TTU Football vs. SFA Ends in Dramatic Fashion
In Texas Tech’s football home-opener at Jones AT&T Stadium in beautiful Lubbock, Texas, it was the TTU Red Raiders vs. the SFA Lumberjacks. The highly anticipated home opener would draw over 50,000 fans and kickoff the Red Raiders season in style at the Celebrate America Game on 9/11.
While many may have thought that the non-conference matchup would be a blowout, with ESPN’s power matchup giving Texas Tech a 99.6% chance to win, the Lumberjacks would have different plans.
The game began with the Lumberjacks winning the toss and electing to defer to the second half. Giving Texas Tech the ball to start the game. After receiving the ball, a minute and nine seconds later, the Red Raiders would waste no time getting points on the board. On a pass from Tyler Shough to Eric Ezukanma in the middle of the field, Ezukanma would be gone to the races as he would go for a 75-yard touchdown.
Now up 7-0 to start the game, the Red Raiders defense would take over. In SFA’s first drive, the Lumberjack’s would convert one fourth down before going four and out. After the punt and now backed up inside their own endzone. Shough would attempt a ball that would be picked off for a pick-six to tie the game at seven in the first.
Fast forward to the second quarter, SFA would again begin to move the ball down the field and make two field goals in two drives. The first would be from a seven-play 17-yard drive that would end in a 23-yard field goal. The second would come from a 13 play 65-yard drive that would end in a 35-yard field goal. Consequently trailing 13-7 heading into the half, Texas Tech would need to respond.
Meanwhile, following halftime, the TTU football team would have to change its pace vs SFA if they wanted to come out victorious. After SFA received the ball in the second half, Texas Tech would hold off the Lumberjacks to get the ball back. In a two-play 80-yard drive, it would be Brooks Time. In a handoff from Shough to Tahj Brooks, he would explode through the gap. En route to a 67-yard career-long touchdown run to go up 14-13 early in the third.
Fast-forward seven minutes after a solid defensive stand, the Red Raiders would get the ball back. On a 9-play 97-yard drive highlighted by a 52-yard run from Xavier White. Brooks would then finish off the drive with a one-yard TD run. After a dominant 14-0 third quarter, the team would head into the fourth with a 21-13 lead.
Fourth Quarter of TTU football vs SFA
At the very end of the third quarter, Texas Tech would go for it on a fourth down that would end in a horrid manner. Shough would receive the snap and then fumble it. Where the Lumberjacks would then recover the ball for a scoop and score. Right after the scoop and score, SFA would go for the two-point conversion to tie the game and would be unsuccessful doing so.
With 12:30 left in the contest, Texas Tech would add another touchdown. Topped off by a four-yard run from White after marching down the field on a four-play 65-yard drive. From there, SFA would get the ball back and kick another field goal to get within six.
With possession of the ball, Texas Tech would have another unsuccessful drive. Then turn the ball back over to the Lumberjacks. In the game’s final drive, the Red Raiders defense would come together to force a four and out just yards from the Lumberjacks scoring. Texas Tech would then drain the clock to merely escape the Lumberjacks to win 28-22.
Texas Tech would be led in passing by Tyler Shough, who would throw 11 times for 163 yards and one touchdown. While he would throw one pick-six in the first quarter, he would come back to lead the Red Raiders offense.
As for rushing, it was Brook’s time once again. Tahj Brooks rushed for 115 yards, two touchdowns, and finished the contest averaging 10.5 yards per carry. With a phenomenal first two games, look for Brooks to keep up the good work.
Erik Ezukanma would finish with six catches for 144 yards with one touchdown on the day on the receiving side of things. On top of that, he would have a 75-yard touchdown pass to start the game. To put the first points on the board for the Red Raiders.
There were several players on the defensive side of things that had a phenomenal game. But the notable player for the Red Raiders was Reggie Pearson Jr. Pearson accounted for seven tackles and one tackle for loss to help Texas Tech in their win.
Another player who was not a Red Raider but a Lumberjack worth stating is quarterback Trae Self. Self would have a massive game. Tallying up 38 completed passes for 343 yards and one touchdown in an exceptional performance.
Overall Thoughts Over TTU Football vs SFA
Overall, the TTU Football team vs the SFA would end dramatically, and not in the expected fashion. While many picked a wide point spread for the Red Raiders, this would not be the tale of the evening. The Red Raiders would finish the game with a win by a score of 28-22.
Texas Tech will now prepare for their next opponent in FIU. Where they will play at Jones AT&T Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 18th. FIU is coming off a loss to Texas State, so look for them to come about with a chip on their shoulder. The game will be the Ring of Honor Induction and will be available to watch on Big 12 Now and ESPN+.
For Texas Tech Football entire schedule click here!
For more info on the 2021 TTU football team check out our Texas Tech vs Houston recap.
Story by Campus Live Employee Trinity Porter