Miscellany

Texas Tech Top Ten: 2018-2019 Plays Part 1

We review in top plays in Texas Tech Athletics from the past year, starting with honorable mention and No. 10-6

Last week, we listed the Top Ten Texas Tech Athletes from this past year, and we’re going to continue our top ten lists this week with the top plays. If you missed our Texas Tech Top Ten Athletes list last week, you can click the link below:

Staking The Plains Top Ten 2018-2019
Athletes (Part 1/Part 2) Plays (Part 1/Part 2) Games (Part 1/Part 2) Performances (Part 1/Part 2) Programs (Part 1/Part 2)

Now a lot of these plays are going to be from football, basketball and baseball because typically those are the sports I watch and the ones that are filmed consistently.

We’re going to list them by how difficult they were, the stage that they did it, the impact it had on the game or event and the reaction from the viewers. Most of these will be single plays, but some of these are two or more plays that all happened in a short time span. There’s just too many good plays to leave out.

As to how I constructed this list, it was probably the hardest out of the lists I constructed. I know what the Top 5 were going to be, I just didn’t know what order to put them in. And they were all different too, as far as the difficulty, stage and impact on the game.

The next five I felt pretty confident about, along with the order I put the in. I think last year had more difficult plays, and a lot of them of which big moments. But this year with all the national championship runs, there were a lot more clutch plays that weren’t necessarily the most impressive plays, but made a bigger impact’s than last year’s plays.

So let’s see what the top plays of the year are, starting with the honorable mention:

Honorable Mentions:

No. 10 Antoine Wesley Mosses Iowa State

Why This Was Chosen?: It would just seem wrong not putting Wesley on this list, considering how many great plays he had last season. This is arguably the best of them. Despite it not being on a huge stage, it was in a crucial moment of an important game.

About halfway through the third quarter and Texas Tech down a touchdown, the Red Raiders were facing a key third and long. The rush is able to burst through the line quickly and Alan Bowman didn’t have time to throw it, so he just threw it up to Wesley.

The only problem was that Wesley wasn’t open. The defender was all on him. Fortunately, Bowman put a good throw on it and gave the junior a chance to display his athletic prowess. Wesley had checks the cornerback, reach up over the defender to snatch the ball, and had the awareness to quickly turn around and get across the goal line for the touchdown.

You can hear the announcer exclaim “WESLEY! ADJUSTS ON THE BALL! MAKES THE CATCH!”. It’s so good that when they show the replay, he’s just laughing. That play ended up tying the game with just over 20 minutes left. The Red Raiders didn’t walk away with the victory, but that game did give us some of the better plays of the 2018 season.

No. 9 Josh Jung’s Diving Stop Against OK State

Why This Was Chosen?: Jung is a highlight machine, and although his higlights are probably more flashy at third base, he did make some amazing plays at shortstop. This was one of them. And in a key moment too. Without this play, Oklahoma State would’ve tied the game and who knows what might’ve followed.

After the junior hit a solo homer to dead center field to increase Texas Tech’s lead, Oklahoma State was able to get a run back in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs, the Cowboys had a runner on second and were threatening to take the lead.

Thankfully, the Red Raiders have Jung. Alix Garcia his a ball right up the middle and it look like it might squeak by for a second, but Jung was able to corral the ball, quickly rise to his feet, and fire a strike to Cameron Warren on first base to end the threat.

Texas Tech added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, and John McMillion closed it out in the ninth to give the Red Raiders a very important opening game win in the Super Regionals.

No. 8 Cameron Warren Unhitches The Trailer

Why This Was Chosen?: This one doesn’t really fall in the difficult category, unless you mean big boy Cameron Warren having to score from first base. But it did show the smarts of the Texas Tech coaching staff, the clutch hitting of Cody Masters (whom had a lot of clutch hits this season) and the resilience of the Red Raiders in a huge game.

Arkansas had tied the game in the inning prior, but Texas Tech had their three best healthy hitters up to the plate in the bottom eighth. Unfortunately, Brain Klein and Josh Jung didn’t do anything at the plate, but Cameron Warren was able to draw a full count walk with Masters up.

Four pitches into the at-bat, Masters had a very favorable 3-1 count. The pitcher had to throw a strike, and Texas Tech was well aware. This caused Coach Tadlock to put on the “hit and run”, and it worked to perfection. Masters hit the ball to the top of the outfield fence, and Warren, who was already halfway to second by the time the ball passed him, chugged his way home.

Masters slid safely into third, and the Red Raiders took a lead with just three outs left. I included a funny video below that also describes how the play worked in Texas Tech’s favor. This was a big play that won the Red Raiders a College World Series game, kept them from elimination, and extracted revenge on the Razorbacks.

No. 7 Tariq Owens Puts On A Dunk Clinic

Why This Was Chosen?: A lot of people probably wouldn’t put these set of plays in their top 10 list. But Owens had arguably two of his top five dunks of the year (and another solid one) all in a span of about eight minutes. All of them could’ve made SportsCenter that night.

The first of these dunks happened at the 16:29 mark in the second half. Texas Tech had already taken a commanding 29 point lead (!!!), so Owens was able to show off. The first one wasn’t exactly eye popping, but the senior set and pick for Culver, rolled towards the rim, and retrieved the ball up high before throwing the down.

Owens stepped his game up with the next one. About a minute later, Brandone Francis drove to the rim, drew three defenders, and found the St. John’s transfer alone just outside the restricted area. OKST freshman Yor Anei decided he was going to try and contest the shot. Bad mistake. Owens throws it down hard and puts him on a poster.

The last dunk may the most impressive. This one happened at about the 8:37 mark. Mooney and Owens ran a pick a role, and for what seemed like the hundredth time, left Owens open running toward the rim. Mooney threw it but threw it a bit out of reach. Or so we thought. The senior reached up with one hand, while diving towards the rim, and threw down a one handed tomahawk off an ally oop.

These plays may not be talked about all too much, and it had zero impact on the game, but man, three highlight dunks in eight minutes is fun to watch.

No. 6 Divine Oduduru Blazes Past The Competition

Why This Was Chosen?: Well, I mean, Oduduru won a National Championship on these plays. I’d be stupid not to put these on here, right? Oduduru ran both the 100m and 200m dash in under 10 and 20 second respectively, the second fastest time for someone who can both in one day.

Many of us can run both of these distances, we wouldn’t get anywhere close to Oduduru’s times. Both those times are already some of the fastest in 2019 thus far, and both were the fastest in Austin the weekend of the National Championships.

Last year, I had Oduduru’s National Championship as the No. 5 play for Texas Tech. I had it lower for this year for a couple reason. First off, with the basketball and baseball team making it to their Final Fours, they’ve had key plays to choose from.

Secondly, Oduduru won these by a decent margin. Last year, Oduduru had to strategically lean his head forward to win the race. This year, he had a good size lead for a sprinter. Although you could argue that’s actually more impressive. Either way, these runs were great plays and help give the Red Raiders a national title.

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