Texas Tech football: Red Raiders fall to Longhorns to end the 2019 season

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 29: T.J. Vasher #9 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders runs after a catch defended by Keondre Coburn #99 of the Texas Longhorns in the first quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 29, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 29: T.J. Vasher #9 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders runs after a catch defended by Keondre Coburn #99 of the Texas Longhorns in the first quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 29, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Tech football team’s disappointing 2019 season came to an end Friday with a 49-24 loss to Texas in Austin.

Mercifully, the Texas Tech football team saw it’s 2019 season come to an end on Friday.  In fact, were there another game next week, Matt Wells might not have enough healthy bodies to field a full team.

After jumping out to a promising 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Red Raiders just did not have the manpower to hold the Longhorns at bay as UT outscored Tech 49-10 the rest of the way.  Jett Duffey passed for 399 yards and two touchdowns but had a key first-half fumble that ended a promising drive right before the end of the second quarter when Tech was trying to tie the game at 28-28 before the break.

But it was a pair of young receivers that stood out for Tech, which finished the first year of the Wells era at a disappointing 4-8.  Sophomore KeSean Carter had a career-high 150 yards and a touchdown playing mostly in the slot.  Entering the game, he’d amassed just three more yards for the entire season than he had in Austin on Friday.

Ezukanma also had a career day.  Pulling down seven passes, he had 135 yards and a TD, his first 100-yard game as a Red Raider.  It continued a nice streak to end the year in which the redshirt freshman averaged 91.2 yards per game in his final four outings of the year and came down with a TD catch in Tech’s final three games.

But the defense was again too undermanned to provide any resistance to Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorn offense.  Playing without three linebackers, including Butkus Award finalist Jordyn Brooks, Keith Patterson’s defense surrendered a staggering 610 yards of total offense with the junior Longhorn QB throwing for 348 yards and two touchdowns despite only completing 19 passes.

In addition, UT churned out 262 yards on the ground in what was a game that saw the Tech defense simply lack the depth to withstand a game’s worth of pounding from the big Longhorn offensive line.  Roshon Johnson led the Horns with 105 yards on 23 carries while reaching the endzone three times.  Meanwhile, Ehlinger chipped in with 83 yards and a score on ten rushes.

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This lackluster defensive showing means that Tech might end the 2019 season as the worst defense in the Big 12.  Entering the day, the Red Raiders were just 9th in total defense, allowing 468.5 yards per game, which was only four yards better than No. 10 Kansas, which plays Baylor to end its season.

Tech will certainly end up as the worst team in the Big 12 and one of the worst in the nation against the pass.  Already sitting at the bottom of the conference in that critical stat, Tech will end the year allowing 307.8 yards per game through the air.

Years of poor recruiting and roster attrition left this program in an awful spot to begin with on that side of the ball.  That’s why the Red Raiders dabbled so heavily in the graduate transfer market last offseason and that’s something we can expect to continue this year.

If this season showed us anything, it is just how poor of a state this program is in.  Certainly, Tech had its share of close calls in 2019 but the reality is that this team proved to be just a 4-win squad and it looked every bit the part on Friday.

This program has a ways to go before it is ready to even think about being a legitimate yearly bowl contender, much less a factor in the Big 12.   That’s what Matt Wells has to figure out how to do but most don’t have faith that he will be able to make such huge gains in one offseason.

What Tech football fans can be thankful for. dark. Next

The next time we see this football team, it will be 281 days from now in El Paso, Texas.  That’s a long time away but probably not long enough to fix everything that is wrong with Texas Tech football.  That’s why it is a bit of a positive that there’s no bowl game to prepare for because this coaching staff will have to get to work immediately if they want to avoid another painful season in year two of their reign.