1. Game Links:
— Texas Tech Football (@TexasTechFB) September 11, 2022
2. /thumb and index finger very close together/ This Close to Giving It Away, But Didn’t. The “but didn’t” is a big part of that statement because Donovan Smith very could have gone into a shell after throwing that interception so late in the 4th quarter set up the Houston field goal. Driving down the field with less than a minute to set up your own AND THEN for Joey McGuire to give the ball to Trey Wolff to make the field goal to go into overtime AND THEN for Donovan Smith to win the damned game, essentially twice on 4th and 20 and then to score the touchdown.
Football is a game about redemption.
Or football is a game about redemption if you are great enough to take advantage of those situations.
3. Best Defensive Football Game in the Jones in a Long Time. That game was so much fun to watch. Incredibly tense and every play counted and it was made up of plenty of punts and so many tough plays. Texas Tech looked like a hard-nosed defensive team and they absolutely ran to the ball and they swarmed and it was beautiful. I love offensive football, but I love this too. Houston absolutely manhandled Texas Tech on the line and that’s not good, but damn it was tough.
I don’t know how Houston only gave up 2 sacks, but Houston was constantly under pressure and it was a combination of that defensive line that just keep the pressure and kept the Cougar running backs contained.
And I don’t want it to get lost that in regulation Houston only managed 10 points on offense.
4. Offense Still Soared. Despite the constant pressure and the issues sometimes running the ball in the first half, the 102 plays was slightly on the passing side of things, 58 passes to 44 rushes. Texas Tech only averaged 2.7 yards per attempt, which isn’t wholly accurate because Texas Tech lost 39 to sacks and gained 178 rushing yards total. That’s pretty insane considering how tight things were in the first half. Then it was obvious that the turnovers in the second half were an issue. Smith finished with 351 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 picks, 63% completion percentage and 6.16 yards per attempt. Those numbers aren’t great, but without his legs, Texas Tech isn’t winning that game.
As an aside, Tahj Brooks, Trey Cleveland, JJ Sparkman, and Baylor Cupp didn’t miss any of the passes headed their way. Myles Price led the team with 5 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown while Nehemiah Martinez caught 5 for 76. Houston did an outstanding job of shutting down the outside receivers and they’ll need to be better.
Also, the blocking job by the receivers was pretty top-notch.
5. Stat Things. Texas Tech scored 3 points in the red zone. That’s cray . . . Both teams were terrible at 3rd down, a credit to the defenses who brought heat all of the time, Houston was 5 of 16 and Texas Tech was 5 of 18 . . . The saving grace for Texas Tech was 2 of 3 on 4th downs . . . Houston was 11 for 121 on penalties and Texas Tech was 6 for 45 . . . Texas Tech possessed the ball for 35 minutes to just 20 for Houston . . . Of Texas Tech’s 18 third downs, 11 of them were 9+ yards (that’s not good) and did convert on all 4 3rd and short attempts . . . 20% of Texas Tech’s runs were stuffed and 17% for Houston . . . On 3rd down, Texas Tech gained only 5.1 yards on 1st down . . . Also on 3rd down, Texas Tech had no 1st downs by pass . .
6. Special Teams Issues. Without a doubt, that was rough. Houston had a touchdown that came back as a result of a penalty, so it could have been much worse. Houston blocked up all sorts of returns, a 35 yard punt return, and two missed field goals could have ended this game in regulation. Austin McNamara took a punishing, but he held up well, averaged 44.5 yards a punt.
7. Welcome to the league.
Welcome to the league. pic.twitter.com/j7flFnHefK
— Texas Tech Football (@TexasTechFB) September 11, 2022
8. Idle Thoughts. Derek Parish is an absolute badass. Straight up, he was the best player on the field yesterday and in my opinion, it’s not even close. He single-handedly wrecked Texas Tech’s game-plan and to get him blocked was a chore. Hat-tip . . . Houston absolutely imploded in the first half and they sort of deserved that. The penalties absolutely shot Houston in the foot multiple times and I was absolutely there for that . . . You all think that Joey McGuire is going to call Jeff Traylor today or tomorrow (as an aside, UTSA beat Army 4-38 in OT) . . . Texas Tech gained 238 yards in the 1st half and 230 in the 2nd half . . . Dana Holgorsen is a mad-man in all of the best and worst ways. Absolutely livid when that player ran into McNamara and then livid shorty later when they had some other penalty. I can’t imagine being livid for 4 hours . . . How many extra timeouts did Houston get by feigning injuries? 5 or 6? . . .
9. Coach Comments.
Texas Tech Head Coach Joey McGuire:
“I mean that’s how we win football games, but our team’s number one rule is don’t beat yourself, you know, and that’s huge. I mean, especially, we talked all week about, you know, not making this about football and not getting caught up in things that they could try to get you caught up in. I thought that our guys really responded. If we stay on that side to where we’re winning the penalty battle and winning the ‘don’t beat yourself’, we’re going to win a lot of those football games.”
Houston Head Coach Dana Holgorsen:
“Ok, two things. One, we didn’t play well enough to win tonight – just a whole lot of stupid stuff. Stupid, stupid, stupid undisciplined stuff. I don’t feel like we deserved to win. With that said, I was very proud of our team for how we kept fighting once again. If you could ever have a repeat of a week ago, that was it. We just let it slip away again. We would’ve been lucky to get out of here with a win, if we would have won this game, we would have been lucky to get out of here with a win. Just too much stupid crap.”
Q: On the 4th and 20 conversion by Tech with 33 seconds remaining
“Puke. I mean I’m not pointing the finger, that’s why we lost, we did plenty of stuff, but It’s just unacceptable. How can you have that happen last week and then go out there and do it again? I don’t know man. Whatever we’re doing, we’ll look at it and we’ll do something different. It’s not winning football.”
10. Tortilla Tossin’ Players of the Game. I don’t know what I was doing by having stars rather than tortillas.
I love all of the running backs, but don’t know if Texas Tech wins this game without Tahj Brooks 80 yards on 18 carries for a touchdown along with 5 catches for 34 yards.
It’s tough to choose just one defensive player because it is a collective group at this point. I’m going with linebacker / safety Kosi Eldridge, who finished with 6 tackles, and a sack. Holding Houston to a field goal in overtime / chef’s kiss /
Donovan Smith absolutely wins this game for Texas Tech, the overtime touchdown run alone was great. The ability to comeback was pretty great too. Smith acknowledged there’s a lot to clean up and that he’d celebrate Saturday and get back to work on Sunday.