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September 8, 1998

TEXAS TECH (1-0, 0-0 Big 12 Conference) vs. NORTH TEXAS (0-1), 6:30 p.m. (CDT), Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

The series: The Red Raiders and Eagles play at the home of the Dallas Cowboys for the first time in their four-game series. The last three meetings have been at Lubbock, and North Texas brings in a 3-1 all-time lead over the Raiders. UNT won 30-27 at Jones Stadium in 1997 after upsetting T-Tech 29-24 in 1988. Tech won 28-7 on its local turf in 1985 after the series began at Denton in 1952 with a 34-19 Eagles' victory. Tech has a 10-5 record historically against the current Big West Conference membership.

The coaches: Texas Tech's Spike Dykes is 70-57-1 (13th year, all in Raiderland) overall, 10-6 in Big 12 games, 0-2 against North Texas, and 2-4 in bowls. North Texas' Darrell Dickey is 0-1 (first season as a head coach) with the Mean Green, 0-1 against Big 12 opponents and 0-0 in bowls as a head coach. Dykes is within seven victories of becoming the Red Raiders' winningest football mentor as he trails only Pete Cawthon (76-32-6 from 1930-40). Dickey, a starting quarterback at Kansas State and assistant coach in Big 12 programs, faces his second team in a row from this conference to initiate his top-rung career.

The teams: After a 35-3 win over experienced Texas-El Paso (featuring much of the same talent that helped the Miners upend Brigham Young 14-3 in 1997), the Red Raiders are poised to continue their run. North Texas has demonstrated the ability to come out of the gates quickly as evidenced by two drives which covered 135 yards and 19 plays to start both halves at Oklahoma last week.

Key individuals: Raiders' RB Ricky Williams leads the nation in rushing with 251 yards on 41 carries (both career highs) vs. UTEP. QB Matt Tittle, who returns to the Metroplex area and a stadium where his high school team (Flower Mound Marcus) competed in several state playoff games, replaced the injured Rob Peters last week. Tittle responded with 10-of-18 passing figures for 172 yards and one TD. LBs Kyle Shipley and Ty Ardoin (seven stops apiece) helped Tech rack up nine team tackles for loss against the Miners. Eagles' RB Hut Allred moved from TB to FB to spell injured Starsky Banks and had six carries for 36 yards to top the team charts. SS Ramone Archie (10 tackles) is a defensive mainstay.

Incidentally: In its last trip to Texas Stadium on Sept. 7, 1996, Tech grabbed its first Big 12 victory in 31-3 fashion over Oklahoma State behind a then-school-high 272 yards rushing by 1996 Doak Walker Award winner Byron Hanspard. Twelve newcomers (freshmen or transfers) played their first game for North Texas on Sept. 5, and leading tackler Archie debuted collegiately as a defensive team member.

The broadcast: Jack Dale and John Harris on the Texas Tech Radio Network. The game will also be broadcast in Spanish in Lubbock on KXTQ Radio with Mario Montez handline play-by-play duties.

 

 

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