Gear Up For Game Day: Texas Tech
LARAMIE -- As always, I love to utilize this space each week during the season to not only give you the important info -- game time, TV channel, betting lines, etc. -- but also drop a bit of randomness on your plate.
When it comes to Wyoming and Texas Tech, there are a few commonalities, one being Mike Leach.
The Cody native coached the Red Raiders from 2000-09, compiling an overall record of 84-43. He led Tech to 10 straight postseason appearances, including a pair of Cotton Bowl berths and a share of the 2008 Big XII regular season title.
Leach went on to coach at Washington State (2012-19) and Mississippi State until his untimely death in 2022 as a result of heart complications. He was just 61.
The "Pirate," as he was affectionately known, always "swung his sword" his own way, implementing an air raid offense that took the college football world by storm. He threw the ball all over the yard. He took risks.
He was always a hit with the media, dropping hilarious anecdotes and quips. He was "quick," according to Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl, who became close friends with Leach during his tenure in Laramie.
Close, but not close enough to grant Leach a request when he brought his Wazzu squad to Laramie in 2018.
"Mike and I were at a Fiesta Bowl event, enjoying a couple of adult beverages, along with a couple of other unnamed people, and Mike was passionate that he wanted to talk to the Cowboys the morning that Washington State played us," Bohl joked. "I said, 'you're not going to talk to the Cowboys, Mike.' He goes, 'No, you don't understand, I have to talk to the Cowboys.'
"He would send texts, saying he was so proud of how we were doing. He was proud to be a citizen of Wyoming, and if you talk to people in Mississippi or wherever, he would always bring up Wyoming. It was a special place for him."
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Leach in 2019 after he accepted the job in Starkville. As always, he was the larger-than-life character he had become known for. Check that out right here:
Two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL right now hail from these two schools.
Josh Allen is in Year 6 under center in Buffalo and Patrick Mahomes already has two Super Bowl championships since bursting onto the scene in 2017.
Is this the new age Brady vs. Manning? It sure appears that way, though Cincinnati's Joe Burrow would like a word. The Bills and Chiefs have hooked up five times since these two gunslingers have taken the reins. Mahomes holds a 3-2 advantage, including a pair of playoff wins.
You remember that classic in 2021.
With just 13 ticks remaining in regulation, Mahomes led the Chiefs on a 3-play, 44-yard drive that culminated in a 49-yard field goal off the right foot of Harrison Butker. Kansas City marched 75 yards on just eight plays and an 8-yard touchdown heave from Mahomes to Travis Kelce sent Allen and the Bills packing.
These two will meet again Dec. 10 inside Arrowhead Stadium.
We still think they should make a public bet on Saturday night's game in Laramie:
If you have ever lived in the Lone Star State, you are fully aware of the publication Texas Monthly magazine.
If you're an avid reader, I'm sure you pay close attention to the annual "Bum Steers Awards." It's exactly how it sounds, and one time Texas Tech made the cut after a game against the Cowboys back in 1992.
The paragraph, titled Horses and Zebras Don't Mix, reads: "The Texas Tech school mascot, a black horse carrying a masked rider, galloped around Jones Stadium while celebrating a Tech touchdown against Wyoming and knocked down a referee."
Here's what the school's website had to say about the incident: "In 1992 the Masked Rider, Jason Spence, ran into a referee during the Tech-Wyoming football game. Clair Gausman, the referee who was knocked unconscious, was looked at and cleared by the team doctors and later returned to the game. Two committee members, Tom McGinnity and John Pipkin, decided that Spence should be removed from his post. The Sept. 18, 1992, issue of The U.D. reported that ,"Gausman feels badly for Spence and does not want to see him dismissed from his duties as Masked Rider." He wasn't, and the committee eventually reinstated him. Much to the chagrin of Red Raiders everywhere, the incident was mentioned in Texas Monthly Magazine's annual "Bum Steer Awards."
Fred Akers, who coached in Laramie 1975-76, leading the Cowboys to an overall record of 10-13 and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl, spent a single season at Lubbock High School back in 1965. He later went on to the University of Texas where he was the offensive coordinator from 1966-74.
After his brief stint at Wyoming, Akers went back to Austin where he took over head coaching duties and led the Longhorns to a record of 86-31-2 in 10 seasons. He won two conference championships in that timeframe.
Check out a few other interesting tidbits from Texas Tech and Big 12 podcast, the Gamblin' Gauchos:
Here's my conversation with the Gauchos on Wednesday night:
Last but not least, remember when Jovon Bouknight coached in Lubbock? Don't worry, Tech fans probably don't, either.
The former Wyoming wideout, who snagged 250 passes for 3,626 yards and 29 touchdowns from 2002-05, was on Matt Wells' initial staff at Texas Tech. The hire was made in December of 2018. Bouknight, a wide receivers coach, was gone by February, accepting the same position at Oregon.
Wells, who was originally at Utah State, lasted just two-plus seasons in Lubbock, compiling an overall mark of 57-51. Bouknight is currently the WR coach and passing-game coordinator at Marshall.
Here is all you need to know -- and the links -- for Saturday's tilt in Laramie:
WHO: Texas Tech (0-0) at Wyoming (0-0)
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 5:30 p.m. MST
WEATHER: High of 79, low 52, partly cloudy, winds at 13 mph, 50% chance of rain
WHERE: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, Wyo. (29,181 capacity)
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network
TICKETS: Wyoming Ticket office
BOX SCORE: ESPN
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Texas Tech
BETMGM ODDS: Texas Tech -14, O/U 50.5 (Could be subject to change)
HISTORY: Sixth meeting (Wyoming leads series, 3-2)
HEAD COACHES: Craig Bohl / Joey McGuire
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