For all the good momentum the Red Raiders had going into the home finale, the Oklahoma State Cowboys stopped it in its tracks. A dominating 23-0 win by Oklahoma State doesn’t reflect how one-sided this Texas Tech week 12 loss was.
Under 100 yards of offense
Texas Tech had been riding high after a great showing against a tough Iowa State team. But Oklahoma State came to town with one of the best defenses in the country. The Red Raiders had to get off to a good start if they were going to have any chance to win this game. Not only did Texas Tech go scoreless in the first half, but the offense couldn’t even break 100 yards of total offense until 4:45 left in the game. Donovan Smith looked like a freshman quarterback against this swarming Cowboys defense.
To be fair to Smith, the offensive line was getting dominated early and often by the Oklahoma State defensive line. Smith was under constant pressure from the opening snap of the game, leading to getting sacked four times. Texas Tech went three and out on four of their first five possessions.
Leading Rusher Was Back-Up Quarterback
Texas Tech did try to stretch this Oklahoma State defense throughout the game. Smith took plenty of shots when one-on-one coverage presented itself. But the few times Smith had a clean pocket to throw from, he was wildly inaccurate. Interim head coach Sonny Cumbie eventually pulled Smith. He would finish the game 9-28 for 83 yards.
How long has it been since the offense was limited to under 100 yards?
“Last time Tech was held under 100 yards was the 1990 Miami game when guys like Russell Maryland, Shane Curry and LB corps with Darrin Smith, Micheal Barrow and Maurice Crum dominated an offensive line full of freshmen. Tech had 90 yards that day in a 45-10 loss.”
– Credit: Don Williams, Lubbock-Avalance Journal
While Texas Tech did eventually break the 100-yard mark, they only cleared the 100-yard mark by eight yards. Texas Tech’s leading rusher was the backup quarterback, Behren Morton, with 15 rushing yards. This was the first time Tech was shut out at home since a 31-0 loss to Arkansas on Oct. 10, 1987.
Even in Texas Tech Week 12 Loss, the Defense Played the Best Game Of the Season
As bad as the offense looked in this Texas Tech week 12 loss, the defense played their tails off. Oklahoma State did not come into this game with an explosive offense. But the Red Raider defense bowed up against the Big 12 favorite. Despite being on the field for 37:11 of gameplay, they were able to limit the Cowboys to 23 points. Spencer Sanders did not have an extraordinary performance. He finished 19-36 for 249 yards passing and one touchdown.
The defense did yield a ton of yards. In total, Oklahoma State would rack up 427 yards of total offense by the end of the game. Texas Tech certainly benefited from a few drops and missed throws in the endzone. But the defensive front still demonstrated many times throughout the game the ability to get pressure in the backfield both in the rushing and passing attack.
Move On Quickly From This Texas Tech Week 12 Loss
The Texas Tech faithful certainly would have liked to end its home season on a better note. And it’s certainly no better for all of the seniors who played their last game at Jones AT&T stadium. But Texas Tech still has one game remaining to build on what has to be viewed as a successful season. Even with a mid-season firing, Texas Tech making it to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2017 is huge for a rebuilding program. A road trip to Baylor to close out the season won’t be easy. Texas Tech will certainly come into the game as an underdog but will look to bounce back after getting dominated at home.