Texas Tech Downs Texas 37-34

 

LUBBOCK, TX — Rivalry week in Lubbock went down to the wire as the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-1)(1-0) upset the #22 Texas Longhorns (2-2)(0-1) in overtime. Both teams played well all game, but Texas Tech overcame a 10-point deficit at halftime to down the Longhorns, 37-34. Head Coach Joey McGuire picked up his first BIG12 conference win and his first signature win as the Red Raiders’ new frontman.

Backup quarterback Hudson Card started the scoring for the Texas Longhorns in the first quarter when he connected with WR Keilan Robinson for a 35-yard touchdown. The three-play, 62-yard drive took less than 1:30 off the clock in the first quarter, and it looked like the Red Raiders had a long day ahead of them. However, Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith hushed the critics on Texas Tech’s first possession. Leading the team 75 yards on a grueling 18-play drive, Smith scored a four-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper.

Texas Tech took the lead for the first time in the 2nd quarter after the Longhorns had kicked a field goal to make the score 10-7. Smith threw a pass to his running back Tahj Brooks for 17 yards and another score. This touchdown put the Red Raiders out in front 14-10. Tech’s lead did not last long, however, when two broken coverages on two different occasions by the Red Raiders’ defense left Longhorn receivers wide open for touchdowns. First, Xavier Worthy caught a 39-yard pass from Hudson Card to retake the lead. Then, Card found Roschon Johnson behind the defense for 23 yards to the Texas Tech 8-yard line. This throw-and-catch set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Bijan Robinson with 21 seconds remaining in the half. The Longhorns headed to the locker room up 10 points, 24-14.

The momentum swung Texas Tech’s way in the second half as they outscored the Longhorns 20-10 to round out regulation. The Red Raiders’ defense made several adjustments in the locker room that helped lock down Texas’ explosive offense, which had little trouble moving the ball in the first half. A field goal and a 1-yard touchdown by SaRodorick Thompson at the end of the 3rd quarter brought Texas Tech within seven points of the Longhorns, 31-24.

Tech’s offense dominated time of possession in the 4th quarter, keeping the ball away from Texas. Tight End Baylor Cupp caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Smith midway through the 4th quarter to tie the game, and then Kicker Trey Wolff took the lead for the Red Raiders with 25 seconds remaining in regulation. However, Texas managed to embarrass the Red Raiders' defense by moving the ball 42 yards in 19 seconds to set up a 48-yard field goal of their own. Regulation ended tied, 34-34.

Tech won the coin toss and started the overtime period on defense. The Red Raiders’ defense finally came up with a massive play to give them a chance to win the game. Texas’ running back Bijan Robinson, widely considered one of the top five backs in college football, had already rushed for over 100 yards and several touchdowns. Texas looked to lean on him to give them the points they needed to win. Texas Tech had other plans. On the first play of overtime, two Texas Tech defenders hit Robinson squarely on the ball, and he fumbled. Tech recovered and handed the ball back to the offense. SaRodorick Thompson carried the ball for 22 yards to the 3-yard line before Trey Wolff officially became the game's hero when he kicked a 20-yard field goal to win the game, 37-34.

Analysis

Texas Tech’s Donovan Smith had a much better outing against the Longhorns than against NC State last week. Smith went 38/56 for 331 yards and 2 TDs. Most importantly, though, he had zero turnovers. The five picks in two games limited what the Red Raiders did on offense. Those turnovers also put immense pressure on their defense to make up for the mental mistakes. Smith looked clean and like a leader this week. This new Texas Tech team is buying into the new coaching staff, and even might turn out to be a dark horse in the BIG12.

Texas mainly played a complete game on both sides of the ball. At the end of the day, the two turnovers committed by the Longhorn offense ended up being the difference in the game. Although Hudson Card’s interception thrown in the 2nd quarter did not lead to points, Texas Tech ran more than 40 more plays than the Longhorns in the contest. At the end of the game, the Texas defense that played so well all day looked exhausted. Texas needs to take better care of the ball if they hope to win the BIG12.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-1)(1-0) travel to Manhattan, Kansas, next week, Oct. 1, to take on the Kansas State Wildcats (2-1) (0-0).

The Texas Longhorns (2-2)(0-1) look to get their season back on track next week, Oct. 1, when they host the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-2)(0-1).

Texas Tech's Baylor Cupp (88) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

Texas Tech's Baylor Cupp (88) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

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