For the Longhorns, winning in Lubbock is no easy task

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Two. That is the most consecutive times Texas has travelled to Texas Tech and won since winning the first five matchups in Lubbock from 1934 to 1966.

The Longhorns have a chance to change that this weekend, as they travel up the Panhandle with a two game win streak at Jones AT&T Stadium.

“Whenever people say that, they kind of put a jinx on us a little bit,” senior wide receiver John Harris said. “But, we’re not worried about that; we’re not worried about records. We are just trying to worry about getting to bowl game. If the win streak continues, that’s good for us out there in Lubbock.”

With this weekend’s kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m., well after dark, the Longhorns will face the added challenge of playing a night game at Texas Tech — one of the more hostile environments in the Big 12. 

“It’s a good college football crowd, and they’ll be ready to rock and roll,” said Shawn Watson, Texas’ assistant head coach for offense and quarterbacks coach. “It’s one of those venues you walk into, and you’ve got to be ready for that aspect of it.”

More than anything, Tech fans are infamous for their crazy antics.

“They throw tortillas at you,” senior defensive end Cedric Reed said. “They do a lot of different stuff, man. It’s just a very loud crowd. They’ve got a lot of students in the stadium. There’s not much out there in Lubbock but football, so you know everybody’s packing in that little stadium.”

Junior running back Johnathan Gray had equal praise for the Red Raider fans, particularly at night and at this time of year.

“Those fans are rowdy,” Gray said. “The team, from what I heard, [in] Lubbock is a great night team, especially their Halloween [weekend] record.”

The Longhorns know that from experience. They are 0-3 all time when facing the Red Raiders on the road on Nov. 1. Their most recent loss came in 2008, when former receiver Michael Crabtree scampered into the end zone with one second remaining. That defeat resulted in a three-way tie for the Big 12 South lead, and the Longhorns lost the tiebreaker to Oklahoma despite beating the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl earlier that year.

In fact, the other two times the Longhorns fell in Lubbock under Mack Brown were very costly as well.

In 1998, the Red Raiders scored the game-winning touchdown with under 30 seconds to play to end Texas’ conference title hopes. In 2002, current Red Raider head coach Kliff Kingsbury led Tech to a victory that knocked the Longhorns out of the BCS picture.

While Texas does not have such lofty ambitions this season, a loss this Saturday would force them to win their last three games just to gain bowl eligibility.

“We just got to go out and execute and play because we know what’s on the line here,” Harris said. “They’re 3-5, [and] we’re 3-5, so the team who wins this game probably has a better chance of going to a bowl game.”

It’s never easy to win on the road — especially in such a difficult venue — but the Longhorns are ultimately focused on what goes on between the lines, as they try to win their third straight in Lubbock.

“When it comes down to it, it’s just Texas and Texas Tech playing, and none of those other people even matter, so it really shouldn’t affect us,” senior receiver Jaxon Shipley said.