31 Unanswered Points
Texas Tech’s offense didn’t take the field for 30 minutes after they came out for the start of the game. And even down 14-0, this Texas Tech win over Houston showed a level of resilience this program hasn’t seen in quite some time. When the clock struck zero on a 38-21 victory, there was a different level of excitement illustrated on the Red Raider sideline.
Defense Plays Fast
This senior-laden defense got off to a poor start. But after settling in, they were able to prevent Houston from ever getting back into a rhythm on offense. The importance of creating turnovers was only amplified after getting behind two touchdowns, and the defensive unit responded. Texas Tech was a +3 in the turnover margin, forcing Houston quarterback Clayton Tune to throw four interceptions.
Shough’s Impressive Debut
The former four-star quarterback from Oregon looked decisive all game. Tyler Shough didn’t stuff the stat sheet like a traditional Red Raider quarterback (17-24, 231 YDS, 1 TD), but he never forced a throw into coverage. He gave his tall receivers multiple opportunities in one-on-one matchups to make a play on a jump ball. Expect this offense to develop into an explosive attack.
Erik Ezukanma had seven catches for 179 yards against a Houston secondary that could not figure out a way to slow him down. He was a focal point for a critical Texas Tech win to start the 2021 season. The pre-season All-Big 12 wide receiver was explosive from the start of the game and appears to be fully healthy after breaking his arm in the Spring.
Culture-Shifting Texas Tech win?
Head coach Matt Wells came into this season on a hot seat. Starting the game with a team converting three 4th downs on the opening drive and then not recovering an onside kick was as disastrous of a start as Wells and company could have imagined. But after going down 14-0, the Red Raiders would go on to outscore Houston 38-7. In previous years, Texas Tech would not have bounced back like this. But this team never faltered and improved on both sides of the ball throughout the game.
A Texas Tech win over Houston does not get Wells off the hot seat. But how this Red Raider team won needs to be commended. This will be the stiffest non-conference test Texas Tech will face. The grit, combined with sharp execution on both sides of the ball (particularly in the 2nd half) on display at NRG stadium is the evidence Red Raider fans need as proof that brighter days are ahead for this program.