Texas Tech allows Bo Nix to scramble for 13 yards on 3rd-and-11
The game-changing drive in this contest was the 17-play TD drive Oregon executed in the third and fourth quarters to pull to within 27-25. However, early in that possession, Tech had a golden opportunity to get off the field but a terrific play by Oregon’s QB, Bo Nix, kept the drive alive.
On 3rd-and-11 from the Oregon 48, Nix kept the ball on a zone read. Despite stumbling as he took off, he was able to knife through the defense for 13 yards to keep the drive going.
That play is hard to stomach because it appears that the Red Raider defense got out schemed. Unfortunately, Tech was in man coverage on this play and because the Ducks were in a four-receiver set, there was only one Red Raider linebacker, Ben Roberts, at the second level of the defense.
When Roberts followed the running back fake, it took him out of the play and there was no one in the middle of the field to stop Nix. Defensive back Malik Dunlap had a chance to dive at Nix’s feet but the Oregon QB was too nimble to be brought down with a diving shoestring tackle.
For much of the night, defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter called a solid game. But there were times when his decisions to play man defense proved costly.
One instance was the 72-yard Troy Franklin TD grab in the first quarter. Another instance was this run by Nix.
Given the speed and athleticism of the Oregon offense, why any DC would play man coverage for even a single snap against the Ducks is beyond me. However, DeRuyter likes to take risks and unfortunately, he got burned a couple of times on Saturday.