Texas Tech Secures Bowl Eligibility With Win At Iowa State

With the weather in the teens for most of the game, both Texas Tech and Iowa State’s offenses appeared to be frozen. Neither of these offenses could give the scoreboard operator much to work with. And for much of the night, it seemed like the seniors for Iowa State were going to finish off their home season with a victory. But the Red Raiders never let them actually finish drives. And in the end, Texas Tech secures bowl eligibility with a 14-10 rock fight victory in Ames.

Perfect Fourth-Down Conversions

Coming into this one, the Red Raiders never were going to leave opportunities out there. They had led the nation in fourth down attempts. If Texas Tech was going to win, they had to excel on fourth down. However, one major problem played out in the game against Iowa State. The offense was so limited, they never even were in situations where the “book” called for them to go for it. In fact, they did not even attempt a fourth-down conversion until the 9:43 mark of the fourth quarter. But it was critical as it came on the eventual game-winning drive.

The Red Raider offense struggled mightily all night. Quarterback Tyler Shough only went 15-for-21 passing for 141 yards and one touchdown. The leading rusher for Texas Tech was Tahj Brooks who only had nine carries for 45 yards. Excluding the two scoring drives by Joey McGuire’s team, the Red Raiders only had 61 yards of offense. Texas Tech had seven drives that resulted in a three-and-out. But the two touchdown drives were not flukes. Drives of 13 and 14 plays which went for 77 and 96 yards respectively

Timely Red Raider Defense

Iowa State’s prowess on defense has been well-established all season. However, Texas Tech’s defense was more than ready for the challenge in sub-freezing temps. Iowa State was able to move the ball frequently up and down the field. Matt Campbell’s team finished the game with 422 total yards of offense. The passing attack specifically seemed to give Texas Tech issues. Iowa State had nine passing plays that went for over 15 yards. Specifically, Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchison seemed unguardable by the Red Raider secondary. Hutchison would finish the game with eight receptions for 101 yards.

But the Red Raider defense rose up at the most critical moments of the game. The defining stretch of the game came in the third quarter. Iowa State had back-to-back drives in which they drove the ball inside the Red Raider’s five-yard line. Both times resulted in fourth-down attempts to score a touchdown. And both times, Texas Tech’s defense stood tall and stonewalled the Cyclones. Iowa State also aided in its own misery with two missed field goals.

Texas Tech Secures Bowl Eligibility For Consecutive Seasons

In a sign of true program growth, Texas Tech secures bowl eligibility in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-2013. During this season, the Red Raiders had a stretch in which they lost four-of-five games. This season had the potential to fall off the rails in the first season with McGuire at the helm. But instead, this team now has secured a few more weeks of valuable practice team and a 13th game for this season. The Red Raiders now will close out the regular season back in Lubbock against the Oklahoma Sooners.