Game preview: Houston vs. Texas Tech

Houston Cougars running back Ta’Zhawn Henry returns to his old stomping grounds when his team plays Texas Tech in week two. (Courtesy Houston Athletics)

Game preview: Houston vs. Texas Tech

THE MATCHUP

No. 25 Houston (1-0) vs. Texas Tech (1-0)

Game time: 3 p.m. CT

TV/radio: FS1/KPRC 950 AM

What’s at stake: Houston looks to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2018. The Cougars will be facing off against a future Big 12 Conference rival in Texas Tech, and they will also be looking to atone for a loss to the Red Raiders during the 2021 season opener at NRG Stadium.

When the Cougars have the ball: UH will look to get wide receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell involved more often. The Daytona Beach, Florida, native was held to only five catches for 51 yards in the Cougars’ week one game against UTSA. Despite the limited catches, Dell caught two touchdowns and a key two-point conversion in Houston’s triple overtime win.

When Texas Tech has the ball: The Red Raiders will be led by sophomore quarterback Donovan Smith following the shoulder injury to starter Tyler Shough. Smith threw for 221 yards and four passing touchdowns in their win over Murray State.

Additionally, Texas Tech will be looking to have big plays from its running back duo of SaRodorick Thompson and junior Tahj Brooks, who rushed for a combined 98 yards and four total touchdowns against the Racers.

Key Cougars to watch: Running back Ta’Zhawn Henry is one of three UH players returning to Texas Tech. Receiver KeSean Carter and cornerback Alex Hogan are the other two. Henry played for the Red Raiders in 2018 and 2019.

Henry was limited to only eight carries against UTSA due to an injury, but head coach Dana Holgorsen said on Monday he expects the running back to be ready to go against the Red Raiders.

The key position to watch will be Houston’s offensive line and how well it does in week two. Holgorsen said he needs to see more consistency from the group going forward.

The bottom line: The Cougars will look to end a four-game losing streak to the Red Raiders that goes back to 2010. If UH can leave Lubbock with a win, the excitement for week three’s home opener against Kansas will only increase.

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