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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Sports

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Red Raiders prepare to take on familiar faces


Texas Tech goes back on the road for another Texas showdown against a ranked opponent when it takes on the Associated Press No. 17 Cougars (2-0) at Robertson Stadium on Saturday.’

Despite 420 yards passing from quarterback Taylor Potts,’

the Red Raiders (2-1) fell to No. 2 Texas, 34-24, in Austin and have to turn around and face a UH team that has had two weeks to prepare.’

Potts and UH quarterback Case Keenum will lead two of the nation’s most potent offenses in a primetime matchup in front of a national audience.’

Most are expecting this game to be a shootout and with good reason. Potts leads the nation with 12 touchdown passes, 1,281 yards and 116 completions. However, Keenum is having a solid start to the season with 725 passing yards and seven touchdowns in two games.

Red Raiders head coach Mike Leach can appreciate what both quarterbacks bring to the table.’ ‘

‘(Keenum) is a good player with quick feet and is accurate and very good at running their offense,’ Leach said. ‘I think he does a really good job of leading the offensive unit, and the one thing he does that all good quarterbacks do is make all the players around him better.’

While Potts engineers the offense, Tech will rely on those around him just as much in Saturday’s game. Wide receivers Lyle Leong and Detron Lewis will be instrumental in stretching the Cougars’ defense and creating opportunities for Potts down field.’

Leong may be more of a focal point for the Cougars given his history with Potts.’

Potts and Leong were high school teammates at Class 5A Abilene High School and their connection has carried over to their careers at Tech. Leong has five touchdowns in three games, including two scores against the Longhorns.’

There will also be Abilene bragging rights on the line Saturday, with Keenum hailing from crosstown Wylie High School, a 3A school. Because of the differences in their high school classes, this will be the first meeting between Keenum and Potts, and each will be eager to show how far they’ve come since their days in Abilene.

Leach will also see some familiar faces on the Cougars’ sideline. Former Tech offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and quarterback Kliff Kingsbury are now on the Cougars’ coaching staff.

‘(Holgerson) has always been a kind of sharp and insightful guy, a great student of the game,’ Leach said. ‘There hasn’t been a time where I felt he wasn’t a good coach.”

Kingsbury works in quality control for the Cougars and had a successful collegiate career, passing for 91 touchdowns and 11, 867 yards.’

‘(Kingsbury) was really a good player here at Tech. He was the quarterback that lifted off the passing game,’ Leach said. ‘He went on to rewrite the record books not just at Tech, but nationally. He was really instrumental for where we are today.”

Texas Tech will have to quickly forget its loss to Texas. Leach recognizes as much and is fully aware of what UH can do on offense.’

‘They’re very similar, and they do a lot of good things. We just got to worry about being the best team we can be,’ Leach said.’


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