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Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is going to be an underdog in most of his games this season.

Texas Tech game-by-game predictions: Red Raiders in for tough season

Texas Tech missed a bowl game for the second time in three seasons last year. But after losing Pat Mahomes to the NFL draft, this season could be even worse.

Here is how we predict every Texas Tech game this season:

Game 1: vs. Eastern Washington

When: Sept. 2

Where: Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock

At first thought, this looks like any old FCS game. However, EWU has a way of making Power 5 teams look stupid. The Eagles are 2-4 against Power 5 teams in the last six years, including a win against 8-4 Washington State last season. Of those four losses — all against Oregon, Washington and Washington State — three came by a touchdown or less. Tech better be prepared.

Prediction: Texas Tech wins, 66-59

Record: 1-0

Game 2: vs. Arizona State

When: Sept. 16

Where: Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock

Tech’s nightmare non-conference tour continues with a matchup against Todd Graham and the Sun Devils. ASU added several key pieces, but none bigger than quarterback Blake Barnett from Alabama. At this point, it’s fair to assume Barnett will perform better than Tech’s Nic Shimonek.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 52-42

Record: 1-1

Game 3: at Houston

When: Sept. 23

Where: TDECU Stadium in Houston

Tech’s non-conference slate mercifully finishes against perhaps the best Group of 5 team in the past few years. While Tom Herman is gone, Major Applewhite leads new quarterback Kyle Allen into battle on their home field. Texas Tech also has absolutely no answer for all-world defensive lineman Ed Oliver, who is better than anyone on the Red Raiders’ roster by a pretty sizable margin.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 42-24

Record: 1-2

Game 4: vs. Oklahoma State

When: Sept. 30

Where: Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock

Oklahoma State is our pick to win the Big 12. While the Cowboys play worse on the road, they might be the only team in the Big 12 that clearly has a better passing game than Tech.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 55-21

Record: 1-3

Game 5: at Kansas

When: Oct. 7

Where: Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kan.

When the season comes to an end, this will be the game that gets Kliff Kingsbury fired. The defensive line ranks among the best in the conference and will force Shimonek into several bad decisions. Kansas will ultimately outgun Texas Tech.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 49-45

Record: 1-4

Game 6: at West Virginia

When: Oct. 14

Where: Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.

West Virginia isn’t going to be great this season but playing on its home field will help. Besides, WVU’s issues come on defense, but the Mountaineers still have the major defensive advantage.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 42-31

Record: 1-5

Game 7: vs. Iowa State

When: Oct. 21

Where: Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock

This is the game where Texas Tech takes out all its frustration on a team it can beat. Iowa State will be better this season, but Shimonek will play the best game of his career in a huge win. The 66-10 embarrassment from 2016 will be fresh on TTU’s mind.

Prediction: Texas Tech wins, 63-42

Record: 2-5

Game 8: at Oklahoma

When: Oct. 28

Where: Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.

Poor Red Raiders. Baker Mayfield threw for 545 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. This time around, Tech won’t have Mahomes to keep up. .

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 66-35

Record: 2-6

Game 9: vs. Kansas State

When: Nov. 4

Where: Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock

Bill Snyder will take the ball out of Shimonek’s hands and squeeze Texas Tech’s defense to death, as it is written.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 28-17

Record: 2-7

Game 10: vs. Baylor

When: Nov. 11

Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

This is probably Texas Tech’s best chance for another Big 12 win, but it’s hard to know what Baylor will look like at this point. If their offensive line is still intact, the Bears will — surprisingly — suffocate Tech on defense instead.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 31-24

Record: 2-8

Game 11: vs. TCU

When: Nov. 18

Where: Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock

TCU might be starting a true freshman quarterback at this point but will still potentially be fighting for bowl eligibility. The Horned Frogs will take care of business.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 35-24

Record: 2-9

Game 12: at Texas

When: Nov. 24

Where: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas

Kingsbury’s players will know that this will likely be his last game. They will play with strong effort and Tech won their in its last game in 2015.  All that still won’t be enough, but it will a game bringing pride to Tech nation.

Prediction: Texas Tech loses, 45-44, in OT

Record: 2-10

Final prediction: 2-10

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt, what are you doing with this non-conference schedule? Eastern Washington is among the best FCS teams. Houston might be the best Group of 5 team over the past few years. That doesn’t even count facing another Power 5 team with a 5-star quarterback recruit of its own.

That said, Texas Tech will almost certainly pull an upset and finish with more than two wins. Those games against Baylor and TCU seem like prime opportunities, especially if Baylor’s offensive line is in trouble. But at this point, it’s hard to see Kingsbury having any chance to keep his job.