Previewing the Kansas State Game
Tech to Face Wildcats in First-Ever Big 12 Contest
Date: Saturday, Aug. 31, 1996
Texas Tech opens its 72nd season of collegiate competition in the historic first-ever Big 12 Conference game when it travels to Manhattan, Kan., to face the nationally-ranked Kansas State Wildcats. A sold-out crowd of 42,000 is expected as KSU stadium. The game will mark Kansas State's first-ever conference season opener and Texas Tech's first-ever game in August.
Spike Dykes -- The Texas Tech head coach is 56-47-1 in his 10th year at Texas Tech. He has led the Red Raiders to three-straight bowl appearances and five-straight seasons of no lower than second-place finishes in the Southwest Conference. A 1959 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, Dykes has coached eight All-Americas and 60 all-conference selections and his offensive squads have set 59 individual or team school records.
Bill Snyder -- The Kansas State head coach has compiled a 46-33-1 recording his eighth season as head coach of the Wildcats. A 1963 graduate of William Jewell, Snyder has been mentioned for national coach of the year honors in four of the last five years and has compiled a 32-4-1 record at Kansas State in the 1990s.
For the second-straight season, Texas Tech will open its schedule on ABC Sports against a nationally-ranked opponent. Last season the Red Raiders lost a heartbreaking 24-23 decision at 4th-ranked Penn State on a 39-yard field goal with just four seconds left. The Texas Tech vs. Kansas State game will be televised regionally by ABC Sports as part of its college football broadcast package. Texas Tech is 10-15-1 in its 26 appearances on ABC since the 1965 Gator Bowl against Georgia Tech.
All Sports Radio Network is in its second year of broadcasting Texas Tech football on a network of 25 stations. KKAM/KFMX in Lubbock will serve as the flagship station. KKAM will begin its pregame show two hours before kickoff, while KFMX will begin 45 minutes prior to game time. KKAM will also broadcast postgame shows with each game.
Texas Tech holds a 3-0 series lead over Kansas State and in the previous two contests, the Red Raider offense has set school records for passing. The last time Texas Tech and Kansas State faced each other was a 41-7 Red Raider win in 1986 at Jones Stadium in David McWilliams' coaching debut. Three Tech quarterbacks attempted a school-record 55 passes after a first-half defensive struggle resulted in a 7-6 score after two quarters. Sophomore Boyd Cowan intercepted a Wildcat pass and returned it 83 yards for a TD in a 17-point third quarter for Tech. Senior running back Timmy Smith, the team's leading rusher, was lost for the season with a broken ankle in the game.
In the 1963 contest, Texas Tech set five individual and two team school marks in a 51-13 win on Nov. 9 in Lubbock. All-America David Parks caught a school-record eight passes for 132 yards and quarterback James Ellis tossed a school-record four TD passes (three to Tommy Doyle, also a school record at the time). H.L. Daniels set a mark for most extra points with six, with the Tech offense setting passing records for yards (251) and TDs (5). The two teams has met one other time, a 6-0 Tech win 1933.
Texas Tech in Openers
Texas Tech holds a 45-23-3 record in season openers overall but is only 9-10-1 in openers on the road. The last time Texas Tech won a road opener was a 17-7 win over Baylor in 1977, which was also the last time the Red Raiders opened the season against a conference opponent.
Oklahoma State Game
Texas Tech is serving as the home team for the Oklahoma State contest at Texas Stadium, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 7.
Tony Rogers Keeping Streaks Alive
The junior place-kicker enters the 1996 season having made all 37 extra-point attempts last season in his first year as a starter. In his career, Rogers has nailed nine of 10 field goal attempts from 40-49 yards. Overall, he is 16 of 24. He connected on a 54-yard field goal during Tech's first scrimmage. Rogers needs to connect on his next four PAT attempts to move among the all-time Tech leaders for consecutive PATs. Bill Adams (1977-79) is third with 41. Lin Elliott (1988-91) holds the Texas Tech record for consecutive PATs with 85. Don Grimes (1972-73) is second with 57.
Texas Tech won its final four games and seven of its last eight contest in 1995, including the 55-41 win in the Weiser Lock Copper Bowl over Air Force. The Red Raiders last won five consecutive games during the 1993 season. Tech currently holds a nine-game home winning streak dating back to a 42-16 loss to top-ranked Nebraska on Sept. 8, 1994 on a nationally-televised Thursday night ESPN contest.
Experienced Offensive Line
With four seniors on the offensive line and three senior starters, the Texas Tech offensive line is among the most experienced in recent memory. Anchored by tackle Ben Kaufman (6-5, 277) and guard Casey Jones (6-5, 283), the left side of the line has started 45 of the last 46 games between them. Center Jay Pugh and Kevin Ward are completing for the center position after Ward started the final seven games last season. Shane Dunn and junior Chris Whitney are slated to start on the right side.
Best Rushing Mark in SWC History
The Red Raiders not only broke the Southwest Conference record for best rushing yard average in a bowl game, they shattered it. Byron Hanspard and Zebbie Lethridge led a parade of runners who averaged 9.1 yards per carry in last year's 55-41 victory over Air Force in the Weiser Lock Copper Bowl. The previous SWC record was 7.0 yards per carry set in the 1945 Cotton Bowl when Rice beat Alabama. The Red Raiders gained 361 yards on the ground on just 39 carries.
This N' That
Texas Tech is 10-2 when junior tailback Byron Hanspard rushes for more than 100 yards. Quarterback Zebbie Lethridge has accounted for 44 TDs (26 passing, 18 rushing) and 15 interceptions in his two years as a starter. He has led the Red Raiders to a 13-5 record over the last 18 games.
Diminutive Mitchell One of Nation's Smallest
Starting junior flanker Stacy Mitchell (5-5, 150) is the third smallest player in Division I football this season. The DeSoto native is also a key kickoff returner for the Red Raiders and is a major threat on the ground after the catch.
Six Red Raiders Named Team Captains
Three offensive and three defensive players were elected team captains by the squad for the 1996 season. On offense, juniors Byron Hanspard and Zebbie Lethridge were named for the second-straight season and are joined by senior Casey Jones. Defensively, senior linebackers Robert Johnson and Anthony Armour and junior Dane Johnson were elected to the honor.