Special Teams Struggle

Texas Tech, ranked No. 15 in the BCS standings, committed three turnovers and allowed 281 rushing yards Saturday night against the No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Despite those numbers, Texas Tech could have won the game. The special teams and field possession is what ultimately did the Red Raiders in.

Texas Tech, ranked No. 15 in the BCS standings, committed three turnovers and allowed 281 rushing yards Saturday night against the No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Despite those numbers, Texas Tech could have won the game. The special teams and field possession is what ultimately did the Red Raiders in.

Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said the punt unit had a rough game.

"Against a team like that you've got to be solid," Kingsbury said. "To have one blocked and give up a big one like that, it can't happen."

Oklahoma State scored 21 points in both odd numbered quarters. The Cowboys average field possession in the first quarter was at the Cowboy 43-yard line. It was worse in the third quarter when the Cowboys' average starting point was at their own 46. Oklahoma State started multiple drives in Red Raider territory. When starting in an opponent's territory, it's almost certain points are going to be scored in some form of fashion.

One particular drive started at the Texas Tech 11 yard-line after Josh Stewart returned a punt 46 yards. The Tech defense did marvelous, including a nice paycheck on the "money down". The drive ended in a field goal.

With the exception of a few big plays, the defense held their own. Tech won the money down holding Oklahoma State to 5-16 on third down.

The Cowboys were able to block one of Ryan Erxleben's punts in the first quarter. The Cowboys scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Oklahoma State started the drive on the Red Raider 15-yard line.

"They do a good job on special teams," Kingsbury said. "We let a guy free up the middle, and that can't happen."

The Red Raiders also tried a trick play during a kickoff which did not make it outside of Tech territory.

Texas Tech has had a few bright spots on special teams this season, but the Red Raiders must be more consistent and hold opposing teams into their own territory.

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