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:
- Jarrett Culver Sends Texas Tech To The Final Four — Maybe this one should make this make the list, I just thought there were bigger plays throughout March Madness and some talented ones throughout the season. Texas Tech was up four with about a minute left. Culver drove left, but quickly stopped and sunk in a three to give the Red Raiders a seven point lead. Game, set, match.
- Wesley Tip Drill — I almost put this one on the list, but I thought another Wesley catch was a little better. This one is still impressive though. Texas Tech was mounting a comeback and facing a crucial 3rd and 3. Jett Duffy threw it up for Wesley, but under throws it. He tips it up and to himself while falling deep in the red zone. Huge play for the junior.
- Dorsey Blocks Punts For A TD — Offensive touchdowns are fun. Defensive touchdowns are more fun. But perhaps the funniest are special teams touchdowns. Especially when the returner doesn’t touch it. Thomas Leggett went untouched to block a punt and recovered it to give Texas Tech the advantage.
- Owen’s Poster Slam — This was a pretty cool moment and got a reaction from the crowd in Minneapolis. Early in the first half, Owens received a pass from Culver, went up and posted Nick Ward. It didn’t have a huge impact on the game, but it was a cool little dunk.
- Zoe Jones Goes Deep Against LSU — The softball team was playing in their first regional game since 2012. Texas Tech needed to win two to advance to their first super regional, and Zoe Jones gave them a chance in the fourth. With one on, she blasted a two run home run to give Texas Tech the lead with three innings to go.
- Jung Goes Foul To Throw Out Runner — We list Jung multiple times on this list with all the amazing things he does with the glove. In fact, one of those plays are on the list. This is a good one too, as he snags a hard hit grounder near the third base line, goes into foul territory, and throws out the runner at first.
- Hartwell’s Record — Hartwell is one of the best players in Texas Tech softball history, as she’s only one of four people to ever be named an All-American. Unfortunately, an injury before the season slowed her down before the season, but she was still able to get the home run record late in the season. What a career she had.
- Culver’s Offensive Dunk — This dunk is just nasty. Possibly the best Texas Tech dunk of the year. Too bad the officials forgot the restricted area existed. Anyway, we’re going to treat this like it happened. Culver drove to the rim from the top of the key and basically assassinated Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji. Man it was brutal.
- The Sequence Against TCU —This sequence was so good that it got a shout out from the SportsCenter social media accounts. It started with a slam by Tariq Owens, followed by a crazy Owens block, then a fastbreak started by Davide Moretti, and ended with a vicious Culver ally-oop.
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.
At the plate and in the field, Josh Jung was a SUPERSTAR today!#RoadToOmaha | @TTU_Baseball pic.twitter.com/1UIfgzgA9S
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 7, 2019
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.
👋, @ESPN & @ESPNAssignDesk.
We’ve got some Tariq Owens dunks for #SCTop10.
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) February 14, 2019
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.