The honeymoon is over. Kliff Kingsbury and Texas Tech suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman on homecoming weekend.
After a weather delay pushed back kickoff over an hour and 15 minutes, the Red Raider defense did their part to give the offense plenty of opportunites. After the defense forced three punts and a turnover and only gave up 14 points in the first half, the offense had no appreciation for all that hard work, wasting five opportunities to score points in Oklahoma territory and producing only seven points.
The second half started with more of the same, but after kicking a field-goal to pull within 17-21, Tech recovered an onside kick, marched down the field and scored on a Jakeem Grant catch-and-run touchdown. Not to be outdone, Oklahoma’s Lacoltan Bester took a reverse handoff, faked pass and instead ran 35-yards for a Sooner touchdown to make it 28-24.
After climbing out of a hole on the very next drive, Eric Ward let a pass bounce off his hands and into the hands of Oklahoma’s Gabe Lynn. The Sooners would score again to take an 11-point lead.
Back-and-forth it went. Facing fourth-and-two on their side of the field, Kingsbury called pass and Webb delivered a 24-yard completion to Jakeem Grant with pressure in his face. Kenny Williams would run it in for a touchdown four plays later, pulling Tech within five. The two-point conversation attempt failed.
Tech’s defense had nothing left, however, and Oklahoma was able to run out the clock and kick a field-goal to take an eight point lead with 1:17 left. Tech’s ensuing drive fell short.
The loss drops Texas Tech to 7-1 (4-1 in Big 12 play) heading into a home contest with Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1).
Turnovers and wasted opportunities to score points in the first half spelled disaster for Tech heading into the final 30 minutes. But the defense’s inability to stop Oklahoma’s rushing attack kept Tech’s offense at arm’s length. The only lead the Red Raiders had in the second half came off an onside kick.
Boldness kept Tech alive, but it wasn’t quite enough.
Davis Webb: 33/53, 385 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Eric Ward: 9 receptions, 106 yards, 2 TDs
Blake Bell: 14/22, 249 yards, 2 TDs
Jalen Saunders: 6 receptions, 153 yards, 2 TDs