Raiders Travel to Fort Worth
After an embarrassing home loss to Oklahoma, Texas Tech will travel to Fort Worth to battle with the TCU Horned Frogs. The Frogs come off a ten-point win against rival Baylor, and the TCU run game was working. Darwin Barlow and Zach Evans combined for 198 yards, and each had a touchdown on the ground.
OU Racking Up Yards
Luckily for Texas Tech, run defense is their strength as long as you don’t look at the OU game. Against West Virginia, Tech held Leddie Brown in check, holding him to 77 rushing yards, the lowest all season. The pass defense took a step back from the WVU game as OU, and quarterback Spencer Rattler shredded the Texas Tech secondary like a roasted pork shoulder. Rattler threw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and that was before he got pulled after Oklahoma’s first touchdown. In roughly half a game, Rattler threw for more yards than both Tech quarterbacks did all game (Alan Bowman played a small amount in the fourth quarter).
OU Took Tech’s Strength
The worst part of all is that OU took what was supposed to be Tech Tech’s defensive strength, and they turned it into a weakness. OU ran the ball 39 times and averaged 5.5 yards per carry, which translates to 213 yards and six touchdowns! SIX! The Red Raider defense was gashed on the ground and couldn’t keep anyone out of the endzone. Four different Sooners found the endzone on the ground, with Rhamondre Stevenson getting three touchdowns. The front seven for the Red Raiders will have to hunker down and regroup before TCU, who themselves is a good running offense.
The Red Raider offense was phenomenal on the opening drive. They looked focused, poised, and ready to keep pace with the Sooners. That was not the case.
Tech’s Offense Tries to Slaps Back
After an incredible opening drive, the Texas Tech offense committed three first-half turnovers. The one exact thing was that Tech could not give Oklahoma any easy drives by turning the ball over and stymie themselves on the ball’s offensive side. Henry Colombi was not at fault with his two interceptions. One was on an RPO with a slant coming across the middle of the field where the receiver knocked the ball up in the air only to be picked off by a floating defensive back.
Tech Did Not Give Up
What I will knock Colombi on was not being able to figure out the coverages presented to him by OU, who does not have a strong defensive unit. Something that can be built upon, though, was the fight Texas Tech showed. They did not give up, no matter what the scoreboard said. The team played their most challenging in the fourth quarter when the lead was already insurmountable. They showed a lot of pride, which is something Coach Wells and this coaching staff can build up.
Tech Has a Chance Against TCU
Do I feel good about this game against TCU? Yes, I do, and I’ll tell you why. Texas Tech, for some reason, likes to bounce back after losing to Oklahoma. The Red Raiders are 11-6 following a loss to OU since the Big 12 became a conference in 1996. Also, Texas Tech holds the series lead at 32-27-3. But mainly, what I look at as the advantage for Tech is that our quarterback is better.
Colombi Has the Upper Hand on TCU
When you look at Henry Colombi and Max Duggan side by side, they are very similar. Both athletic QB’s who can use their legs to escape bad situations but not the cannon arm we’ve come to expect from Big 12 quarterbacks. But Colombi seems to have a better grasp of his role in the offense, and he executes every play. He may not give you very many SportsCenter moments, but he will move the offense consistently. Duggan, at times, has been known to make critical mistakes to cost his team.
TCU Wants to Win Too
This game will be hotly contested by two teams who like to control the game with their offenses and use the running backs a lot. But because Colombi is the better QB for Texas Tech, I predict Texas Tech to win this game by a score of 35-28. The game will be live on FS1 and kickoff at 2:30 in Fort Worth. Wreck em’ Tech!
Story by Corey May, Sports Journalist for Campus Live