Preview: Red Raiders vs N.C. State

After starting the 2022 campaign with a 2-0 record, Texas Tech faces their first road test of the season against No. 16 N.C. State. The Wolfpack are led by quarterback Devin Leary, who is arguably one of the best in the ACC. The Red Raiders and Wolfpack have not faced off in nearly a decade. The teams have only squared off five times, but N.C. State has dominated the series with a 4-1 record all-time. This week, Tech will look to buck that trend.

The last matchup came in 2003 with N.C. State manhandling the Red Raiders. The Wolfpack led 28-0 into the third quarter before B.J. Symons finally got the offense going. Wes Welker opened the Red Raiders scoring but N.C. State never let up. Symons broke a then school record for passing yards with 586, but the Wolfpack won fairly easily in the end 49-21.

The two meetings before were much closer. Despite a valiant effort against a No. 17-ranked squad in 2002, the Red Raiders fell short 51-48 in overtime. In the 1993 game, Bam Morris racked up 141 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns. However, the Wolfpack scored on a last-second touchdown to win 36-34.

Tech’s lone win against N.C. State came in 1952 when they were a member of the Border Conference. The team was led by coach DeWitt Weaver in his second season. The season was not much to write home about as the Red Raiders finished 3-7-1. However, the team rallied at the end of the year winning two of their last three including a 54-7 blowout victory against the Wolfpack. The win ultimately served as a springboard for the following season. Tech went 11-1, won the Border Conference Championship and then defeated Auburn in the Gator Bowl.

Saturday’s matchup draws comparisons to the early 2000s games. Leary is arguably N.C. State’s best quarterback since Phillip Rivers while the Red Raiders have a long gunslinger in Donovan Smith looking to prove himself worthy of being a full-time starter in the Big 12. After a Top 25 win against Houston, Joey McGuire will look to make it two in a row in Raleigh.

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