When a new coach takes over any college program, their number one goal is to sell their product such as any normal businessman. Joey McGuire has been looking to reignite the Texas Tech fanbase since taking over for Matt Wells and interim coach Sonny Cumbie. Despite a rough second half and a quarterback who seemed to lose confidence down the stretch, the Red Raiders pulled off an upset over 25th-ranked Houston in double overtime.
Heading into the second half, Tech looked to be in command leading 17-3. However, as fans have grown accustomed to, the team faltered and by the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 17. Does this sound familiar? Well, over the past decade of head coaches Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Wells, the Red Raiders never seemed to finish games when they needed to in the end.
Kingsbury’s teams had their share of great starts, but ultimately too many collapses down the stretch of games. One of the most notable came in 2017 against West Virginia. The Red Raiders led 35-17 in the third quarter before the offense went stale and didn’t score the rest of the game, leading to a 46-35 loss.
The same could be said of Wells’ teams. The most notable during last season came against Kansas State. The team led 24-10 over the Wildcats at halftime. After a safety, Deuce Vaughn scored two touchdowns and with no answer from the offense for the entire second half, the Wildcats prevailed 25-24. After that game, Wells was fired.
The setup in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game was all too familiar. A poorly thrown interception by Donovan Smith led to a field goal by Houston to take a 20-17 lead before the team forced overtime with a Trey Wolff field goal. After allowing the Cougars to score on their first overtime possession, Smith and the Red Raiders faced a 4th and 20 but converted and scored to force a second overtime. The resiliency of McGuire’s bunch shined through as the team forced a field goal and won the game with a touchdown run by Smith.
For a fanbase looking for reasons to stay past halftime and a new coach looking to win them over, Saturday’s thrilling double overtime win was McGuire’s first big step towards leading this program back to prominence. McGuire continues to talk about “The Brand” and the product was certainly sold to the fans and students who stormed the field. McGuire looks to keep the momentum going next week when the Red Raiders travel to Raleigh to face ranked N.C. State.