It's become a broken record for Texas Tech, but the Red Raiders continue to look like a sloppy, disorganized team by committing numerous penalties. Thursday night, Tech committed 16 penalties for 158 yards, falling just two flags (2008 against Eastern Washington) and 25 yards (2003 against Rice) short of the team records for each.
Perhaps Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury summed it up best in the postgame press conference.
"I have never seen a team shoot itself in the foot as many times as we did tonight. It was embarrassing football, honestly... it's the only way to put it. 158 yards in penalties and three turnovers; one going in in the red zone and then you give them the ball twice in the red zone? That's just bad football and it's on me to get it fixed."
One game after allowing 438 rushing yards to Arkansas and a week after parting with defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, Texas Tech gave up just 158 yards on the ground Thursday night to Oklahoma State.
The defensive line, led by Keland McElrath (seven tackles) occupied blockers and allowed linebackers Pete Robertson (eight tackles, two sacks), Sam Eguavoen (Eight tackles, one for loss), Austin Stewart (six tackles) and V.J. Fehoko (six tackles) to attack the Cowboys downhill, at full speed. The difference up front was palpable and is a cause for cautious optimism moving forward.
While Texas Tech did a much better job against the run, it left its defensive backs vulnerable to one-on-one coverage and Oklahoma State feasted. Cowboys quarterback Daxx Garman completed 17 of 31 passes for 370 yards and four touchdowns. That's an average of 21.8 yards per completion, which is over two yards better than the No. 1 team in nation this year in that category (Georgia Tech at 19.06).
Texas Tech did pick off a pair of Garman passes and came up with some timely pass breakups, but there were times where the Cowboys were simply throwing jump balls to receivers who made Red Raiders defensive backs, particularly sophomore Justis Nelson, look outmatched.
The above mentioned Garman not only threw four touchdown passes, he ran for another on a zone read play in the fourth quarter to give the Cowboys their biggest lead at 45-28 with 7:39 to play.
Garman, who had only seen action in two previous games prior to Thursday, accounted for more touchdowns against Texas Tech than he had his entire collegiate career heading into the contest (four scoring passes).
Turnovers. It is the same story with turnovers for Texas Tech as it is with penalties. The Red Raiders threw three interceptions Thursday; two by starting quarterback Davis Webb and another by freshman Patrick Mahomes after Webb went down with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.
Tech was already tied at No. 116 (at minus-4) out of 125 FBS schools in turnover margin heading into the game Thursday and as usual the minus-1 margin against the Cowboys really hurt the Red Raiders' chances of winning.
OSU 45, Texas Tech 35: Key Numbers
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