The series between Texas Tech and Kansas State, which Tech leads 8-7, is one of streaks.
The teams first met in the heart of the Dust Bowl and the Depression, in 1933. The Red Raiders took that one 6-0, and then proceeded to win the next two, in 1963 and 1986. All three of those contests took place in Lubbock.
It wasn’t until the advent of the Big 12 in 1996 that the Wildcats got their first win over Texas Tech. In the initial football game of the Big 12, KSU took a controversial 21-14 victory over the Red Raiders in Manhattan. The game was controversial because Tech wideout Donnie Hart caught what appeared to be a touchdown pass from Zebbie Lethridge in the corner of the end zone. Hart, however, was ruled out of bounds. Given the final score, those seven points were highly significant.
K-State went on to win the next two games of the series, in 1997 and 2000. In the 1997 battle the Red Raiders managed to score only two points, the lowest output by Texas Tech in the series.
Very soon after Mike Leach arrived on the South Plains and the Red Raiders turned the tables on the Wildcats.
Leach led the Red Raiders to a 38-19 victory in 2001, and Tech went on to rip off five straight victories, most of which were by a very wide margin. Leach’s last win over KSU came by a 66-14 count in 2009. That was the most lopsided win by either team in the series, and stands to this day as the last time the Red Raiders won over K-State.
The 2005 game, which Tech won 59-20, was particularly notable for featuring the most famous, and possibly the hardest hit in Texas Tech football history.
In the third quarter, with the Red Raiders already leading 31-14, KSU quarterback Allan Evridge unadvisedly tested the middle of the Tech defense on a QB-keeper. As Evridge sliced through what looked like a good hole over the left side of the Red Raider defense, safety Dwayne Slay rocketed in from the defensive backfield and exploded into Evridge’s chest and facemask. The hit produced a fumble which Tech recovered, and Evridge eventually made his way off the field under his own power.
The Red Raiders went on to a 59-20 victory.
With the departure of Mike Leach, so vanished wins over Kansas State. Beginning in 2011 and continuing to the present, the Red Raiders have lost four straight to the Wildcats. And with the exception of the 2011 game, which Tech lost 41-34, the games haven’t been close. The average margin of victory for KSU over the last three games has been 29 points, and K-State’s average point total has been 50.
In point of fact, this series is long on blowouts and short on nail-biters. None of the 15 games have been decided by three points or less, and only four have been decided by seven points or less. On the other hand, seven games, almost half, have been routs where the victorious team won by at least 30 points.
Odds are good that this year’s renewal will produce one of the closer contests in series history.