What was the point?

Many listening to the game or simply reading about the Bears 63-19 loss to the Red Raiders of Texas Tech were not aware that for all of three quarters and for most of the fourth, Tech had the majority of its starters still in the game. Even when they replaced Kliff Kingsbury with B. J. Symons early in the fourth quarter, the rest of the first string offense stayed in the game. Towards the end of the game, about five minutes left, they made some changes, but there was a reason.

There were many hard licks delivered in the game between the Bears and the Red Raiders, and for the most part, it seemed the Bears did have one aspect of the game they did win - the one of delivering hard knocks. In the first quarter, starting right tackle Casey Keck had to be helped from the field after some kind of injury to his ankle or knee. There would not be another substitution in the offensive line until late in the fourth quarter when starting right guard Rex Richards had to be helped from the field with a similar injury. There were still several starters from the defensive unit in the game with the score at 63-19 with only 3:24 left to go in the game. It was at that point that starting STUB LINEBACKER Mike Smith (46) got a sack of Baylor quarterback Josh Zachry. Free safety Kevin Curtis (31) was also still in the game.

The question is, why? When the Red Raiders came out for the second half, the score was 49-6. The team which took the field, offensively save for Keck, was the same as took the field to start the game. They all played just like they had in the previous two quarters. Was it because Baylor had played well in its previous three games (at times) and Tech thought it necessary to prove they could "handle" Baylor better than did the previous three opponents, even though those three are rated right now and they are not? Was it to try to make an impression on voters and get back into the Top 25 again? Was it to make some kind of statement to Baylor, but did it in fact make more of a statement about Mike Leach? We will cetainly find out as Tech plays Texas A&M this week at home, and hosts Oklahoma two weeks later.

So, with about four minutes left in the game, and after suffering an injury to a second offensive lineman (Richards), why were the dogs called off and the second unit offensive line finally put, as a group, into the game? I believe it was because someone finally figured out that it was much more important to have everyone healthy for the following week against the Aggies than belaboring some point. Some teams don't fare that well the week following their game against the Bears - just ask A&M and Oklahoma.


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