The N.C. State answered this opening drive by scoring the next 17 points to take a 17-10 lead into halftime.
N.C. State opened up the second half with three straight touchdowns to give them a 38-10 lead with just over 7 minutes left in the third quarter. At this point many of the fans in attendance began to leave the stadium. Those who stayed behind were lucky enough to witness an amazing comeback by the Red Raiders.
Tech then scored the next 21 points to bring the score to 38-31. At this point in the game, it looked like the Red Raiders were unstoppable. They were making some great plays on defense, and the offense looked better than it has all season.
Then the two teams traded touchdowns, which left the score at 45-38, and set up a great finish to this game.
After the kickoff, Ricky Sailor intercepted a pass from Philip Rivers, which set up the offense for a touchdown drive. A 14-yard touchdown pass to Anton Paige capped off the drive.
The Tech defense forced N.C. State to go four and out. The offense then moved the ball downfield to set up a 39-yard field Goal attempt for Robert
Treece. The kick missed wide, and the game went into overtime.
On their first possession of the overtime, Tech was held to a field goal. After that it was the T.A. McLendon show. N.C. State handed the
ball off to McLendon four straight times. MClendon did his part by rushing for 25 yards and the game winning touchdown to give N.C. State the 51-48 victory in overtime.
Players of the Game
Texas Tech - Taurean Henderson
North Carolina State - T.A. McLendon
Kingsbury had a pretty typical game. He completed 27 of 51 passes for 272 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also rushed for 39 yards during the game. The only negatives today for Kingsbury were a couple of fumbled snaps, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Kingsbury showed a great deal of leadership during the teams 3rd quarter comeback.
We may have seen the emergence of a new feature back during today's game. Redshirt freshman Taurean Henderson showed us some of the great running ability that we've heard about. Henderson's rushing played a huge role in the offense today. Not only did his yards keep the chains moving, but they also helped to open up the field for the Tech passing attack. Henderson rushed for 141 yards on 21 carries, and scored 2 touchdowns. Henderson also caught 4 passes for 33 yards in addition to his yards gained on the ground. The only problem for Henderson was a single lost fumble.
Anton Paige once again led the receivers with 7 catches for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. Overall it was a good game for all of the receivers, though there were a few drops that slowed down our offense. I've got to tip my hat to Wes Welker who once again showed that he never gives up. If it is 3rd down, I don't want the ball to go to anybody but Welker. His ability to make tacklers miss saved a few drives today.
The offensive line played a really good game today. It is tough to score 48 points without good offensive line play and today was no exception. Kingsbury was only sacked twice, though he was pressured a few times. For the most part Kingsbury had as much time as he needed to find open receivers. The linemen also showed an ability to run block today. They opened up numerous holes for Henderson to run through all game long.
The run was a problem all day long, and run defense starts at the defensive line. While there were a few good tackles for losses, the line played really bad this game. The linemen were manhandled by the N.C. State offensive line, which left huge holes for McLendon to run through. The inability to actually make tackles also led to quite a few extra rushing yards. The pass rush managed to force Rivers into a few bad passes, but never managed to get a sack. That's two games in a row without a single sack. The problems with tackling and run defense are going to have to be fixed if we are going to have any meaningful wins in conference play.
The linebackers also suffered from poor tackling. We simply can't afford to keep giving extra yards to running backs by missing tackles. Our linebackers also had a hard time covering pass plays, a problem caused by an overall lack of speed at the position. Like the line, the linebacker play will have to improve before conference play starts.
It was a pretty ordinary game for the defensive backs. They missed a few tackles, but not nearly as many as the front seven. They didn't give up many big plays, largely because of the large cushions they give opposing receivers. I would like to see them play tighter in certain situations, and see if that allows them to force a few more turnovers.
Special teams didn't had some good plays, and some bad plays today. N.C. State seemed afraid to kick the ball to McCann, instead they kicked mostly to Thomas Bachman. There was a fumbled kickoff by Bachman, but it didn't result in a score thanks to a blocked field goal attempt. Wes Welker had a 39 yard return which helped set up the potentially game winning field goal, which was missed by Treece. To be fair to Treece, it appeared that the hold wasn't very good. That was the only kick Treece missed this game, but it was a huge miss. If he makes that kick Tech is sitting on the other side of an exciting shootout.