Ten Takeaways From Texas Tech’s Loss to Baylor


A week removed from the emotional roller coaster that was the heart-breaking last minute loss to Texas Christian, the Texas Tech football team traveled to Arlington, Texas to take on the No. 5 -ranked Baylor Bears in Cowboys Stadium. Unfortunately, any positives taken from the blowout loss in Jerry’s World would be few and far between as the Bears outpaced Texas Tech nearly from the start. In a match-up that was touted as a “Shootout” in the national media, Texas Tech seemed to run out of ammunition as the game progressed, with injuries and the bad tendencies of a year ago reemerging to stymie the Red Raider team as a whole.

The knee injury Mahomes sustained against Texas Christian a week ago and subsequent “day-to-day” listing led to  rampant concerns that Mahomes’ injury was worse than initially thought. In fact, although he was slightly-hobbled, Mahomes may have been the Red Raiders’ most reliable offensive weapon of the game. Mahomes finished 32 of 50 for 415 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. However, Mahomes’ ability would only carry the offensive attack for so long as his receiving corps and backfield seemed to have one of their worst performances of the season.

Texas Tech’s injury-strewn receiving corps struggled to keep pace with Baylor’s top-ranked unit, as seniors Jakeem Grant and Devin Lauderdale were unable to play with any consistency and seemed to struggle with untimely drops. Furthermore, the void left by injuries to receivers Ian Sadler and Dylan Cantrell seems more blaring than ever as Mahomes lacked any reliable outlet on broken plays and key downs.

Texas Tech’s running back committee also struggled mightily against the Bears with Justin Stockton and DeAndre Washington averaging a meager 72 yards on the ground in total. Whereas Stockton’s speed was critical against the Horned Frogs, the running back was bottled up by the Baylor run defense and was never allowed to break loose. Perhaps even more concerning was the lack of offensive production by running back DeAndre Washington. The senior rusher was a complete non-factor against the Bears, averaging only three yards per carry, and fumbling the ball away on a key possession.

The onslaught that is Baylor’s offense was always going to be a daunting challenge for Texas Tech’s defensive unit. As such, there was a certain handicap attached to the expectations of the Red Raider defense heading into the game against Baylor. However, on Saturday it seemed as though the Texas Tech defense may have actually regressed from their performances against Arkansas and Texas Christian. Texas Tech was gashed for 368 yards on the ground, including a 79- yard burner by Shock Linwood on Baylor’s first offensive possession. Similarly, Texas Tech’s undersized secondary was routinely burned by Baylor’s receivers in space. Meanwhile, the defensive line struggled to create any kind of pressure on the Bears’ quarterback, allowing Baylor to throw for over 300 yards.

Texas Tech currently sits at 3-2 on the year fresh off a pair of losses to open Big XII conference play. A silver lining, if there were to be one, could come with knowing that Texas Tech will have probably already played its two toughest opponents. Furthermore, heading into the coming weeks Texas Tech faces what may end up being easier competition in match ups against Iowa State and Kansas.

However, the defensive maladies and offensive inconsistencies will need to be addressed soon if Texas Tech hopes to avoid being upset in their coming games against the Cyclones and Jayhawks.

Ten Takeaways From Texas Tech vs. Baylor:

  • One Step Forward, Two Steps Back — The penalty bug that so often bit the Texas Tech offense in 2014 came back in a big way against the Bears. Texas Tech accounted for a ridiculous 17 penalties, accruing a total of 142 yards. Offensive consistency is virtually impossible if you’re shooting yourself in the foot every drive.
  • Same Old Song — Another issue that plagued the Red Raider offense on Saturday was the rash of untimely drops by veteran receivers. Jakeem Grant and Devin Lauderdale each seemed to have trouble catching balls they would normally have no issue with. In fact, Texas Tech’s top three receiving targets on Saturday were Tony Brown, Zach Austin, and Cameron Batson; all relatively new additions to the program.
  • Injuries — Texas Tech’s “air raid” offense has seemed hampered with the loss of receivers Ian Sadler and Dylan Cantrell to injury. Furthermore, oft-targeted Devin Lauderdale seemed to have sustained an injury during the game against Baylor on Saturday. Will Texas Tech be able to sustain its offensive output with an injury-depleted receiving corps? A pair of games against Iowa State and Kansas may provide the necessary learning curve for talented, but young receivers such as Tony Brown and Keke Coutee.
  • Déjà vu — Texas Tech had seemingly made significant headway in shoring up its run-defense when they visited Fayetteville weeks ago and corralled Arkansas’ potent backfield. However, subsequent games against Texas Christian and Baylor has once again exposed Texas Tech’s most glaring defensive issue. Shock Linwood’s 79- yard touchdown run and the inability to consistently hold Baylor to short gains on the ground helped set up Baylor’s play-action passing attack and ultimately allowed the Bears to outpace Texas Tech.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth — Texas Tech’s Metroplex alumni base once again represented the scarlet and black tremendously well at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday. Some may not enjoy the game being played in Arlington every year, however the Dallas/Fort Worth fan base has consistently attended and represented Texas Tech very well.
  • Underrated —  Shawn Oakman is never one to shy away from the cameras and seems to revel in his own image while often taking shots at opposing players. The Baylor defensive end did just that prior to the Bears’ game against Texas Tech, specifically mentioning tackle Le’ Raven Clark. By now the clip of Shawn Oakman being absolutely obliterated by Clark is all over the internet and quite possibly the most visible case of karma being dished out that I’ve ever seen. Oakman would later return to the game seemingly uninjured, but its always good to see the bully get bullied. Keep your head on a swivel.
  • Overrated— Manufactured “trophy games” have seemed to supplant actual historical rivalries in the last few years. Unfortunately, the annual “Shootout” in Arlington has followed suit with a newly-minted trophy commemorating the afterthought that is the Texas Tech/Baylor rivalry. (The Tech-BU series has been played since 1929, so we have that at least).
  • Stay Classy — Texas Tech and Baylor are two programs that don’t necessarily seem to like one another all that much, and this was fairly evident throughout the game as both sides seemed to be doing an awful lot of mouthing off back and forth. Perhaps this is a result of the familiarity between the two programs, an extension of the Jarrett Stidham drama from the off-season, or even Shawn Oakman’s comments on Tech players prior to the game.
  • Perspective — Texas Tech has lost its first two Big XII conference games and sits at 3-2 on the season with upcoming games against Iowa State and Kansas. The loss against Texas Christian was heartbreaking and may have even contributed to Tech’s struggles against Baylor. However, a solid performance in non-conference play culminating with a win over Arkansas and a good chance to be 5-2 heading into Norman, Oklahoma is something most Texas Tech fans would have taken prior to the season.
  • Final Thought:

    Texas Tech has a chance to notch a pair of conference wins with upcoming games against Iowa State and Kansas. However, they may be without some of their best offensive weapons and a defense reeling from consecutive match ups against two of the nations’ top offenses. Texas Tech will need to refocus and hold serve at home as they welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to Jones AT&T Stadium Saturday, October 10th, at 2:30 p.m.

    Next: Texas Tech Football will continue to feature red uniforms