Texas Tech plays its first game for new coach Joey McGuire, a lifelong Texan who was a Baylor assistant the past five years after winning three Texas high school state championships. Texas Tech has won its last 19 games against FCS opponents since 1988. During a 10-season stretch from 2010-19, the Red Raiders won all of their games against FCS programs by an average margin of 40 points. The last two such meetings have been much tighter, including 28-22 over Stephen F. Austin last season. They won their 2020 opener 35-33 over Houston Baptist with offensive coordinator Zach Kittley, who is now in that same role on McGuire’s first staff at Texas Tech.
Murray State dual-threat quarterback DJ Williams against the Texas Tech defense. Williams was the Ohio Valley Conference freshman of the year last season, when he threw for 1,020 yards and ran for another 532. The Red Raiders allowed 405 total yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Murray State: Fifth-year linebacker Eric Samuta was an All-OVC pick last year when led the Racers with 72 tackles. He has played in all 41 Murray State games the past four seasons
Texas Tech: Tyler Shough is the Red Raiders’ starting quarterback for the second season opener in a row. He played in only four games last year before suffering a broken collarbone. Shough was 64 of 92 passing for 872 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Red Raiders have won their last 22 home openers since a 23-14 loss to North Texas in 1999. … Murray State, which ended last season with a three-game winning streak, goes into 98th season of football. It will be its 75th and final in the Ohio Valley Conference before moving next year into the Missouri Valley. … This will be only the third game in Texas for the Racers, who lost 21-14 at Texas A&M-Commerce in 1940 and 28-14 at North Texas in 1989.