The Texas Tech offense had a tremendous first half, high-lighted by big plays from Eric Morris, Edward Britton, and others. Baron Batch and Shannon Woods showed the ability to get around the corner against UT and made crucial yards throughout the first half. Perhaps the only negative was a fumble by Michael Crabtree, though it seems that Tech fans have already forgotten about that.
The Red Raiders offense line proved, on a National stage, that they are without a doubt the best pass-protecting line in the country. Will Muschamps insinuation that he had some things up his sleeve to give Tech problems proved to be about as accurate as the Dewey-Truman election predictions.
As a side note, Rylan Reed showed that his performance against Chris Long in the Gator Bowl was not a fluke as he completely and totally shut down Brian Orakpo, a player the Todd McShay of ESPN felt would be the determining factor in the game Saturday.
Graham Harrell also earns special note for 3 great back-shoulder fade throws on the game-winning drive.
While at times not able to move the ball and failing to score touchdowns several times in the second half, the Tech offense got into the end zone to win the game in dramatic fashion and keep alive the Raiders hopes of a Big XII South title.
The Texas Tech defense seems to have been reminded of their sub-par performance against the University of Texas last season. Coming out with a chip on their shoulders, they out-muscled Texas for most of the game.
Colby Whitlock doesn't much care for the UT or Colt McCoy. Whitlock recorded the first big-play for the defense of the night and was a presence all night long. Brandon Williams also played the game of his career and with his 10 sacks so far this season, he becomes the first player since Adell Duckett in 2003 to record double-digit sacks.
Worth noting was the impressive job that Tech did against a very mobile McCoy, using both different blitz packages and having either Brandon Williams or Daniel Howard spy the UT quarterback.
Brandon Sesay seems to have grown into a very good defensive tackle, making a key stop against UT in the 2nd quarter.
The brothers Charbonnet came to play as Taylor downed a punt at the 2 yard-line setting up Colby Whitlock's sack and brother Daniel returned an interception for a touchdown.
Ruffin McNeil and the defensive coaches had a tremendous game-plan that forced Colt McCoy to be perfect and allowed the Raiders to sack McCoy 4 times.
The Longhorn running attack never really got into sync and Tech physically dominated at the line of scrimmage.
However, the woes at right cornerback continue and it becomes extremely important for Tech to find a player that can play at left corner if Brent Nickerson/LaRon Moore aren't healthy.
Possible players include De'Shon Sanders, Taylor Charbonnet, Jared Flannel, L.A. Reed, or Darcel McBath possibly moving down to corner which would bring Daniel Charbonnet to free safety and Anthony Hines into the starting line-up at strong safety.
Overall Grade: A
Strong contributions on all sides of the ball in Tech's win including two big field goals for Matt Williams and a redemption 42 yarder for Donnie Carona. While Tech did give up its first punt return since playing Georgia in 1993, some of the special teams' woes seem to have been cured.
Overall, Tech did enough on all three sides of the ball to defeat the top-ranked team in the country for the first time. The road gets no easier as the Raiders get ready to square-off with the Oklahoma State Cowboys this coming weekend.