2017), Arkansas (2015) and Ole Miss (2002-03).
  • Saturday's game is the first in a home-and-home series between Texas Tech and Arizona as the two schools will also meet in Lubbock early in the 2020 season. Tech also has additional power-five matchups lined up in future years against the likes of N.C. State (2022, 2027), Oregon (2023-24), Oregon State (2025-26) and Mississippi State (2028-29).

 TEXAS TECH-ARIZONA CONNECTIONS

  • Texas Tech associate head coach and special teams coordinator Mark Tommerdahl worked alongside Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin early in their respective careers at both Wyoming and Minnesota. Sumlin earned his first full-time coaching position as the Cowboys' wide receivers coach from 1991-92 where Tommerdahl, who coached the entire backfield at the time, was in the midst of his 11 years at Wyoming. They later worked together again at Minnesota from 1995-96 as Sumlin was the wide receivers coach and Tommerdahl was the special teams and tight ends coach as well as the recruiting coordinator.
  • Julius "Juice" Brown worked under Arizona defensive coordinator and safeties coach Marcel Yates at Boise State from 2014-15 as Brown was the secondary and recruiting coordinator for his alma mater, which was being led defensively at the time by Yates. Brown was also a graduate assistant (2007-08) and Director of Player Personnel (2009-11) at Boise State while Yates, who coached Brown during his senior season, was leading the secondary (2006-11).
  • Freshman punter Austin McNamara will return to his home state this weekend as he is a product of Gilbert, Arizona and Highland High School in the Phoenix area. McNamara was rated the top punter in the 2019 class by 247Sports before signing with Texas Tech.

RED RAIDER DEFENSE CAUSES MAJOR PROBLEMS FOR MINORS

  • Texas Tech is coming off one of its best defensive performances in recent memory after limiting UTEP to only three points and 131 yards of total offense last weekend. It marked the fewest points for an FBS opponent since Tech opened the 2006 campaign with a 35-3 victory over SMU.
  • UTEP only averaged 2.3 yards per play, the lowest clip for a FBS opponent facing the Red Raiders dating back to the start of the 2000 campaign.
  • UTEP's 131 yards of total offense last weekend represented the second-fewest allowed by the Red Raiders against an FBS opponent dating back to 2000, trailing only the 127 yards New Mexico gained in 2012.
  • UTEP only gained 54 of its yards through the air, marking the fewest for an opponent since Kansas totaled just 29 passing yards in 2012.

NEWS & NOTES

  • With a win over Arizona on Saturday, head coach Matt Wells would become only the fourth head coach (out of 16) in program history to begin his tenure with three-consecutive wins, joining Kliff Kingsbury (2013), Mike Leach (2000) and Dell Morgan (1941).
  • With a 45-10 win over Montana State to start the Wells era, only DeWitt Weaver the fifth head coach in school history, secured a larger margin of victory in his coaching debut after the Red Raiders dropped West Texas State, 46-7, to open the 1951 campaign.
  • The Red Raiders recorded 691 yards of total offense in the victory over Montana State, the most for a head coach making his debut in school history.
  • Both sides of the ball have succeeded under Wells as the Red Raiders currently rank ninth in both total offense and total defense. Tech has surrendered only 13 points under Wells, the fewest for a first-year head coach through two games since Dell Morgan's team allowed only six points in 1941.
  • Prior to this season, Texas Tech had not combined to give up 13 or less points through two games since 1998 when the Red Raiders topped UTEP, 35-3, and shut out North Texas, 30-0, en route to opening the year with six-consecutive wins.
  • Tech enters the third week of the season ranked third nationally in scoring defense and ninth for total defense after only allowing 6.5 points and 210 yards of offense per game.
  • Texas Tech enters this weekend ranked seventh nationally after only allowing 108 passing yards per game.
  • The Red Raiders have already forced 15 drives to end in a 3-and-out (out of 27).
  • Texas Tech is among the top defenses in the country already this season in stopping third down conversions as opponents have only turned four of 31 attempts into a first down. That 12.9 success rate ranks second nationally behind only Big 12 peer Kansas State, which has only allowed one third down conversion in 17 chances this year.
  • Texas Tech has only been flagged four times in each of the first two games, the second-fewest for the Red Raiders to open a season since 2000 and the fewest since 2011. Tech enters this weekend ranked 18th in the FBS for fewest penalties after closing the 2018 season at 110th in the national rankings. The Red Raiders also rank 28th in the FBS for fewest penalty yards per game (39.5).
  • Austin McNamara continues to impressive as Texas Tech's punter as the Arizona native is averaging 47.8 yards per punt, which leads all freshmen nationally and ranks seventh in the FBS entering this weekend.
  • Linebacker Jordyn Brooks has posted consecutive 11-tackle games to lead the Tech defense. His 11.0 tackles per game ranks tied for sixth among Power-5 leaders.
  • Quarterback Alan Bowman continues to lead the Big 12 in passing through week two at a clip of 357.0 yards per game. Just as impressive is his 72 percent completion percentage along with his ability to take care of the ball, tossing five touchdowns to one interception.
  • Tech is currently riding a consecutive-game scoring streak that spans 272 games dating back to the 1997 season. The streak, which began against Texas A&M on Oct. 25, 1997, ranks eighth nationally and is the second-longest active streak in the Big 12 behind TCU.
  • A total of 29 student-athletes have already made their debut for Texas Tech this season, including eight true freshmen in Tony Bradford Jr.Tyrique MatthewsAustin McNamara, Chux Nwabuko, Landon PetersonLuke RizzoTrevor Roberson and Dadrion Taylor.
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