Texas Tech Suffers Agonizing Loss To TCU

Texas Tech fans must have a strange feeling about this team. Entering the fourth quarter, Texas Tech led 17-13. The Red Raiders have been within one score/leading in all but one game this season. And yet, here Texas Tech is now 4-5 on the season. Head coach Joey McGuire clearly has made strides in year one, but it’s hard not to ask “what-if?” When the dust finally settled at Amon G Carter Stadium, Texas Tech suffers another loss by the score of 34-24.

Quarterback Issues

Texas Tech offensive coordinator Zach Kittley and the offensive staff needs to really assess how they will handle the quarterback position for the rest of this season. For two weeks now, Kittley’s changes at the quarterback during the game have done more harm than good to the game flow. The tempo this offense wants to establish needs to have the same signal caller in the game for 95% of the game at a minimum. Of course, today only became more challenging as the Red Raider quarterback room continues to be snake bitten with injuries. Behren Morton suffered a leg injury in the second quarter. But prior to his injury, the offense had its moments but still did not get into a true offensive rhythm while Morton was in the game.

Tyler Shough started off looking very rusty. As if he hasn’t played football a ton lately (he said very tongue and cheek). It was also clear the press box was never informed on how to pronounce his name, which is “Shuck” but was consistently referred to as “Shook”. But in the second half, Shough did start to get in a bit of a flow, including a deep ball that was snatched for a touchdown by JJ Sparkman in the third quarter. Shough finished the game 9-of-22 passing for only 78 yards and one touchdown.

Game-Defining Play

A critical fourth-down call at 12:21 was the official undoing for this Texas Tech team. At this point in the game, TCU held a slight lead by the margin of 20-17. The Red Raider defense had surrendered its first offensive touchdown of the game. Quarterback Donovan Smith entered the game on fourth and two, as he had done on previous short-yard situations in the game. It appears he had an easy completion to the running back who slipped into the flat. But instead, Smith appeared to have panicked and tried to run up the middle where he was met by three TCU defenders. Three plays later, TCU took a 27-17 lead with 10:53 left in the game. It was at that moment it seemed Texas Tech finally ran out of gas. The Red Raider’s next two offensive possessions never got off the ground. But the time they were able to bounce back, it was too late as Texas Tech suffers its fifth loss of the season.

Middle Eight Defeat

For much of the game, it was the rushing attack of Texas Tech that was keeping the TCU offense on the sidelines. Texas Tech rushed the ball 39 times for 195 yards and one touchdown. This was only aiding what the Red Raiders knew they had to do if they wanted to spring an upset. Coming into the game, Texas Tech knew it had to win the Middle Eight of this game. TCU had shown a propensity to put games away in the second half. In Fort Worth on Saturday, they ultimately did the same thing. And technically TCU won the Middle Eight by a small margin of 3-0. But at the time, it felt more like a victory for Texas Tech than TCU.

Texas Tech Suffers Another Loss Despite Gritty Defense

Without wide receiver Quentin Johnston, the Horned Frogs’ offense looked out of sorts. Credit needs to be given to this Red Raider defense. Texas Tech’s defense played possibly its best game of the season. Coming into this game, TCU had scored at least 38 points in every game this season. But the Red Raiders made the Horned Frogs earn every yard all game. TCU did not score an offensive touchdown until the fourth quarter. Tyree Wilson led a defensive effort that included four sacks and consistent pressure on Heisman candidate quarterback Max Duggan. Texas Tech’s defense has yet to have a single quarterback throw for more than 300 yards on them all season.

TCU’s offense ended the day scoring a total of 27 points, a season-low. However, TCU’s last two touchdowns were assisted by the fact that the Red Raider offense failed two on back-to-back fourth down conversations. TCU took over on Texas Tech’s 34 and 45-yard line for both of those drives. But this defensive effort was not enough for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech will return back to Lubbock next week to take on Kansas.