Heading into the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Texas Longhorns, if you had told me that Tech would only score twenty-four points, I would have confidently predicted a win by three or four touchdowns. As it happened, the Texas defense held Tech to three touchdowns and a field goal, but Texas only won by ten points, in a game that was actually much closer than the final score indicated.
I’ve waited a few days to write about the the game as I wanted to have some time to think about it. It was an ugly win, but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss on any day of the week.
Don’t hit the panic button yet, Longhorn Faithful. This may well be one of those teams that grits out ugly wins against all comers.
While the 2002 Ohio State national championship team won by an average of almost seventeen points for the season, six of their fourteen victories were by a touchdown or less. The most important thing is that they kept winning.
Texas’ defense has been as good or better than expected. This is all the more impressive when you consider the bad hands regularly dealt to them by the offense and special teams.
The defense held Tech to three points in the first half. Yes, they tired in the second half, giving up three touchdowns and over four-hundred yards of offense for the game, but they held Tech to three of thirteen on third down. Given Texas’ offense (or offensive potential), that should almost always be enough.
Sergio Kindle picked up his first sack of the year, with a crushing hit on Tech quarterback Taylor Potts. Overall, Potts was sacked three times, and was hurried or knocked down many more times.
Speaking of which, Potts is a solid quarterback and is very tough. If Kindle had hit me like that, I’d be breathing out of a tube at this point. Potts comes in the game two and a half minutes later, and drives Tech 88 yards for a touchdown. Damn tough. I’m not looking forward to our game against them next year.
Which brings us to the Texas offense. Again, it’s not time to panic, but concern is warranted.
So far, Colt McCoy has not looked as good as he did last year. He hasn’t regressed to his sophomore form, but he hasn’t performed to expectations either. Granted, his playing level is still very high, but something isn’t quite clicking. There are several potential reasons, including:
- Taking too much on his shoulders. He needs to relax and play.
- A nasty case of the flu. My understanding is that several people within the program have had it.
- A offensive line not as good as expected. It’s still better than Oklahoma’s o-line.
- No Quan Cosby. Other than with Shipley, the timing with the receivers doesn’t seem to be there.
- No reliable running back.
This last issue may be solved. Tre’ Newton has been announced as the new starting tailback. He’s a slashing back who hits the holes quickly and has great vision down the field. He’s also a reliable receiver, giving Colt an outlet pass when needed.
Newton isn’t the next Ricky Williams, but he should do quite a bit to keep the defenses honest.
And we’ll learn a lot more in the next game or two about what sort of year Colt is going to have.
About the atmosphere at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, with a record crowd of 101,297 in attendance, it was crowded. Parking was much tougher (and more expensive) than usual, but this might be due to the lack of shuttle busses.
In addition, everything just seemed to take longer. Even though people started leaving with about two minutes left (guys, this is Tech!), it still took forever to get down from the upper deck after they finished playing the eyes of Texas.
And once we were at our car, it took the better part of forty-five minutes to get out of the campus area.
The crowd noise was good for DKR-TMS, especially after the sack by Kindle. I think that the second half of the Oklahoma State game in 2004 was much louder overall.
I don’t want to forget to give Texas Tech some credit. They fought hard and never quit. The defense is getting a bit better every year, and Taylor Potts has the potential to be a very good quarterback for them. They will beat some good teams this year.
So, three games into the season, and with our first conference game under our belt, we remain undefeated and the #2 ranked team in the nation. I’ll take it.