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Playing Red Raiders in Lubbock never an easy task for the Longhorns

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The South Plains + the day after Halloween + a night game = a major challenge for Texas.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Throw out the records, throw out the statistics.

When the Texas Longhorns travel to Lubbock to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders, it's never an easy task, especially at night.

Especially the day after Halloween.

Remember the last time that the Longhorns traveled to the Llano Estacado to face off against the Red Raiders for a night game?

Perhaps this might refresh your memory.

Apologies for activating your PTSD, but that's exactly the type of thing that happens in Lubbbock at night.

There are other weird things that happen on the South Plains, too. Like students, um, awkwardly ringing the bell that they have on the sidelines for some reason.

So. Weird.

Now, these two teams will face off with a losing record, in stark contrast to that fateful game in 2008, but it doesn't remove the fact that while the Longhorns have lost in Lubbock twice in the last 12 years with one other close call.

The 12 years may seem like an arbitrary number, but the game in 2002 came during my freshman year and represented my first experience with the vortex known as Lubbock. Texas came in ranked in the top five of both of the polls against an unranked Texas Tech team led by none other than current head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who ended up throwing for 473 yards and six touchdowns in the 42-38 upset.

Perhaps most inexcusably, the Longhorns were out-rushed by the pass-happy Red Raiders and gave up 251 yards to Texas Tech all-purpose star Wes Welker. But the crucial play was an interception thrown by Texas quarterback Chris Simms with just over five minutes left that sealed the win for the home team.

The 2006 game was at night just before Halloween and marked something of a homecoming for Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Once again, the Horns were highly ranked and going against an unranked Red Raider squad, but played a sloppy game in fumbling five times, including two by running back Jamaal Charles, and faced a 21-0 deficit early in the game.

Texas surged back in the second quarter behind three touchdown passes from McCoy and the defense started to harass Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell in the second half. Clinging to the 35-31 lead, the Horns held on two late fourth downs to preserve the win.

And, of course, the 2008 game needs no further introduction.

This Texas team isn't nearly as talented as the teams that lost and struggled in Lubbock when heavily favored -- meaning that anything could happen on Saturday.