The Texas Tech football team moved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play thanks to a gutty 17-14 win over TCU Thursday night in Ft. Worth.
Forced to start its third-string quarterback and having to play most of the game without starting wide receiver T.J. Vasher, starting right tackle Travis Bruffy as well as starting center Paul Stawarz (who did not make the trip due to injury), the Texas Tech football team somehow found a way to gut out a critical 17-14 win over TCU Thursday night in Ft. Worth.
Quarterback Jett Duffey, who began the season third on the offensive depth chart, was far from perfect struggling in the passing game for most of the night. But the sophomore made the play of the game with his legs on a 38-yard touchdown run that would ultimately put Tech ahead for good.
Still, the Red Raider defense would have to come up big over the final seven minutes of the game turning TCU away on its final two drives. Fortunately, defensive coordinator David Gibbs’ unit was up to the task.
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With TCU facing a 4th-and-1 on their own 47 with just 43 seconds to play, Tech corralled TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson who scrambled from sideline to sideline in the backfield before tossing the ball over his head in desperation as the Red Raiders closed in. Eventually, defensive back Adrian Frye grabbed the ball for a game-sealing interception.
It was arguably the best defensive effort of the David Gibbs era. Just one game after being torched by West Virginia for 35 points in the first half of a September 29th loss, the Red Raider defense was physical and dominant from the start in Ft. Worth.
The Horned Frogs amassed 411 yards of offense but Tech came away with three big turnovers. Two of those came on interceptions of Robinson who was held to just 290 yards on 26 of 45 passing.
The win was a rare instance when Kliff Kingsbury had to rely on his defense to carry an offense that was shackled all night by the absence of four starters, including freshman quarterback Alan Bowman. The nation’s most prolific offense struggled to amass just 353 total yards (238 yards below its season average of 591).
Duffey went just 13-24 through the air for 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception. On the ground, he led the Team with 16 carries for 80 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
But while those numbers won’t likely stir up a new quarterback controversy in Lubbock, they were just good enough for Tech to pull out its second-consecutive three-point win in Ft. Worth. Two years ago, Pat Mahomes led the Red Raiders to a 27-24 double OT win over the Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
That afternoon, Mahomes played the role of hero for Texas Tech but when the story of this game is told, it will forever be the Texas Tech defense that earns top billing. On a night when the “Air Raid” offense was grounded, it was David Gibbs defense that rode to the rescue as the Red Raiders earned a pivotal Big 12 victory.