Beating a team that is just 4-6 on the season should never be cause for too much celebration. Unless, of course, that 4-6 team is named Texas and you haven’t beaten the Longhorns on their home field in 18 years. Such was the case for the Texas Tech football program back in 2015 in what would prove to be one of the most memorable Red Raider games of the last twenty years.
On a rainy Thanksgiving night in Austin Kliff Kingsbury and Pat Mahomes led the 6-5 Red Raiders to a 48-45 win at Royal-Memorial Stadium ending one of the program’s most frustrating streaks of futility ever. But beating Texas in the state capital for the first time since 1997 would take everything that Kingsbury had in his bag of tricks.
A sloppy first half that would see both teams miss opportunities for huge plays thanks to the blowing rain would yield just 27 total points between the two teams with Tech leading 17-10 at the break.
But in the second half, the rain would taper off and the scoring would pick up significantly. Fortunately, it would be the Red Raiders that came out on top as Mahomes scored one of his few signature wins as a collegiate.
The 3-point victory marked the first win over the Longhorns since the unforgettable 2008 game in Lubbock. But unfortunately, it wouldn’t prove to be the springboard that many hoped it would be.
In fact, the win actually proved to be a bit of fool’s gold as a veteran Texas Tech team featuring all-time program greats such as Mahomes, Jakeem Grant, and DeAndre Washington would have to fight to the death to beat a bad Texas team missing several defensive starters and its starting QB, Jerrod Heard, who would leave the game in the first quarter with a concussion turning the game over to backup Tyrone Swoopes.
Instead of being a springboard, this win would be just an anomaly, one of only a handful of blips on the radar during the six years of the Kingsbury era. Tech would go on to lose the Texas Bowl to Leonard Fournette and LSU to end that season and would limp to a 5-7 mark in 2016, Mahomes’ swan song in Lubbock.
But any win over Texas, in any sport and under any circumstance, is worth celebrating. So with seven weeks to go until the start of the 2022 season, let’s take a moment to revisit this wild win, which was defined by two of the craziest plays we’ve seen in a single game.