Texas Tech hits the road for the first time this season when it faces Houston. A win would move the Red Raiders to 3-0 heading into Big 12 play. Here are five things Texas Tech fans should know about the Cougars.
1. Major Applewhite is in charge
The Tom Herman era ended after last season when Herman left to take the job at the University of Texas. Major Applewhite took over as Houston’s coach in December after spending two seasons as Herman’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Applewhite’s tenure has begun on a positive note, with the Cougars getting off to a 2-0 start. Herman built Houston into respectable program and tough opponent, and Applewhite is trying to keep that going.
“They’re a talented group,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Quarterback had a tremendous game last week, very accurate, was the No. 1 player in the country coming out, so we’ll have our hands full.”
2. They have a “Power Five” backfield
Greg Ward Jr. led Houston’s offense last year under Herman, but he graduated after the season as the second-most winningest quarterback in the school’s history.
Former Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen is now under center. Allen was the No. 1 recruit in the 2014 class and transferred from A&M after his freshman season in College Station. Through two games Allen has passed for 554 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions while completing 86.2 percent of his passes.
Next to Allen is another former “Power Five” player in Duke Catalon. He began his career at the University of Texas but elected to transfer after his redshirt freshman season. Catalon has run for 110 yards and one touchdown on 25 attempts.
3. They love upsets
Houston made its name on upsetting big-time opponents. The Cougars have won six straight games against ranked opponents and four against top-10 opponents.
Texas Tech may not be ranked, but that won’t stop the Cougars from trying to beat another Power Five opponent. Expect this to be a competitive game, even with a different head coach at the helm for the Cougars.
4. They create turnovers
Texas Tech has protected the ball through two games this season. Quarterback Nic Shimonek has thrown nine touchdown passes and no interceptions, but Houston will look to change that.
The Cougars are excellent at forcing turnovers. Houston has created 131 turnovers since 2013, which is best in the nation. They have four so far this season.
5. They are outstanding at home
Going to Houston is a tall task for Texas Tech’s first road game of the season. The Cougars have won 16 straight home games, which is the longest streak in the country. Alabama is second on the list with 14 straight home victories. Texas Tech will have to come out firing on offense to have a chance at ending Houston’s home dominance.
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