Football

TTU Football 2019: The Key Plays In An Upset Victory

Texas Tech put on a show in Lubbock, upsetting No. 21 Oklahoma State. Here’s a few key plays that resulted in the Red Raiders’ victory.

Well it’s time for myself to eat crow. I thought Texas Tech couldn’t pull off the upset this past weekend. They didn’t look as dominating as I thought they should their first games, and their offense looked like it going nowhere the last two.

But Matt Wells and company proved everyone wrong with what really was a dominating win over Oklahoma State. Although the margin of victory was only 10, it felt more than that, and was really only that close due to a late comeback attempt.

Wells mentioned that the Tuesday was the best practice they had. It was emotional and leaders were stepping up. The Red Raiders were determined not to be embarrassed again and they weren’t. With five touchdowns and five turnovers, there were a ton a big plays. Let’s take a look a the biggest ones now:

Jett Duffey’s Scramble:

Before this touchdown, I think everyone was concerned about the offense. Didn’t do much the first two drives and really haven’t done anything since UTEP. However, this is the play and began to break the offense open. It was a key confidence booster for the fans and probably the offense too.

First off, great job by the offensive line is stand their ground. Three seconds is good enough for a quarterback. Second, Duffey has the awareness to see to biltzer and immediately move up in the pocket, and then noticing the space and taking off.

However, this play may only be short of first down without the wideouts blocking downfield. Sometimes receivers don’t like to block, but this play shows why it’s so important. Dalton Rigdon seals blocks his man, then moves inside so his defense is trapped outside. Duffey sees this and cuts inside. One juke and he finds the endzone.

Douglas Coleman Sets Up The Offense

This was a great play by Douglas Coleman. He back pedals, but as soon as the wide receiver cuts, the quickly cuts the route, makes a play on the ball and gives the Red Raiders possession in field goal range.

However, as Coleman mentioned in his press conference, it isn’t all him. He stated that “100% of the credit” went to how his defensive line is playing:

“Without the D-line creating pressure on the quarterback and containing him inside the pocket, that allows me to make plays on the ball and stay in tight coverage.”

On this play, that is definitely true. Coleman did a great job being in the right position, but Tony Bradford and Broderick Washington made this play happen. For starters, Washington moves slightly to the right, earning the center and guard’s attention.

Bradford is able to then move past the guard and take on the running back. He running back tries to take him out, but Bradford pushes him out of the way, keeps his balance and hits the quarterback. Therefore, the ball doesn’t come out cleanly, and Coleman is able to make a play on it.

Sacks are usually the biggest stat for defensive linemen, but really it’s all about QB pressures totals instead of just sacks. They cause the quarterback to hurry, forcing incompetitions and sometimes turnovers. Wells made sure to value the QB pressure in his presser:

“I mean, sometimes it’s not just the sacks, it’s the hits and pressures really that start to mound up if you’re a quarterback. It’s not so much the sack.”

Duffey Throws A Dime To TJ Vasher

One thing that I liked was the confidence Duffey displayed. He wasn’t to afraid to throw it down the field or in tight coverage in the back of the endzone. Sure, he missed a few long balls that would’ve blown the game wide open, but he hit some too.

That includes a post route to KeSean Carter in the second quarter and a long pass to TJ Vasher in the 4th quarter. However, I’m going to highlight this one because Duffey showed his quarterback smarts. This goes back to what we went over in the first play.

There’s a little miscommunication on the offensive line, and the defensive end is able to quickly get by Terence Steele and in the backfield. But instead of panicking and running backwards or rolling towards the sidelines, he evades the defender and steps up in an open pocket.

With a defender approaching, he delivers a strike to the six-foot-five Vasher in the back of the endzone where only Vasher could get it. Vasher, meanwhile, had a great concentration to bring the ball in for the score. It was a dime that stopped all momentum that the Cowboys got from the end of the first half.

Jordyn Brooks Strips Spencer Sanders

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The Oklahoma State offense was rolling in the third quarter, with two touchdowns on three drives and another one brewing at the end of the quarter. But Jordyn Brooks made a huge play at the end of the quarter.

As we talked about last month, the blitz will be a big part of the defense. Keith Patterson uses it here, with six players rushing against six blockers. Oklahoma State almost picks it up nicely, but the running back doesn’t recognize the free runner and by the time he does, it’s too late.

Brooks gets into the backfield the reaches the quarterback. Instead of going for highlight hit, he smartly just reaches out for elbow and the football. Because of this, he’s able to strip Sanders and a scrum ensues.

Who comes up with the football? Dadrion Taylor. Coleman was proud of the way he played in the game, as was Wells, who raved about him during his press conference:

“I mean, the guy does everything right, and he’s playing DB for the first time. I mean, that’s his fifth game out there playing DB….He’s always studying, he’s in the building forever…I’ll go to battle with guys like that, I don’t care how young they are.”

Duffey Puts It Away With A Bomb To Erik Ezukanma

This was the dagger. I like this play for a bunch a reasons. First off, the drive was not just throwing the football. The Red Raiders had a perfect opportunity with 12 minutes left in the game. They were up by 16 and had possession. And they pounded the ball that drive.

During their first five plays, there were four runs and a short pass attempt that was basically a run. They waited til the end of the play clock to snap the ball and were driving. However, on second a long and the defense defending the run, Wells decided to take a shot.

Duffey starts the play by looking right, which gives the impression he’s going to throw the slant to Vasher. This moves the safety towards the right side of the field, and leaves Erik Ezukanma open down the left sideline.

The junior quarterback throws it little short just to make sure it’s caught. Ezukanma makes a move on the defensive back, which leaves him open field to endzone to put the Red Raiders up three possessions with just over eight minutes left in the game.

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