The final score was 27-24, but the Red Raiders controlled this game from the start. To the surprise of many, this game was a defensive showdown instead of the expected offensive shootout. Dakota Allen set the tone for the Red Raider defense when he picked off Kyle Allen early in the game.
The Red Raiders led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter after Michael Ewton and Michael Barden both nailed a field goal each. To start the second quarter, Texas Tech capped off an 89-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Desmond Nisby.
However, the Coogs were not going to go away easily. Houston scored 10 unanswered points to close the gap to 13-10 heading into halftime.
The second half was like the first in that Texas Tech struck first, to control much of the half before Houston added some late scores to make things interesting.
Late in the third quarter, Speedster Keke Coutee out ran the Cougar defense for a 77-yard touchdown reception to extend the Red Raider lead to 20-10. Then, Justin Stockton was spectacular in the fourth quarter. First, Stockton got loose for an 84 yard run. Then, he reeled in a 20-yard touchdown reception to ice the game.
After Kyle Allen was eventually pulled from the game, Houston added two late touchdowns to make the final score look more respectable, but this game was all Texas Tech.
Nic Shimonek had a solid day going 29 of 45 for 321 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception that was mostly on Derrick Willies. Shimonek’s leadership was on full display as he was seen rallying his team on multiple occasion. Texas Tech really seems to gravitate towards the senior’s leadership.
Coming into this matchup Texas Tech had to establish some sort of ground game to pull off the upset, and they did exactly that. Justin Stockton and Tre King gave the Houston defense trouble all game long, and they combined for 200 yards. If Texas Tech can continue to run the ball they will make an already dangerous offense even more prolific.
|3rd Down Eff||4-16||6-18|
|4th Down Eff||1-2||2-2|
|Yards Per Pass||7.1||6.1|
|Yards Per Rush||6.1||3.5|
|TTU – N. Shimonek||29/45||321||7.1||2||1||49.0|
|HOU – K. Allen||24/39||217||5.6||1||2||22.9|
|TTU – J. Stockton||10||102||10.2||0||84|
|HOU – K. Postma||4||52||13.0||1||20|
|TTU – K. Coutee||11||161||14.6||1||77|
|HOU – S. Dunbar||6||83||13.8||0||20|
Emptying The Notebook
Despite a good offensive showing, this game belonged to the Texas Tech defense. The Red Raiders came out hitting and made Kyle Allen very uncomfortable. Texas Tech forced five turnovers to spoil numerous Houston Cougar drives.
Captain Dakota Allen led the defensive attack with 12 tackles and an early interception. The defensive line was stout against the run and held the Cougar rushing attack to 110 yards. The Red Raider defense bent but never broke and David Gibbs has to be pleased with the progress his defensive unit has shown this season.
Texas Tech needs to find a way to end their kicking woes. Clayton Hatfield, who has been nursing a hip injury, needs to get healthy sooner rather than later. Michael Ewton and Michael Braden have split the kicking duties, and they have looked suspect.
Keke Coutee is beginning to prove himself as one of the best playmakers in all of college football. He was the offensive MVP Saturday as he had 161 yards receiving and a touchdown. This Texas Tech offense is loaded with firepower all over the field.
Texas Tech now has two quality non-conference wins heading into Big 12 play. The Red Raiders snapped the Cougar’s 16 game home winning streak. This win also ends Houston’s seven game winning streak against power 5 opponents.
This Texas Tech team has looked good enough to compete for the Big 12 title, but their legitimacy will be tested in the coming weeks. The Red Raider defense seems to have turned a corner, but they will have to prove it again next week when Mason Rudolph and Oklahoma State come to town.