Notes from the opponent: Texas Tech

Matthew Boncosky, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the September 24 Double Coverage flipbook.

The Daily Texan spoke with Arianna Flores, sports editor at The Daily Toreador, ahead of Texas Tech’s trip to Austin this weekend.

The Daily Texan: Texas Tech enters conference play undefeated. What’s the buzz like surrounding the team?

Arianna Flores: In general, Lubbock is a very Texas Tech city, so there’s a lot of buzz going around about this new team (and) about the energy that they’re bringing. They have this new slogan, “Now it’s personal,” and that’s kind of become the brand for Lubbock. Most people take that really seriously out here.

DT: What strides has head coach Matt Wells made with his program and why do things appear to be looking up for the Red Raiders?

AF: Last year he had to deal with (COVID-19) and things in general that probably didn’t go his way, but this year he’s got a solid team. He’s got a solid offense and a solid defense. He’s got guys who you can tell are really passionate about the game on both sides of the ball. They want to win (and) they’re hungry for success, so I feel like coach (Wells) has a lot of really talented guys on his roster, and that’s really helping him kind of do what he does best, which is coach.

DT: What has allowed quarterback Tyler Shough to have success this year and what should fans expect from Texas Tech’s passing attack?

AF: He (currently) leads the Big 12 in passing, and he’s just a really big name out here … I just think Tyler has a really good head on his shoulders and he’s got a really good connection with the receivers. We don’t know who he’s going to throw to, we don’t know who he’s going to look for next and that’s the beauty of Texas Tech (football). Expect the unexpected.

DT: What are you expecting from the Red Raiders’ front seven on Saturday against Texas’ running game?

AF: I’m expecting a really good game because, in the last couple games, Texas Tech has put a really good effort into stopping the ball, so I feel like they’re gonna do the same this game. (Against) Houston, Texas Tech had four interceptions, that’s (almost) more than they had all of last season in one game, so I think that the defense is really going to try and do what they can to get the ball back.

DT: Are there any specific storylines that you’re excited to see play out on Saturday?

AF: I’m kind of excited to see the quarterback versus quarterback (situation) because I know (Texas) has had two quarterbacks start. I’m also excited to see some of our defensive backs get on the field. We have DaMarcus Fields (and) Reggie Pearson, he’s a really big name that’s been out here and he’s been doing a lot.

DT: A win against Texas would be the first 4–0 start for the Red Raiders since they won seven straight to start the 2013 season campaign. What would that mean for the Red Raiders program as a whole given the state of the team the past couple of years?

AF: I think a Texas Tech win would really kind of put the Red Raiders on the map. I feel like the Red Raiders have really worked hard and, with the whole Big 12 (realignment) situation and the whole — I don’t want to say names — but the Chris Beard situation, the Red Raiders have had their eyes on Texas for a while, so I feel like a win in the football category would be a win for Lubbock.