In the Texas Tech football team’s debacle of a 37-34 loss at Kansas on Saturday, there was plenty of blame to go around.
The Texas Tech football team lost to Kansas Saturday night in Lawrence. Take a moment and let that stomach-churning reality wash over you.
Now, take another moment to consider that at the 8:19 mark of the second period, the Red Raiders held a 17-0 lead. Yet somehow, they managed to lose to a program that has had just five Big 12 wins since 2010.
In the 37-34 loss, there’s so much blame to be handed out that we might not be finished with that task by the time the Red Raiders return to the field in two weeks at West Virginia. Deservedly, almost all of it will be shoveled onto the defense.
Keith Patterson’s game plan was incomprehensible. The Red Raider defensive coordinator continues to refuse to back out of his blitz-happy, man coverage scheme despite the fact that his defense has proven incapable of playing that way.
Despite repeatedly bringing heavy blitzes, especially on third-down, Patterson was rewarded with just one sack. That repeatedly left Kansas receivers in one-on-one matchups against a Red Raider secondary that played coverage like a bunch of drunken squirrels chasing acorns down a hill.
Tech surrendered 527 yards on the night despite the fact that KU’s star running back Pooka Williams was held to just 69 yards on 21 carries. But in the air, Tech was bombed more heavily than a fictitious village in Call of Duty.
Kansas QB Carter Stanley threw for 417 yards and 3 TDs on 26 of 37 passing. With no pressure on him at all, he repeatedly did to the Red Raiders what Gordon Ramsey does to a tomato, especially on 3rd down as KU converted 9 of 15 3rd-down attempts, several of which were of the 3rd-and-10 or more variety.
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It was the most atrocious defensive showing of the year for the Red Raiders, which comes just one week after what was previously the most atrocious defensive showing of the year. Last week, Tech gave up 560 yards (378 through the air) to Iowa State ina 34-24 loss in Lubbock.
But that was Iowa State, a team that was picked to finish third in the Big 12 preseason poll. This was Kansas…a program that lost at home to Costal Carolina in the season’s second week.
Speaking of blame, what in the hell was Douglas Coleman doing? Now set to become this program’s version of Leon Lett, the senior who picked off his NCAA leading 7th pass of the season on the game’s first play will forever be remembered for his boneheaded decision to try to lateral the ball to a teammate deep in his own territory after recovering a blocked field goal. Had he simply gone to the ground, the game would have gone to overtime but because KU recovered his lateral attempt with two seconds left, he gave the home team one last kick to win the game and the Jayhawks took advantage.
All offseason, we heard what a leader Coleman had become and how he had bought into the new coaching staff’s program and system. Certainly, his play this year has proven those remarks to be true but he has to know better than to try to do what he did Saturday night with the game on the line.
Intelligent football players don’t take those types of risks, especially in the waning seconds of a tie game. But this team is proving to be short on intelligent football players. It is also proving to be short on depth, especially on defense.
After being dominated in the second half of games against Arizona and Baylor, Tech gave up 17 fourth-quarter points to the Jayhawks. And in the final 15 minutes of the game, KU went 5 for 7 on 3rd down with one of those conversions coming on 3rd and 14 and another coming on 3rd and 20.
This is a new low for a Red Raider football program that has fallen farther than any of us could have imagined. Spare us the excuse that this is the first year for Matt Wells or that this team entered the game with a number of critical injuries. This was Kansas. Not OU or Texas or Iowa State or even Cavazos Jr. High. It was Kansas.
It’s a tough reality to come to grips with for Texas Tech fans. Our team is now looking up at Kansas in the Big 12 standings. While we have become accustomed to that in basketball, until last season, that should never be the case in football…but it is. And whether it is the previous coaching staff, the leadership of the athletic department, the current coaching staff, or the players on the field, everyone deserves a heaping dose of blame for taking a once-proud program and turning it into one that can’t even beat the Jayhawks.