Ten Takeaways From Texas Tech’s Loss to No. 3 Texas Christian


Texas Tech opened Big XII conference play against No. 3 Texas Christian seeking to avenge an 82-27 thumping at the hands of the Horned Frogs in 2014. While Texas Tech’s performance against the Horned Frogs on Saturday was nearly good enough to secure a victory, it may have left more questions than answers as the Red Raiders prepare to dive straight into the meat of their conference schedule.

Texas Tech’s offense was effective for the most part on Saturday night but seemed off at certain points in the game when the Red Raider’s crisp execution was needed the most. Untimely injuries certainly played a role in the game as well with a possible leg injury to Patrick Mahomes II in the first quarter. The injury to Mahomes occurred during the quarterback’s scramble on Texas Tech’s first touchdown drive and seemed to bother the Texas Tech quarterback throughout the night. Similarly, a freak leg injury to Ian Sadler took the sure-handed receiver out of the game early. The offense seemed to follow suit early on, misfiring and not at all looking like the well-oiled juggernaut that dominated UTEP and hammered Arkansas. This seemed to have been due to a combination of factors; early nerves, untimely injuries, and a scattering of bothersome dropped passes.

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The Texas Tech offense did eventually find its stride, and in total racked up 607 yards of offense and 52 points on Gary Patterson’s defense. While Mahomes’ numbers seem rather pedestrian in comparison to his last three starts, this may be attributed to the increased level of competition, and any lingering effect his injury may have had on his performance throughout the night. Mahomes finished the night with 392 yards on 25 of 45 completions and zero interceptions. However, the Texas Tech backfield truly stole the show with the tandem of DeAndre Washington and Justin Stockton putting on an absolute clinic. The ground game provided the brutal downhill presence for the Red Raider offense throughout the night with Washington alone accounting for 188 yards on 22 carries with four touchdowns. Meanwhile, Justin Stockton provided the necessary yang to Washington’s yin, and accounted for 72 all-purpose-yards on the night with his explosive acceleration. Offensive line play was another bright spot during the game for Texas Tech with senior Le’Raven Clark routinely abusing whichever Horned Frog he matched up with. 

Similarly to Texas Tech’s offense, the Tech defense seemed to be a mixed-bag of sorts for much of the night. The defensive line at times seemed to succesfully key-in on the Horned Frog rushing attack and mobility of Trevone Boykin. However, they were also routinely gashed on cutback runs in the second half. While the Texas Tech defensive line seemed to have at least some success against Horned Frogs, the Texas Tech secondary was downright abysmal.

Texas Tech’s defensive backs were routinely burned by the Horned Frog’s Josh Doctson, who was inexplicably left uncovered possession after possession. When Doctson was being covered by a defender things weren’t necessarily better for Texas Tech. Justis Nelson and Paul Banks III each struggled to defend the probable future NFL receiver and at certain points seemed to not know the location of the ball in relation to their coverage assignment. Whether or not these lapses in coverage are the result of bad technique or the result of defending against a great player remain to be seen. However, the answer most likely lies somewhere in the middle.

Texas Tech currently sits at 3-1 on the year and have for all intents and purposes played well through their first four games. However, the situation is now different than in weeks past as this team will now have to bounce back from a stunning last minute loss and prepare to take on another top five team in Baylor. A reason for optimism; Texas Tech has managed to come back stronger week after week as the level of competition has also increased over the course of the season.

Ten Takeaways From TCU vs. Texas Tech:

  1. The Secondary — Texas Tech routinely left one of TCU’s best players wide open play after play on Saturday. Baylor has their own slew of talented receivers so this will need to be addressed quickly as the match against the Bears looms ahead.
  2. “The Jones” — November 2008 was the last time Jones AT&T Stadium had been as loud and rambunctious as it was on Saturday night. Texas Tech’s fan base and the greater Lubbock community overall absolutely nailed it for the game against Texas Christian. Is the famed Texas Tech home field advantage back? Get those tortillas ready…
  3. DeAndre Washington— Texas Tech’s best and most reliable asset on offense absolutely showed-out on Saturday night. The man plays with a violent, punishing running style and very nearly put the team on his back. My only question: why did Tech not run the ball more in the last four minutes of the game?
  4. A Hangover?Texas Tech will need to forget the heartbreaker loss against TCU and mentally prepare for their matchup against an equally dangerous Baylor team.
  5. Red Raiders — RED JERSEYS! RED CHROME FACEMASKS! Under Armour has so far killed it in the uniform department this season. It’s still early, but the specialty uniforms and subtle nuances have so far been an improvement over the maligned one-offs of 2014.
  6. Turnovers — Texas Tech’s streak of forced turnovers came to a halt Saturday. There were a few close opportunities but David Gibbs’ defense wasn’t able to capitalize. With the gauntlet of conference play on the horizon this will need to change.
  7. Post-Season — Texas Tech’s bowl game aspirations are by no means out of the question. However, with a tough Big XII schedule ahead for the Red Raiders, will the loss against TCU end up being a swing-game Tech should have won?
  8. Underrated — Time of possession; the Horned Frogs edged out Texas Tech 34:57 to 25:03.
  9. Overrated — Throwing trash on the field. I understand there were some iffy calls and a few plays that should have been reviewed and weren’t. However, trash people throw trash on the field. Don’t do it, you just make the rest of us look bad.(Throw tortillas instead, they’re biodegradable. I think.)
  10. Final Thought: Texas Tech will need to have a short memory and mentally prepare for Saturday, October 3rd, when they meet in Arlington, Texas to battle the No. 5 Baylor Bears in Cowboys Stadium at 2:30 pm CT. The Tech-Baylor series has been an interesting matchup the last few years and will hopefully be fresh on the minds of a Texas Tech team due for a win against the Bears.

Next: No. 3 ranked TCU barely survives in win over Texas Tech