Cole Spencer’s unsportsmanlike penalty proves costly for Texas Tech
On the final possession of the first half, Tech trailed 18-13 with under a minute to play after receiving a kickoff from the Ducks. The drive initially stalled but a late hit out of bounds on Shough by Brandon Dorlus would give Tech a fresh set of downs at its own 41.
However, that yardage was lost on the very next play thanks to a needless penalty. I understand that the hand-to-hand combat of offensive line play often leads to unprovoked penalties.
Still, it is maddening when a lineman is called for a personal four for illegal hands to the face as senior left guard Cole Spencer was just one play after Tech had been gifted 15 yards by the Ducks. (The officials announced the penalty on Monroe Mills but watching the replay, it is clear that it was Spencer who committed the infraction.)
This wasn’t a typical personal foul. It wasn’t the result of a mental mistake such as a late hit or a taunting foul.
Still, it has to be deemed undisciplined. Spencer is supposed to be Tech’s best offensive lineman and his technique must be better.
Again, I fully allow for the fact that a twisting, rushing defensive lineman whose head changes its level can lead to an unintentional hands-to-the-face penalty. Regardless, when a team is trying to drive for points in a two-minute situation, that can’t happen.
As it would turn out, that lost yardage would prove costly as Garcia would be forced to try a 56-yard FG on the final play of the half, a kick he would miss. It would have been nice to have had that extra 15 yards to make Garcia’s try easier.