Ten Points From Texas Tech’s Game Against Baylor


On Saturday night Texas Tech took on the No. 7 Baylor Bears as heavy 21 point underdogs in their matchup at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The outlook before the game was grim with Texas Tech’s incredibly young roster depleted with injuries and inexperience. Furthermore, in their last four games against the Bears, Texas Tech had been outscored 219- 166. The scenario was near perfect for a Baylor team needing to impress the College Football Playoff Committee.

All indications had been that the two programs were heading in vastly different directions. Baylor has been the model of consistency, going from Big XII doormat to one of the conference’s top programs. Meanwhile, Texas Tech has been the epitome of inconsistency with endless coaching and scheme changes and have rivaled the day-time soap operas with their level of drama surrounding the program year in and year out.

However, none of that mattered to the Texas Tech football team that many had already written off and discarded as a program whose best days were behind them. Nor did any of that matter to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who has drawn the ire of so many talking heads that felt he was all style and no substance.

Behind an unbelievable performance by freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech clawed their way back from a 25 point deficit to nearly upset Baylor. Mahomes threw for 598 yards, 6 touchdowns and 1 INT, setting a Big XII freshman passing record in the process. Veteran wideouts Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez also had a terrific game, routinely burning the Baylor secondary for stunning completions.

Defensively, Texas Tech played above their heads for the entirety of the game. Those players had every reason to quit against the top offense in college football but played with tenacity and an aggressiveness that seems to have been brought out by Interim Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith. In particular, the young cornerbacks Tevin Madison, Nigel Bethel II, Justis Nelson and D.J. Polite-Bray didn’t back down to the Baylor receiving corps and managed to hold their own. Defensive backs Pete Robertson and Sam Eguavoen also had a tremendous game; routinely breaking through the Baylor offensive line and logging multiple sacks during the game. The defense may have given up 48 points but all things considered they played as well as expected, if not better.

The 2014 season is finished for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but for the first time all season the ‘Fearless Champions’ moniker used by the athletics department seemed to ring true. Texas Tech never backed down and left absolutely everything out on the field. While there are no moral victories in this game, it’s hard not to see Texas Tech’s inspired play and tremendous youth as forerunners for what this program could be given a few years. The incoming recruiting class is the most highly regarded in school history and if what the fanbase saw tonight is any indication: the best days of Texas Tech football may come sooner rather than later.

Ten Points From Texas Tech vs. Baylor:

  1. Patrick Mahomes II-The young quarterback never seemed to be a prisoner of the moment and lead the Texas Tech offense like a veteran player. The former Whitehouse signal-caller was instrumental in extending plays and buying time for his receivers to become open downfield. The Spring quarterback competition will be fun to watch as Mahomes stock as risen tremendously.
  2. Wide Receiver U- If there was ever any doubt as to which school could rightly claim the ‘Wide Receiver U’ moniker it ended with tonight’s game. Ian Sadler, Devin Lauderdale, Jakeem Grant, and Bradley Marquez torched the Baylor secondary all night.
  3. DeAndre Washinton- It’s hard to top Washington’s performance against Iowa State, but the junior running back provided a reliable go-to option on the ground and ran with purpose. His screen pass reception for a touchdown seemed to shock the Bears and swung the momentum of the game into Texas Tech’s favor.
  4. Shut Down- The young cornerbacks were undermanned and thoroughly tested in this matchup. They performed tremendously well. Depth is the biggest issue with this position group and something that the coaching staff hopes address moving forward.
  5. Getting’ Defensive- The play of Pete Robertson and Sam Eguavoen stand out the most but I felt that freshman safety Derrick Dixon performed extremely well. Interesting note, Dixon is related to former Baylor standout Ahmad Dixon and current Baylor wide receiver Antwan Goodley.
  6. Metroplex Raiders- It’s one thing to have a great crowd during a poor season at home. However, the Dallas-area Red Raiders came out and represented well at Cowboys Stadium. Hats off to the fanbase.
  7. Big 12 Officiating- I’m not sure how Bryce Petty doesn’t draw a flag for spiking the ball during his best rendition of a spoiled toddler. Furthermore, the Big 12 officials seemed to completely overlook a Baylor defensive player kneeing Mahomes in the helmet while the quarterback was on the ground. I try not to stereotype the Baylor program as being dirty or having players of questionable ethics, but it’s hard not to with instances such as these. At least they didn’t fall asleep in a Taco Bell drive-thru.
  8. Underrated- Texas Tech had every reason to mail-in their play for the last game of the season. Instead, they played above themselves and nearly came away with a victory. They made Baylor earn the win and by doing so may have also hurt the Bears chances for a playoff berth.
  9. Overrated- Baylor sportsmanship (or lack thereof) continues to be a bright spot for the crazies in Waco. Whether it was the kneeing of a defenseless player in the head or the stealing of said player’s wristband playbook, it’s all shady.
  10. MVP- Patrick Mahomes II, things will get interesting once the Spring football arrives on the South Plains, but Mahomes will most definitely be in the mix among Jarrett Stidham and Davis Webb. The freshman ignited a sputtering Texas Tech offense with his performances during the last two games and has showed off a cannon of an arm with his vertical passes.