Texas Tech Defeats Kansas Behind Stout Running Attack


On a dreary day in mid- October the Texas Tech Red Raiders did something they hadn’t been able to do since the first week of September in El Paso; they played four quarters of football and found a way to win.

While it wasn’t a flawless victory by any means, the Red Raiders did manage to avoid a late fourth quarter implosion with sound defensive line play and by avoiding drive-killing penalties, the latter of which hampered Tech’s efforts in their first two conference games.

DeAndre Washington once again served as the workhorse for the Texas Tech ground game with 23 carries for 164 yards. Not to be outdone, Justin Stockton broke loose for a 21 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the Red Raiders up by two possessions for the win.

Quarterback Davis Webb threw for 288 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception and while Tech will always be known for their air attack, it was good to see them rely more on their stable of running backs for the most consistent offensive production. While the biggest hinderance to the offense thus far has been inopportune drops by receivers, in most cases these are clean passes where the receiver just doesn’t make the play and catch the ball.

Defensively, the linebacker unit and defensive line kept the Kansas running attack in check for the majority of the game. Linebacker Pete Robertson routinely pressured the Kansas signal callers, while V.J. Fehoko, Keland McElrath, and Rika Levi contributed to much needed stops on Jayhawk third and fourth down plays. Kansas did find some success in throwing the deep ball against Tech’s young corners, however Nigel Bethel and company held their own and should only get better with experience.

It would be too easy to dismiss Tech’s victory against Kansas as nothing more than a pair of mediocre teams playing a game meaningless in regards to the overall conference title race. Rather, Texas Tech overcame a sparse Homecoming crowd, damp weather, a hungry Jayhawk team and most importantly, overcame a four-game losing streak.

Texas Tech hasn’t made things easy for themselves, but the victory over the Jayhawks was a step in the right direction. It may take longer than we first thought to get there, but if the contributions of Justin Stockton, Ian Sadler, and Dylan Cantrell are any indication, the future of Texas Tech football is bright.

Ten Points from Kansas at Texas Tech

Turnovers- The good news is that Texas Tech forced a pair of Kansas turnovers, the bad news is that they  also managed to give the ball away twice. Texas Tech continues to struggle in this area, and while any improvement would be beneficial to Tech, I have to wonder if the results against Oklahoma State and West Virginia would be different had they not lost the turnover battle.

Defense- The JUCO transfers of McElrath and Levi were key on many Kansas third down plays, while Robertson was relentless in pressuring Kansas quarterback Michael Cummings.

Justin Stockton- The freshman running back continues to have the ‘wow’ factor with his ability to accelerate and hit top speed almost immediately. The combination of Washington and Stockton has become a lethal 1-2 punch.

Kenny Williams- When the news came out that Kenny Williams was voluntarily moved to the defensive side of the ball I did my best impression of Dwayne Johnson and raised an eyebrow, for whatever reason Williams is back on offense and Tech is better for it. While Washington is Tech’s feature running back, Williams provides a much needed option in heavy formations and short yardage situations.

Jakeem Grant- The 5’6 receiver seems to play with the ability and heart of someone much bigger than himself, however I hope for his sake that some of the other receivers pick up their slack. Grant took a lot of hits in the game against KU, by all accounts he is fine but I’m not sure he can have too many more games like that.

Ian Sadler- I won’t go crazy with the comparisons but Sadler reminds me of a young ‘Welker’ prototype. It was good to see the former Argyle player get his first touchdown as a Red Raider.

Pete Robertson- He leads the Big XII in sacks but wasn’t on the first team all conference? Seriously?

More from Texas Tech Football

  • Underrated- The ability to finish an opponent, granted, It was Kansas but Tech hadn’t shown the ability to put any team away in four quarters thus far this season. A win against the Jayhawks is still a conference win and a step in the right direction.
  • Overrated- Anytime you lose a game in the final ten minutes of the fourth quarter. There were moments against Kansas that were reminiscent of a week ago against West Virginia, it was a welcome relief for Texas Tech to do enough not to let the Jayhawks back in it late.

    MVP- DeAndre Washington has been reliability personified thus far this season, and has been a workhorse for a Texas Tech offense that seems to struggle at times.