The Texas Tech Red Raiders football team will open their 2020 season on Saturday when they host the Houston Baptist Huskies at Jones AT&T Stadium.
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The game (8 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Houston Baptist vs Texas Tech live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ is the digital streaming service from ESPN that has live college football (Big 12, Conference USA, AAC and Sun Belt) and dozens of other sports, every 30-for-30 documentary, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Texas Tech vs Houston Baptist live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Houston Baptist vs Texas Tech Preview
The Red Raiders went 4-8 overall and 2-7 in Big 12 play a season ago, their first campaign under head coach Matt Wells.
On Monday, Wells set his program’s sights on their first trip to the College Football Playoff, an achievement that should be likelier than ever considering how many schools and conferences have either canceled or postponed their seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The focus around here has been to get into the Big 12 fight and get to the month of November and be in meaningful games so that we can go win a Big 12 championship,” Wells said, according to 247Sports. “That’s the goal. It always has been and always will be here. If you’re the Big 12 champ, probably you’re going to be in the College Playoff.”
Texas Tech boasted one of the best passing attacks in the nation in 2019, ranking seventh out of 130 FBS teams in passing yards per game (324.7).
Sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman will open the year as the Red Raiders’ starter for the second straight year; he started the first three games of the 2019 season before sustaining an injury to his non-throwing shoulder that led to his redshirting. Then-junior Jett Duffey, who’s since left the program, took over for the remainder of the season
“I think Bowman’s bigger and stronger than last year,” Wells said Monday, per 247Sports. “Certainly, keeping him healthy is the key for all of us. He is more knowledgeable in this offense.”
Houston Baptist went 5-7 a year ago, posting a 2-6 mark in Southland Conference play. They dropped their 2020 season opener on Sept. 5, falling to the North Texas Mean Green 57-31 on the road.
Huskies senior quarterback Bailey Zappe completed 39 of 62 passes for 480 yards, 3 touchdowns and no picks. Last year, Zappe ranked first among FCS quarterbacks in passing touchdowns (35) and second in passing yards (3,811).
Since the Huskies hired offensive coordinator Zach Kittley ahead of the 2018 season, they’ve deployed their version of the Air Raid offense, a pass-heavy scheme that Texas Tech has been running since Mike Leach took over the program before the 2000 campaign.
Kittley familiarized himself with the system as a Texas Tech assistant under Kliff Kingsbury; the head coach departed for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals the same offseason that saw Kittley head to Houston Baptist.
“Everything I’ve learned is from him (Kingsbury),” Kittley said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “When I took over here three years ago, we kind of brought that exact carbon copy over.
“But you have to adapt to your personnel. You’re going to see probably some similar things that the Red Raider fans saw for six years there, but you’re also going to see some things that you probably didn’t see.”