TCU takes win over Texas Tech, 34-24
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Texas Tech Red Raiders fall to the #7 team in the country and the Big 12 Conference leader in the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday 34-24.
Two teams with a lot of history both on (and most recently) off the field. In an early drive resulting in a Red Raider punt to start the game led to an 82-yard punt return from Derius Davis for a Horned Frogs touchdown. But, the Red Raider offense settled down shortly after as Behren Morton hooked up with Jerand Bradley to conclude the three-play, 80 yard drive to tie the game at 7. Tech added three more by the end of the quarter to lead 10-7.
TCU tacked on a couple field goals in the latter half of the first half to go up 13-10, but Tech responded with a touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter to JJ Sparkman. Then after a Horned Frogs touchdown and a failed 4th down conversion for the Red Raiders in the fourth, TCU’s Max Duggan was able to connect with Derius Davis who scored his second touchdown of the day and extended the lead to 27-17. It became 34-17 in a blink before Texas Tech could march downfield late to make it a 10 point game again and became the eventual final score.
TCU running back Kendre Miller also had a great day on the ground as he’s given Tech a run for their money in the past. He ended the day with 158 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown. TCU ended the day with 234 yards on the ground with 195 through the air.
Texas Tech had 195 yards rushing with 157 through the air.
BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
Behren Morton left the game midway through the 2nd quarter limping off the field after a QB run. With that injury, that is now the 5th starting quarterback that the TCU defense has hurt. Morton adds to the list consisting of Dillon Gabriel, Jalon Daniels, Adrian Martinez and Will Howard. Before exiting, Morton completed 7-10 passes for 79 yards with a touchdown and seemed to really control the tempo in such a hostile environment. With the injury, Morton left the game and was deemed “not to return” on Saturday. That left the teams fate into the hands of original QB1, Tyler Shough.
Shough came into the game midway through the 2nd quarter and threw for 78 yards and a touchdown to JJ Sparkman and a rushing touchdown whilst throwing an interception.
Texas Tech Offensive Coordinator Zach Kittley emphasized earlier in the week during their weekly press conference that they should have ran the ball more against Baylor so we expected to see a little more of Tahj Brooks and SaRodorick Thompson. We found out quickly that it wasn’t so much quantity as much as it was quality as Tech ran it on first down more efficiently and more often than in recent past. Tahj Brooks ended with 10 carries for 59 yards, while Thompson had 8 carries for 46 yards.
Winning late: something TCU has had to do a lot this season to make up for their lackluster performance during first quarters. That was the case once again on Saturday as Texas Tech snuffed out the crowd noise when leading 10-7 at the end of the first. The Red Raiders even brought a 17-13 lead into the 4th quarter in Fort Worth! But Sonny Dykes got his guys going in the 4th as Max Duggan showed out with two touchdown passes as TCU scores 3 touchdowns in the quarter to go up 34-17. Texas Tech, as we saw against NC State and Oklahoma State, can hang around with the big dogs, but it’s a matter of finishing those fights in all 4 quarters.
Finally, 4th down conversions. Texas Tech was 3-6 on the day after converting on their first 3 fourth down tries. The final two in the fourth quarter will be the most talked about however as it gets late in the game but Texas Tech is deep within their own territory, not converting which set up another TCU touchdown. This is the new identity of Texas Tech Football however, run fast, snap a ton and go for it on fourth down. Head Coach Joey McGuire and Zach Kittley both lean towards the analytics and what they say when you convert on fourth downs and how that translates to wins and losses.
We saw how it benefited in Lubbock against West Virginia after going 6/7 on fourth down as Tech dominated their way to a 48-10 win. But it was part of the achilles heal for sure on Saturday in Fort Worth.
The Saddle Trophy belongs to TCU this season, but for a team who believed they were snubbed with remaining ranked #7 after the first CFP ranking came out earlier this week, Texas Tech might’ve proven why. A lot to be proud of once again for Texas Tech. It’s just a matter of getting over the second half hump.
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