The Texas Tech Red Raiders don’t appear to be obsessing over their last two meetings with Paul Rhoads’ Iowa State Cyclones heading into Saturday night’s showdown in Ames.
Those games were significant to each program for totally different reasons.
For the Cyclones, the wins were two of the brightest points of the last two seasons. For Texas Tech, not so much.
Iowa State jumped out to 24-0 in route to a 52-38 victory over the Red Raiders in 2010.
Behind a stellar performance of quarterback Jared Barnett (in his first career start), the Cyclones traveled to Lubbock, took control with an early 21-0 lead and routed the 19th ranked Red Raiders 41-7 a year ago (Iowa State’s largest win over a ranked team in program history).
That victory set the tone for a three-game winning streak that included an upset of Oklahoma State for the Cyclones. After losing to Iowa State, Tech didn’t win another game and failed to go bowling in 2011 for the first time in 12 seasons.
Texas Tech hasn’t exactly had a large amount of success against any Big 12 opponent since Tommy Tuberville got to town in 2010, but two losses in a row to Iowa State was quite the topic of conversation during a media session in Lubbock on Monday.
Last year, stories about “52-38” signs being posted all around the Texas Tech football complex were abundant. This week, that hasn’t been the case.
“The vibe around the locker room and the building is totally different than it was last year,” said Doege. “Guys are excited about this game, which they should be. It’s a big first test. And we remember what happened the last two years; they definitely got, you know, did what they wanted against us and we didn’t perform very well on offense.”
The Cyclones however are fully expecting Texas Tech to be gunning for them after last year.
“I’m sure that they looked at last year and they weren’t too happy about it,” said defensive tackle Jake McDonough. “I imagine they’ll bring their best game this year. I mean that’s typical every year. That’s how Iowa treated us this year. They were mad that we beat them last year and I’m sure that Texas Tech will feel the same way.”
Last year, Tech had stunned top-ranked Oklahoma in Norman a week before getting the Cyclones at home.
“We knew we wouldn’t get the same effort the next week, but we at least played at home but we didn’t even come close to playing, even to the point of playing to where we had a chance,” said Tuberville. “I thought we were much better and we didn’t come close to playing how we could have played’ not to take anything away from Iowa State. They came in the other way.”
Tech can use the last two years as motivation. Iowa State can use the last two years for confidence. But in the end, does what happened the last two years really matter when it comes to Saturday night at 6 p.m.?
“I don’t think that the last two victories have anything to do with this football game,” said Rhoads. “We played very well in these two games the last two years. When you play well and you execute well you have a chance to win the game and we did that the past two.”
Play well and execute. What a novel concept! That’s the key to victory right there – for both teams.