The Southern Methodist Mustangs kick off their 2013 season at Ford Stadium on Friday, hosting the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Television coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
It should be a high-scoring affair, as new Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury will look to match SMU Air Raid gurus June Jones and Hal Mumme. Kingsbury takes over for Tommy Tuberville, who went 20-17 in his three years with the program before leaving for Cincinnati. Jones, the former head coach at Hawaii, has found success in Dallas, rebounding from a 1-11 opening campaign to post four straight bowl seasons (with three postseason victories).
Southern Methodist will be playing their first season in the newly minted American Athletic Conference, after tying for two division titles in their last four years of Conference USA play. The Mustangs had trouble passing the ball consistently last year, and it was running back Zach Line (now with the Vikings) who helped lead the offense.
Rankings and records: Neither team is ranked in either the AP Poll or the Coaches Poll. Texas Tech holds a 32-16 advantage in the all-time series, with an average margin of victory at around seven points.
Vegas: Texas Tech is a 4.5-point favorite Friday. The over/under is 59.5 points. OddsShark has details and wagering information.
Weather: Friday is going to be sunny and hot in University Park, with a high of 102.
Three names to know
JuCo transfer Traylon Shead will be taking over the duties at running back for SMU, and is one of two Mustang starters that transferred from Texas (joining quarterback Garrett Gilbert). Shead ran for 141 touchdowns in high school, a Texas state record, and ran for 1,194 yards last year at Navarro College.
Eric Ward caught 82 passes for 1,053 yards and 12 touchdowns last year for Texas Tech and looks to be their top target this season with Darrin Moore's graduation. The Red Raider receiving corps is filled with former four-star prospects, including Ward and tight end Jace Amaro, who should also play a key role.
Receiver Jakeem Grant is Texas Tech's second-leading returning receiver (32 receptions for 284 yards in 2012), but should be watched carefully in the return game. Take a look at what he did against Baylor and Minnesota to finish out last year.
Two things at stake
Kliff Kingsbury enters the head coaching position with a lot of hype but not a lot of experience - an opening day win would go a long way towards making the Red Raider faithful even more comfortable with their new lead man.
Southern Methodist has lost 14 straight against Texas Tech, last winning in 1986.
How to witness
Online streaming: WatchESPN
For analysis, previews and all your SMU needs, check Viva The Matadors.