Silver Lining

Despite a bad loss to North Carolina State, the Red Raiders still have the chance to have an outstanding season. While there has been plenty of talk about the reasons for the loss, very little has been said about the many positives from the game.

Most of the time it's tough to look at a 28-point loss and still feel good about your team's hopes for the rest of the season, but that's exactly the feeling I had as I looked back on the North Carolina State game. How could I possibly feel good about the Red Raiders after that game? I was puzzled at first too, but there are several good reasons. B.J. Symons had a great day passing the ball, the defense played a solid first half, and there is still a lot of football to be played.

I'm not trying to take anything away from N.C. State. They played a good game, and found a way to capitalize on the Red Raiders' mistakes. With that being said, the blame for this loss falls squarely on the shoulders of the Red Raiders. The Texas Tech offense was able to do almost anything against the N.C. State defense. The Texas Tech defense held a Heisman candidate quarterback to less than 300 yards. If that had equaled a 1-point win, Red Raider fans would be dreaming of a trip to the Big 12 championship game. With that in mind, we shouldn't let the final score influence our opinion of how Texas Tech played. The fact is this was just one of those weird games. Guys like Haverty don't drop passes in the end zone. Wes Welker simply doesn't fumble punts. All that and more happened in the game on Saturday.

The Texas Tech offense was moving down the field with deadly precision. B.J. Symons put on a performance that should have made everyone, even the biggest Kingsbury fans, take notice. We saw all of the usual short and intermediate passes, but Symons also showed a great touch on his deep ball and a great ability to gain yards with his feet. Symons has said that the only stat that matters is wins and losses, and he's right, but he still had a great performance. This game may have been the first time that the Red Raiders have even approached their potential as an offensive unit. If they continue to play like that, opposing defenses are going to have a tough time. I feel sorry for the first defense that has to play against the Red raiders the day they play a complete game.

The defense has received a lot of criticism for this loss, and some of it is deserved. The collapse in the second half is a reason for concern, but I think they will continue to improve their second half play as the season continues. The biggest thing about the defense was their first half performance. The Red Raiders gave up just 162 yards to the explosive N.C. State offense in the first half. The only touchdown they gave up followed Welker's muffed punt. Nine times out of ten, that kind of performance combined with the Red Raiders high powered offense would equal a big lead at the half. Unfortunately this was the one time it didn't. Let's not forget that this was just one game. While this game probably ends the Red Raiders' chances of winning a national championship, but how many people really thought that was a realistic possibility? The Red Raiders still have a chance to play for the Big 12 Championship. I'm pretty certain that they will still be in the hunt when the Sooners come to town. Let's leave the pain of this loss behind us and look forward to seeing the Red Raiders play for the Big 12 Championship.

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