Texas Tech Falls to Oregon 38-30

Texas Tech falls

All it took was three turnovers. Texas Tech and Oregon played just about as even of a football game as two teams can. Oregon finished with 472 yards of offense, Texas Tech finished with 456. Oregon ran 75 offensive plays, Texas Tech ran 72. Both quarterbacks made big plays throughout the game. But one quarterback made the critical errors while the other one never faltered (although Tech fans might argue there should have been one interception in the endzone). Under the shiny new LED lights at Jones AT&T, Texas Tech falls to the Ducks from Oregon by a score of 38-30.

Oregon Team Speed Was a Problem Early and Late

Early in the game, the Texas Tech defense looked two steps behind all of the Oregon players. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix was not having to make spectacular plays either. Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter had to make some adjustments quickly. And credit needs to be paid to the Red Raider defense. Texas Tech held Oregon to three combined points in the second and third quarters. However, Nix started making big-time plays in the fourth quarter. Nix consistently was converting third downs, including many with his legs. The last three drives for Oregon to close out the game end in points (one touchdown and two field goals).

Nix’s final stat line was 32-for-44 passing for 359 yards and two touchdowns. He also added nine rushes for 46 yards. The “loudest” stat Nix had was a big goose egg in the turnover column. Oregon was not mistake-free by any means though. They committed 14 penalties for 124 yards. Multiple Tech drives were kept alive by blatant. defensive pass interference calls. It also included a late hit at the end of the game that gave Texas Tech a chance at a Hail Mary with eight seconds late in the game. But it was a few costly decisions by one Red Raider that proved to be the difference.

Lights a Tad Too Bright for This Shough

Red Raider quarterback Tyler Shough was getting an opportunity to take down his former team. Shough spent three seasons with the Ducks before transferring to Texas Tech. This was the type of game in which Shough had to be at his best. And Shough came out swinging against a Heisman candidate playing quarterback for the opponent. He combined for 382 yards of offense and four touchdowns on 63 offensive plays (23 runs, 40 passes). That is the third most combined offensive yards in a game for Shough in 24 career games. It also is only his third time scoring four touchdowns in a game. However, Shough’s turnovers were back-breaking.

The first was a bad fumble on Oregon’s 34-yard line with a defender bearing down on him as he was rolling to the left in the second quarter (which wouldn’t be the last time that scene would play out). Oregon would march 56 yards on 11 plays to get a field goal. His second turnover came after Texas Tech blocked a punt early in the 2nd half. The Red Raiders had scored an opening touchdown and forced a three-and-out. With their first lead of the game and all the momentum on their side, Tech stood with an opportunity to seize control of the game. But on the very first play, in a picture-perfect pocket to throw out of, Shough threw the ball three steps behind his target. The last turnover was a fitting end to this game. With 1:10 left in the game, and down one, the Red Raiders drove to the Tech 42-yard line. On second down, Shough once again rolled to his left and tried to get rid of the ball late. The ball ended up in Oregon linebacker Jefferey Bassa’s hands and he ran it back for the game-sealing pick-six.

Texas Tech Falls To 0-2 For First Time Since 1990

Shough’s turnovers hurt, but the team had faults adding to this defeat. There was another missed field goal and the defensive lapse giving up the two-point conversion in the second quarter. That point was something Tech chased all night and never caught. For a team that came into the season with high expectations, head coach Joey McGuire finds his team at an interesting point. Texas Tech has a “get right” game next week against Tarleton State. They then open Big 12 play at West Virginia, home against Houston (who just lost to Rice), and then go to Baylor (who is 0-2 and lost to Texas State). The Red Raider team that showed up tonight displayed plenty of evidence that they can be an upper-tier Big 12 team.

The next four weeks also appear the least daunting four-week stretch of their season. Just last season, Kansas State won the Big 12 with losses to Tulane and TCU in the regular season. The Red Raiders don’t deserve any benefit of the doubt, they simply have done nothing close to suggest otherwise. But with a rough opening two weeks behind them, can Texas Tech build momentum to pull themselves out of this ditch?


Texas Tech falls

Photo courtesy: Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK