Texas Tech football classics: Red Raiders stave off upset bid from A&M in ’08

Quarterback Graham Harrell #6 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders drops back to pass. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Quarterback Graham Harrell #6 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders drops back to pass. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Texas Tech
STILLWATER, OK – SEPTEMBER 25: The Texas Tech Red Raiders flag flies outside the stadium before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys September 25, 2014 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Red Raiders 45-35. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) /

Tech scored TDs while A&M kicked field goals

When you are a huge underdog as A&M was on this day in 2008, you have to end your scoring opportunities with seven points instead of three.  But the Aggies couldn’t do that as they would kick three first-half field goals leaving twelve points off the board.   In a game that was only a nine-point contest until the final seconds, that would prove to be the biggest factor of the afternoon.

On all three A&M field goal possessions, the Aggie offense managed to drive inside the Tech 30.  What’s more, on the second FG, they reached the Red Raider 11-yard line and on their third FG, they stalled out at the Tech 1-yard line.

Those are opportunities that had to have had Mike Sherman’s team kicking themselves as they watched film the next day.  Meanwhile, Tech took advantage of its opportunities by finding the endzone on six of the eight forays inside the A&M 30-yard line.

In fact, Tech’s longest TD of the day was a 25-yard Crabtree TD reception to open the scoring for the Red Raiders in the first quarter.  Other than that, every Red Raider TD came from inside the 10-yard line, a sign that Tech was able to cash in on the opportunities presented.

Had the Aggies turned those three drives that ended in FGs into touchdowns, they would have had a substantial 35-20 lead at the break and the game would have been vastly different in the second half.  The upset bug would have been far stronger at Kyle Field that day and who knows if the home team would have been able to ride that momentum to a win.

But because the Red Raider defense came up big inside the 30 and kept A&M out of the endzone on three critical drives, Tech was able to withstand the Aggies’ first-half salvo.  And in the second half, the Red Raider defense would come up huge.