Donovan Smith fumbles but gets it back on Tech’s final drive of regulation
Tech’s final drive of regulation was wild, to say the least. But while most people are quick to remember the 4th-down conversion from Smith to Myles Price or the long field goal Trey Wolff made to give Tech a brief 34-31 lead, there is a key moment from this drive that has received little attention.
On 3rd-and-4 from the Tech 49, Smith dropped back to pass and was immediately under pressure. As he tried to scramble out of the pocket, he was hit and lost the football, fumbling it forward.
When the ball was fumbled, the two closest players to it were Longhorn defenders. Meanwhile, Smith was the closest Red Raider but he was in the grasp of a defensive lineman.
Still, somehow, Smith was able to squirm free of the defender’s grasp and pounce on his own fumble. He would recover the ball at the 50 giving Tech one more shot.
Of course, that one shot would be the noteworthy 4th-down conversion from Smith to Price, the play on which Smith had to scramble out of the pocket and find Price while on the move. That would prove to be the play that was the key to this drive but it wouldn’t have happened had Smith not somehow found a way to recover his own fumble on third down.
On the day, Smith was turnover free for the first time in his three starts this season. He didn’t come anywhere near throwing an interception but he did nearly lose this fumble as he got careless with the ball in the pocket. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and Tech would win the critical turnover battle 2-0.