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2019 Season

Slow Start Costs Texas Tech Against TCU

In a must-win game for bowl eligibility, Texas Tech laid an egg.



TCU Horned Frogs Wide Receiver Te'Vailance Hunt runs with the ball - Getty Images - Icon Sportswire
Getty Images - Icon Sportswire

In a must-win home game for bowl eligibility, Texas Tech came out absolutely flat. This team may not have been able to play worse in the first quarter if they tried. Max Duggan and TCU’s worst-ranked passing offense in the Big 12 shredded the Red Raiders en route to a 17-0 first-quarter lead. Luckily, not many people were in the stadium to witness it as the Jones might have been half-full at kickoff

TCU could have been playing against dummies on third down Saturday, converting an unreal 10/13 in the first half. Tech offered little resistance in the second half as well, allowing TCU to convert on 15 of 24 attempts for the game.

The Tech offense finally found life in the second quarter after falling behind 24-3 early. Sparked by a 63-yard kickoff return by Ta’Zhawn Henry, the offense capitalized on the short field for their first touchdown with ten minutes left until half.

After three consecutive punts, the Red Raiders connected on a 70-yard pass to cut the deficit to eight after missing the PAT. Just when they had gained some momentum, the defense allowed TCU to drive 58 yards in under two minutes to kick a field goal as time expired in the first half.

Coming out after halftime, it seemed as if Texas Tech’s halftime adjustments had done the trick. The defense held TCU to six second-half points and the offense scored two touchdowns early in the third quarter to take an unlikely lead with the way this game started, with just over a quarter to play.

After trading three field goals, TCU held a two-point lead with 5:38 remaining. Texas Tech had two subsequent possessions to win the game, just needing a field goal. The first drive saw three Duffey passes net 0 yards and a punt. The second was a one-play nine-yard gain before McLane Mannix coughed up the ball and essentially ended the game. The Red Raiders didn’t even sniff field goal range with a chance to win the game and be in the drivers’ seat for bowl eligibility.

Key Plays Of The Game

11:42 2nd [1st & 10 TCU 45] – Texas Tech put together a 12 play drive that finally gave their defense some rest and cut the lead to 17-3. Max Duggan had Tech fans reaching for the remote after connecting with Jalen Reagor for a 55-yard touchdown to stretch the lead back to three scores.

1:55 2nd [PAT] – After the defense forces a stop, Jett Duffey found R.J. Turner for a 70-yard score and tons of momentum. That was short-lived as freshman Trey Wolff missed the PAT which would come back to bite the Red Raiders.

2:23 4th [1st & 10 TTU 20] – The defense made a huge stop when they needed it most to give Tech one last shot at a game-winning drive. Jett Duffey finds McLane Mannix over the middle for what would have been a first down and a good start to the drive, however, TCU safety Vernon Scott strips Mannix, putting an end to the Red Raider’s final opportunity.

Key Stats Of The Game

15/24 on Third Down – The Red Raiders just could not get off the field on 3rd down, particularly in the first half. Letting the opponent extend drives, especially on 3rd and long, is an easy way to lose games in the Big 12.

43:26 Time of Possession – TCU essentially had the ball for 3/4 of this game. For a struggling defense missing their best player, it’s not ideal to be on the field and beat up for three quarters.

-2 Turnover Margin/0 Forced Turnovers – In our game preview, winning the turnover battle was the key for both teams. Tech came up two points short, one extra possession could have been the difference this team needed.

Texas Tech Players Of The Game

  • WR R.J. Turner – 3 Receptions, 116 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
  • QB Jett Duffey – 19/33, 333 Passing Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 9 Carries, 42 Rushing Yards

Remaining Thoughts

Where is the Fire? – This game had some similarities with the ISU game where Tech just came out sluggish. These are big conference home games and this team has looked uninspired early.

11 AM Home Games – Texas Tech is historically bad at home before noon over the last twenty years. How bad? Unbelievably bad, keep an eye out this week for a breakdown.

The Defense is Predictable. And Not Good – Teams (everyone?) have started to catch on to Patterson’s scheme. Force a third down and bring the house. Time after time last week, TCU was ready with a screen/quick slant and had the ball out before the rush got close to Duggan. Something is just not working with this scheme/personnel.

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