10 Points: Texas Tech Survives Against Kansas, 30-20


Lets make this clear: Kansas, for all intents and purposes, should have won this game.

Throughout the last decade Texas Tech has displayed the uncanny habit of playing down to their competition in at least a game or two every season. Unfortunately, that habit reared its ugly head again when the Red Raiders took on a young, injury-strewn, and ultimately winless Kansas Jayhawk team.

Texas Tech’s explosive offense sputtered throughout the game, never quite finding its gear, and at times seemed unable to move the ball against a Jayhawk defense that had given up 66 points a week prior. The effort was disappointing across the board; dropped passes and ridiculous penalties killed any offensive momentum Texas Tech was able to muster. Patrick Mahomes also seemed to struggle at times, particularly when forcing plays as the offense bogged down later in the game. The sophomore quarterback would throw for 359 yards on 30 of 51 passing attempts, including one touchdown and an interception.

The defensive performance also left much to be desired as they seemed to implode in the second half of the game. The first half was a bit of a mixed bag; Kansas was held scoreless, but that was more a result of the Jayhawk’s kicking ineptitude rather than a lock-down performance by Texas Tech. Jah’ Shawn Johnson’s pick-six would ultimately seal the deal for Texas Tech but only came after Kansas battled back to within a single possession with about five minutes left in the game. David Gibbs’ defense has been solid in their second half performances so far this year; however the unit never wore down as the offense was unable to sustain possession.

Ultimately, the good guys would pull out a victory behind Johnson’s pick-six. The Red Raiders would also generate 584 yards of offense and never trailed in the competition. However, Texas Tech never put the Jayhawks away in a game that was supposed to be a glorified scrimmage. The team as a whole slept-walked for the majority of the first half, which makes it even more unbelievable that they somehow managed to score 20 points. Whether it be the 11:00 a.m. kickoff time, or the opponent they were facing, Texas Tech should have no excuse for their disappointing team performance on Saturday.

10 Points from Texas Tech vs. Kansas:

  1. Offensive Implosion — Mahomes’ performance against Kansas left a lot to be desired; however his shoddy play only seemed to come as a result of the lackluster effort around him. The offensive line struggled, particularly after Le’ Raven Clark’s departure due to injury. Meanwhile, the receivers and running backs struggled with dropped passes for the entirety of the game. However, when they did manage to haul in a pass, they seemed unable to maintain that possession. Texas Tech’s was essentially their own worst enemy on offense.
  2. Penalties — Jared Kaster’s chop-block along with later holding calls on the offensive line would wipe out any momentum Texas Tech had garnered in the second half. The aforementioned struggle on offense was augmented by Texas Tech’s self-inflicted penalties.
  3. Motivation — Coming off a thrashing of Iowa State and sitting at 4-2 on the year would seem like enough motivation to put the hurt on Kansas early. The goal for Texas Tech against Kansas probably included maintaining an early lead, allowing starters to rest and backups to get playing time. That never happened as Tech was unable to maintain a 20 point cushion and seemed uninterested in playing with the same vigor and concentration as their previous efforts.
  4. Le’ Raven Clark — Texas Tech’s already shoddy play only seemed to get worse after Clark left the game due to injury. The offensive line was unable to create any push for the backfield, and seemed to wilt under pressure from the Jayhawk defensive line. Clark’s departure had a domino-effect along the offensive line as the unit struggled in pass-protection and creating running lanes for Washington and Stockton.
  5. Turnovers — Texas Tech had all but lost the game until Jah’ Shawn Johnson’s pick-six with about four minutes to go in the second half. A big reason Tech had gotten to that point was their inability to hold on to the ball; Mahomes was picked-off on a deep throw early in the game, and later Devin Lauderdale would find himself victim to a Jayhawk strip-in-scoop returned for what basically amounted to a touchdown.
  6. Patrick Mahomes II — The sophomore quarterback wasn’t the main reason Texas Tech struggled against Kansas. However, he seemed to regress when it became evident that he wouldn’t be receiving much in the way of help from his receivers and offensive line. Mahomes’ previously injured knee didn’t seem to bother the quarterback, however he seemed hampered by the overall lack of protection from his offensive line.
  7. Looking Ahead — Texas Tech’s last easy win never fully materialized as they struggled to put away the Jayhawks. Furthermore, Kingsbury and the rest of the coaching staff were likely hoping to rest the team as Texas Tech is without a bye week until the conclusion of the season. Texas Tech’s mental strength and team health will likely be tested with upcoming games against the Oklahoma schools and Kansas State.
  8. Underrated Motivation. The Red Raiders seemed to take “playing hard” as a light suggestion, rather than a necessary key to a victory against the Jayhawks. In the end, a young player in Johnson made a heck of a play. However, the game should have never gotten so out of hand for Texas Tech.
  9. Overrated Normally, an 11:00 a.m. kickoff time would qualify as overrated. However, it seems that Texas Tech may have bought into their own hype a bit too much coming into the game against the Jayhawks. Kingsbury seems to be a no-nonsense type of coach that demands effort on every play, but with this near-loss maybe a “fat little girlfriends” speech, a la Mike Leach, is necessary more than ever.
  10. Final Thought — Mahomes and company will need to have a short memory and refocus as they travel to Norman, Oklahoma next Saturday, where they take on the Oklahoma Sooners at 2:30 p.m. central time. The game will be broadcast on the ESPN network.

Next: Texas Tech Football: Week 7 Roadmap