A Second Half Nightmare

The first half was fine and productive, but the second half was a different story to say the least.

                  Texas Tech was outscored 21-6 in the second half.  The Red Raiders were reasonably successful moving the ball, but drives were stalled by turnovers and penalties. Tech's opening drive of the second half was stalled by penalties. The Red Raiders made it to the 50, but a pass interference call on a receiver negated the gain. The Red Raiders wound up with 4th and 20 from their own 37.

                  On the next drive, Tech marched 62 yards in 15 plays, and 3:11. Following that, Tech gets the ball to start the 4th quarter following a Collin Klein rushing TD. The Red Raiders move the ball 20 yards in five plays, but Doege has the ball knocked out and K-State recovers.  Following the miscue, Tech stops K-State on downs, but once again, Doege is intercepted and the ball is returned to the Tech 22. Klein scores again and Kansas State takes a 41-31 lead.

                  For the 2011 Texas Tech team, it's not just mistakes at critical times. The Red Raiders seem to have a peaks and valleys approach to offensive production. Seth Doege may be playing well but his receivers will drop passes. Or, a receiver may be open and Doege over throws him. These inconsistencies happen to every team but they are particularly damaging to a Tech team that has a bad habit of starting slow. Against Kansas State, we saw the opposite. The Red Raiders had a pick six, but responded well and took at 14-7 lead. 

                  In the Big 12, Texas Tech simply cannot settle for field goals against Top 25 teams. For the second week in a row, the Red Raiders have suffered a home loss to a ranked team. No disrespect to either of the conference foes, but it seems as though Tech should have come out on top in both cases. What the Red Raiders take from this is twofold. First, the coaching staff has to hope that the young players are learning from their mistakes and secondly, that losing is getting under the skin of every player.                   

                  Taking a look at Tech's next few games, the Red Raiders have a tough road ahead. At Oklahoma, where the Sooners have lost twice in Bob Stoops' tenure, at home against a mercurial Iowa State team, and against Texas in Austin. Tommy Tuberville and his coaches are charged with the difficult task of making adjustments to allow the 2011 team to hold on to leads, start faster, and play better in the red zone. The situation is not all doom and gloom for the Red Raiders, but it's not rosy at the moment, either.

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