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Texas Tech Survives A Shootout With Sooners

Texas Tech survives

Can a fake field goal attempt, up 14-0, with five minutes remaining in the first quarter cost a football team the game? Especially when the team leading had all the momentum and had a chip shot field goal attempt to go up 17-0. That was the decision Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables made and it might be one he regrets. It seemed to provide the necessary spark the Red Raiders needed. In the end, Texas Tech survives a thrilling 51-48 game against Oklahoma.

Slow Start For A Game With 99 Points

It was the last ride for the famous Double T scoreboard in the south endzone of Jones AT&T stadium. And it absolutely got its money’s worth in the closing of its era. The teams combined for 1,271 yards of total offense. There were 6 total lead changes. But it didn’t start off that way. Oklahoma seemed like they would run the Red Raiders right out of their own stadium. Texas Tech fumbled their very first play on offense. The Sooners did whatever they wanted offensively, until that fake field goal decision. Still, Texas Tech did not have a first down until early in the second quarter and was down 17-0.

Classic Big 12 Shootout

For those of you who had a defensive tackle touchdown to start the Red Raider scoring, congrats. Go buy a lotto ticket. But it was indeed Jaylon Hutchings who got Texas Tech on the scoreboard in the second quarter. The unconventional scoring in the first half continued with quarterback Donovan Smith lining up in the backfield and throwing a fullback-esque block to let SaRodorick Thompson score the second Red Raider touchdown. Smith was rewarded on the very next possession with his own touchdown run to cut the lead to 24-20. As the teams headed to the locker room at halftime, with Oklahoma leading 24-23, it was obvious what was to come for the rest of the game.

Quarterback Tyler Shough easily had his best game of the season. Shough finished the game by going 31-for-50 and 436 yards with two touchdowns. He also added nine rushing attempts for 44 yards. Thompson, who was one of 24 seniors honored before the game, had a total of 25 combined touches for 121 yards of offense and two touchdowns. This game also featured one of the few games in which a wide receiver had a true stand-out game for this offense. Jerand Bradley had eight catches for 173 yards and one touchdown on 13 targets.

Red Zone Defense Struggled

Oklahoma had a period of the game in which they stalled out offensively. It was similar to what happened last week against Oklahoma State. But once they found their footing again in the third quarter, there was not much resistance. Sooners quarterback Dillion Gabriel finished the game with a career-high six passing touchdowns on 28-for-40 passing for 449 yards. It must have felt like half of those went to wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. In reality, it was just 162 yards on five catches and two touchdowns.

Texas Tech needed to limit the big plays from Oklahoma’s offense. Even if Oklahoma put together sustaining drives, the Red Raider’s red zone defense was in a position to lock them down. Coming into the game, this top-20 red zone defense should have been able to limit the amount of Sooners scorning in that area. Well, Oklahoma had five total trips into the red zone in regulation. Four of them resulted in touchdowns, and the only stop came on the fake field goal. However, in overtime the one red zone possession Oklahoma had, Texas Tech bowed up and forced the missed field goal.

Texas Tech Survives For Seven Wins

In the fourth quarter, Shough threw an interception that Oklahoma turned into three points. It pushed the lead to 48-45 in favor of the Sooners with just 4:04 remaining in the game. A gutsy drive by the offense resulted in a game-tying field goal attempt. The first one was actually blocked, but a timeout was called by Oklahoma. But the second attempt sailed through the middle of the uprights. Most had to be thinking, “How Texas Tech survives these games is wild.”

Head coach Joey McGuire already had turned plenty of heads in Lubbock. But, assuredly, the rest of the Big 12 has taken notice in his first season. His teams had fought valiantly week-in and week-out, regardless of the results. So it seemed appropriate that in a season where he leads Texas Tech to victories over Texas and Oklahoma for the first time in program history, it was going to require some drama.

Kicker Trey Wolff trotted out from only 15 yards further on the left side of the field than he did against Texas. Two overtime kicks to the north goal post that were both equally true were the punctuation marks on this seven-win season. With the win, the Red Raiders find themselves in the top half of the Big 12 to close out a season for the first time since 2009.


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