1. Game Links:
2. Won’t Belabour This. I’m not going to belabour this loss. Texas was playing for a championship and Texas Tech was playing for an upset. Just didn’t play way on any level and that hasn’t happened all year. You can look at any metric and it won’t be good. We’ll look at a few and move on. My lack of wanting to get into a ton of detail is more a result of not beating a dead horse.
3. No Offense. The offense was just not productive, save and except Tahj Brooks who was good, 19 carries for 95 yards. The receivers just didn’t have a good game and the receivers just couldn’t afford to miss and they did. Not all of those passes were bad, but they needed to be better.
4. No Defense. It seemed as if the receiver corps for Texas was open every single pass. Just no one around them and a 3 to 4 yard cushion. Then Texas ran for 300 yards on top of it and that was the exclamation mark of a poor game.
5. Injuries. It’s been some time since I’ve seen a game where so many players were injured. After the game, McGuire said that the initial tests were positive with Cameron Watts and flew home with the team. With Jackson Knotts had a knee issue and hope that it is not an ACL (I wish we could have seen what happened, not that I want to see an injury, but don’t understand how that happened). E’Maurion Banks injured his shoulder as was BJ Jordan who got a stinger. Texas Tech was already down Jaylon Hutchings and Myles Price and the cumulative effect at some point.
6. Receivers Will Take Time. One of the things that you probably noticed with the 2023 recruiting class and this one was the emphasis on speed. We haven’t had the opportunity to see that speed thus far, largely because almost all of those players have redshirted and that’s sort of what you want. One of the things that you sort of notice is that the prior staff was heavy on guys who were big, 6’5″ or so and with the thought that they would simply be bigger than defensive backs. The current staff has pretty much done a 180 on that, the receivers recruited last year are all under 6’3″ and generally in the 6’2″ and 180 range. That hasn’t changed with the 2024 class. The idea here is that they definitely want smaller quicker receivers who can get open in different ways.
7. Line Help. It is clear that both lines need help. The 2023 class included 4 defensive linemen, not including defensive ends, which was 3. On the offensive side of the ball, there were 4 offensive linemen signed. None of those linemen have played thus far. The 2024 class has 4 offensive linemen committed and only one defensive tackle that I am thinking the staff thinks will be part of the rotation next year in Danny Saili, a 6-2/335 tackle from Hutchinson C.C. With the graduation of Jaylon Hutchings and Tony Bradford, help will be needed.
The point here is that I think the staff sees the problems at receiver and along the lines and knows that that has to be grown and not necessarily obtained through the transfer portal, which is the current remedy on the offensive line. The offensive line is okay, but when squared up against all-conference players, 57-7 is sort of what happens. I’m more confident in the defensive line with everyone healthy, but that’s not the case right now and there’s not enough depth to solve that issue.
8. Idle Thoughts. I don’t know how many idle thoughts you want here. It’s not good on any of the things that i normally look at. Nothing happened down the field on offense, 14-19 for less than 5 yards and 5-12 on 5 to 14 yards, while 0-5 on anything past that. Texas really didn’t even need to convert on 3rd down, just 3 of 11, but still had 528 total yards.
9. Coach Comments. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Nathan Giese:
Texas Tech was held to a season-low 198 yards, 95 of which came from running back Tahj Brooks. Brooks averaged 5 yards per carry, but the Red Raiders were unable to use the run game with the deficit the team faced throughout.
“It was pretty physical,” Brooks said. “They’ve got a good front, something we haven’t seen before this year. Credit to them. They did their job and … we didn’t get the job done.”
McGuire pointed out a few things that led to the anticlimatic finish to the decades-long rivalry. Penalties on second down after chunk plays on first and three interceptions thrown by Behren Morton (19-for-36, 88 yards) were part of it.
The big one was special teams, which has been Tech’s bread and butter throughout the majority of the year.
Austin McNamara, who has been in the top 10 in punting average all season, finished with a season-low 41.13 per kick and had one attempt blocked by Michael Taaffe, which led to one of Bert Auburn’s five field goals.
Keilan Robinson also ripped off a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half, taking the wind further out of Tech’s sails.
“You could have told me a lot of things tonight that could have happened. That was not one of them,” McGuire said. “We’ve played, I think, as good as anybody on special teams and affected the game in a positive way every week until this weekend.”
10. Tortilla Tossin’ Players of the Game. Not today.