Downward Spiral: Bowl Game out of Question?

Red Raiders were unable to effectively take care of business for the past three weeks. What now?

In the past decade, Texas Tech was not known for defense.

Their defense was their dominant offense that forced teams to score with them rather than try to defend them.

A lot has changed in these last two years; Tech is still not known for their defense, but now teams are not fearing Tech's offense either.

Tech's offense was held scoreless in their 66-6 loss against No. 2 Oklahoma State, and for the first time in the new millennium, the Red Raiders failed to score at least 50 points combined in three games.

The 60-point loss is the worst in Tech history and the team seemed to give it away in the first half, turning it over three times with two of the fumbles coming on the special teams. All of the turnovers resulted in Cowboy touchdowns.

Head Coach Tommy Tuberville said the team looked lethargic and never seemed to get anything going.

"We got pushed around on the offensive line," he said. "We just didn't look as physical as we had in some of the games this year that we played."

Texas Tech needs to win one more game to become bowl eligible. This is the second year in a row Tech must win one of their last two games to continue their bowl appearance streak.

However, Tech has no momentum and nothing seems to be working as this team has lost five of its last six games including the last four home games on the season.

If Tech hopes to win either of these last two games, it will have to be done against two of the better offensive teams in the Big 12 - Missouri and Baylor.

Tech's defense will be challenged once again, but Tech's offense should be able to move the ball, in theory.

Neither Missouri nor Baylor is particularly strong on defense, but neither was Oklahoma State. In actuality, they were ranked 110th nationally in total defense going into this game.

Tuberville said something has to change for this team to start winning games, and if they expect to win, they are going to have to get tougher.

"We've got to be a more physical team on offense," he said. "We try to be physical on defense, but sometimes, everybody just looks at one guy to make that play, and sometimes he's not going to be able to make that play."

Tech has two chances left to win a game in conference play, but Tech has never beaten Missouri in Columbia in Big 12 play and Baylor seems to play Tech well every year.

The chances are becoming scarcer and the next to last chance will be on November 19 when Tech takes on Missouri.

Then the season comes to a close in Cowboys Stadium on the 26th when the Red Raiders take on Baylor.

Will that be the last game of the season, or is there more after that, like a bowl game?


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