The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Texas Tech vs Oklahoma State


There were whispers before the season began that Texas Tech could be a dark horse to challenge for the Big 12 Championship based on their offense and their ability to finally stop the run. For the first time all season, fans were finally able to get a glimpse of the offense humming as they scored on their opening possession for the first time this season and racked up an astounding 61 plays and 320 yards in the first half. It wasn’t all great for the offense though, as they again killed themselves with the same things that have plagued them all year. Turnovers and penalties. Defensively, there were a ton of questions surrounding a unit that was abused on the ground through the first 3 games and came into Thursday nights match up featuring a midseason change at Defensive Coordinator. They showed more toughness on the ground, allowing only 158 yards rushing but they were burned through the air as Oklahoma State QB Daxx Garman averaged 20 yards per pass completion. The result? A 6th straight loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

The Good

We’ll start defensively, where the Red Raider defense began the Mike Smith for DC era with their first interception of the year and a 3 and out en route to forcing Oklahoma State into a TO or punt on four of their first five possessions. Ultimately, you gave up 528 yards on the day but you have to feel better about the way it happened. For the first time in the last 8 games, Texas Tech held an opposing offense under 270 yards rushing as they limited the OSU rushing attack to 158 yards on 42 carries. That left young DB’s on an island by themselves for most of the night, and although you gave up some huge plays you can live with that because the DB’s will get better and not every QB you face this season will be as accurate throwing down the field as Daxx Garman was last night.

Jakeem Grant absolutely showed out on Thursday night, finishing with 247 all purpose yards and a TD reception. Add in a kickoff return for a TD that was called back for holding and Jakeem had arguably one of the best nights all around by a Red Raider in years.

Freshman QB Patrick Mahomes had quite the entrance into the game last night, as trailing by 10 in the 4th quarter he was thrust into the spotlight due to Webbs injury. His first series didn’t go as planned, as he took two sacks and an interception that put OSU up by 17. But he rallied from there, leading Tech down the field to cut their deficit to a 10 point Cowboy lead. Not having him get some playing time against Central Arkansas and UTEP took their toll here, but he’ll settle down if he’s called upon next week. I also heard a few rumors on twitter that Mr. Mahomes was playing with a 101 fever and Strep throat, and if true that takes some true grit to play through that.

Davis Webb. We’ve seen a lot of praise heaped upon a young man dubbed as the “next Tom Brady” by ESPN analyst John Gruden. He hasn’t quite lived up to expectations yet, but we as fans have to remember that the kid is only a sophomore. I remember Graham Harrell getting pulled from a game as a sophomore and promptly flipping off the crowd for booing him. He threw 2 more interceptions on Thursday night but he showed a few glimpses as to what can happen when he’s spot on. Get him more starts and these next few years he will be a dynamic QB for the red and black. Everyone saw his shoulder injury last night, but what impressed me was his leadership afterwards. Webb could be seen fighting back tears after doctors told him he couldn’t go back in the game, and instead of pouting by himself he promptly got in freshman QB Patrick Mahomes ear and began teaching him. I can think of a ton of former Big 12 QB’s who couldn’t and wouldn’t have had the heart to help his team out the way he did. The kid bleeds scarlet and black and last night just proved it for me.

The Bad

Texas Tech ran 61 plays for 320 yards in the first half and trailed by a touchdown. Couple that with your defense forcing Oklahoma State into a TO or punt on 4 of their first 5 possessions and the Red Raiders could have easily ran away and hid with this game early. Instead, Oklahoma State hung around and took a 21-14 lead at the half that they would never give up. 61 plays and 320 yards is great if you finish. But Tech had a problem finishing off drives in the first half and it cost them as they managed only 30 plays in the second half.

Very few times have we seen Davis Webb scramble this season, but when he has he has usually managed to gain a chunk of yards on the play. We saw more of that on Thursday as Webb rushed 3 times for 19 yards. The last one would prove to be costly as Webb left the game with a shoulder injury. The extent of the injury isn’t yet known, but any chance you had at contesting for a Big 12 crown likely went out the window if he’s out for an extended amount of time.

The Ugly

Turnovers and penalties. Haven’t we discussed this before? A team that only had more than 13 penalties 3 times last year has now had that many in 3 out of 4 games to begin the 2014 campaign. Some penalties you can live with, but too often these penalties are due to a lack of physical and mental control that have continuously shot the Red Raiders in the foot. You had a kickoff return for a TD as well as a 37 yard punt return that would have put you inside the OSU 35 both called back on penalties. As Kliff Kingsbury said last night, you simply “won’t win with that many turnovers and penalties” in a game. And he’s right, it is embarrassing. It’s embarrassing because it has continuously happened this season and there seems to be no end in sight. If the Red Raiders can’t control their penalty problem, it could be a disastrous year for the scarlet and black.

You once again lost the turnover battle, as for a 12th straight game you gave away more than you could steal back. The result? Your 9th loss in your last 12 games. We had a good discussion last night on WreckEmRed about whether or not the penalties or turnovers hurt Tech worse, and after thinking about it I’m not so sure you couldn’t make a case that we were discussing whether we wanted our left leg or our right leg cut off. They have both been a problem, and until you can contain one or both issues, you will continue to be disappointed by the outcome.