THE RESULT | RELIEF, YET AGAIN | If there's any indication as to where I'm at in my fandom, it's that I'm relieved any time that Texas Tech wins. Obviously, I didn't get to watch the game, but I took a ton of notes throughout the game. Drive by drive. I'm posting them after the MVP's and hopefully, for those of you who didn't follow the game, can read that recap. I'm not proof-reading them other than spelling errors.
I had mentioned in the prediction thread, that I thought the offense was still inconsistent, but that Texas Tech would figure out a way to grab a 2 point win. Well, Texas Tech ended up getting a 3 point win, so this game, no matter how it turned out, is what I expected. There's no doubt that the offense and defense will be inconsistent all year because they have been inconsistent all year. This team is what it is, which is still good enough to beat some teams and I still think that this team has an upset in them.
So at the end of the day, I'm relieved, yet again, that Texas Tech was able to get a win. Wins don't come easy, so any time you get a win, hopefully you can celebrate a bit. And this week's performance wasn't good enough for this team to get complacent. The things that have plagued Texas Tech continues to be the case. There's plenty of room for improvement.
LINKS | Since I can't really talk too intelligently about the game because I didn't see it, I'm linking to those that did see the game.
LAJ's Don Williams Victory provides confidence
LAJ's Don Williams Tech notes: Williams comes through in clutch
FWST's Dwain Price Texas Tech rallies in fourth quarter to beat Colorado
DT's Jose Rodriguez Tech exorcizes Folsom Field demons by beating Buffs
DT's Mike Graham Red Raiders beat Colorado 27-24 despite another slow start
DMN's Mike Graham Five storylines from Texas Tech's 27-24 victory at Colorado
Turfburner's Jay Beck Closing Time: Week Eight
VIDEO KAMC Boulder Blues Over! Tech wins 27-24
Denver Post's John Henderson Texas Tech rallies to beat Colorado in crucial Big 12 game
Daily Camera's Ryan Thorburn CU defense can't stop Texas Tech's rally
Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo Paul Richardson earns way into CU record books
Daily Camera's Neill Woelk Change now won't help Buffs
Storylines and MVP's after the jump.
WHY DOES EVERYONE INSIST ON THROWING THE FOOTBALL WHEN TEXAS TECH DIDN'T THROW THE FOOTBALL WELL IN THE FIRST HALF? | While perusing the open game day threads, it seemed that people were upset at how the offense was chugging along, with the thought that there was too much running. Really? At some point in the 2nd quarter, Taylor Potts completed 2 passes in 6 attempts for 2 yards. You really want to keep throwing the ball? The running game was actually netting positive yards so I guess I don't get the argument, and maybe someone needs to set me straight. After last week, everyone commented that the OSU offense was great and they loved seeing OSU run the ball when the defense dictated that. In the open game day threads, people get upset that there's too much running the ball, despite the fact that none of us were actually watching the game, and what if, stay with me here, the Colorado defense was giving the Texas Tech offense the run rather than the pass? Don't you want to run the ball? Don't you want to take what the defense gives you? Maybe I'm confused, but what I've been writing since the 3rd or 4th game of the season, is that it's not about the type of play an offense is running, it's whether that offense is efficient. There's no doubt that the offense was abysmal in the first half. Abysmal. There was one drive, an 11 play, 79 yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Other than that drive, the Texas Tech offense netted 26 yards of total offense. Inconsistency.
But in the second half, things opened up a bit and there may not have been a more important drive than the 2nd drive in the 2nd half where Texas Tech scored it's second touchdown and started at Texas Tech's own 7 yard line. Texas Tech had to go 93 yards. How did it happen?
Potts to Leong - 7 yards
Batch rush - 4 yards
Potts to Batch - incomplete
Batch rush - 11 yards
Potts to Torres - 45 yards
Penalty on CU - Jimmy Smith for unsportsmanlike conduct
Potts to Zouzalik - 1 yard
Potts to Torres - 15 yards, TD
That's 7 plays, 2 rushing plays that got you positive yards, and the offense getting the ball down the field and you could even consider the incomplete pass to Batch as part of the running game. And truthfully, what was the more efficient part of the offense? RB's Eric Stephens, Baron Batch and Ben McRoy had 30 carries for 171 yards, that's a 5.7 yard per carry average. QB Taylor Potts completed 24 for 38 passes for 286 yards for a 7.5 yards per attempt average. A 7.5 yard per attempt average passing isn't bad, but I'll take 5.7 yards rushing per attempt every day of the week. It's easy to complain about the running game, but it's making this offense better.
NIGHT AND DAY DEFENSE | Having not seen the game, I don't know whether or not to attribute the turn-around of the defense to the Texas Tech defense or the poor play of the Colorado offense. I'm sure it's a little bit of both, but in the first three quarters, Texas Tech gave up 325 yards to Colorado. In the fourth quarter, Colorado managed 34 yards on 6 drives (although the last drive was with only 0:19 remaining) and zero first downs. The announcers said that the Cody Hawkins' passes were fluttering in the wind in the 4th quarter, but as rough as the defense was in the first three quarters, when it mattered, that defense came through. From my count, this defense only played 19 players and the radio broadcast said that the defense only brought 22 overall players. I should also mention that in addition to NG Bobbie Agoucha and DE Donald Langley getting the starts, OLB Julius Howard was replaced in the starting lineup by Tyrone Sonier and Sam Fehoko got the nod as well.
RECEIVER POSITION CHANGE | During the game, it was mentioned that Alexander Torres and Detron Lewis switched positions. Torres, formerly an outside receiver, and Lewis, formerly an inside receiver, made the switch and there was some success. I'm not about to declare this as a success, but there was some success with this move as Torres had 6 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown while Lewis had 6 catches for 84 yards. It should also be mentioned that Darrin Moore replaced Lyle Leong at the other wide receiver spot. Interesting.
A DISCUSSION | Texas Tech announcer John Harris said that head coach Tommy Tuberville, offensive coordinator Neal Brown and QB Potts had a discussion after Potts throws his interception on a pass intended for WR Detron Lewis. In describing the play, it was trips left with Lewis split wide to the right. There was one-on-one coverage for Lewis and Potts threw a fade route. You need to watch the KAMC video linked above for a view of the pass. It was awful. I don't know if it was the wind, but Potts threw that fade with too much room inside of the endzone rather than in the corner of the endzone where the only results would be a touchdown or an incompletion. Harris said that Tuberville and Brown had a discussion, and Potts was pulled in late. Harris intimated that Tuberville thought that the play-call was a bad call, but that doesn't sound like a bad play-call, Lewis with one-on-one coverage, but it was the execution of that pass that was abysmal. That interception came on a 3rd and 5 at the Colorado 12 yard line. That drive was actually building up to be a pretty impressive drive and maybe what Tuberville wanted was a first down rather than going for it all on just one play. I don't fault Tuberville for that thought (if that was the case), which is get the first down and not turn the ball over in the redzone. Had Potts not thrown the interception, Texas Tech could have, at the very least, gone up 3 with a field goal.
DEFENSE HARD TO GUAGE | When you can't watch a game, at the very least with the offense, we can look at stats and make some assumptions about who played well and who didn't. With the defense, it's not that easy because tackles do not always equal good plays, but it is easy to see who made plays. DT Pearlie Graves had 3 TFL and 2 sacks in his first collegiate game. Yes please. S Cody Davis had 2 TFL and 10 tackles. CB Jarvis Phillips had 6 tackles and 2 pass break-ups. OLB Julius Howard ha 3 tackles and 1 TFL and DT Colby Whitlock had 1 TFL and 3 tackles. And that much beleagured and injured defensive line limited Colorado to 28 rushing yards for the game. Sure, Colorado pretty much gave up on the run in the second half, but RB Rodney Stewart had 20 rushes for a gain of 46 yards but a net of 34 yards. That's a 1.7 YPC average.
POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE NON TRANSCRIPT |
Tommy Tuberville: It's fun to win a game. It's hard especially on the road. Make mistakes, but was able to make enough plays to get a win. Defense gave up yards in the first half, but shut them down in the second half. Field goal kicker was great and special teams was good. Scratched and clawed and found a way to win the game. After Tyler Hansen went out, we went press coverage on their receivers, but 7 or 8 in the box and just took it away. New defense put in this week. Tried to create a 5 man rush and play coverage instead of zone. Makes them go to a different offense. Needed to play a good game. Needed to play begger. They were playing press man coverage on the outside, were givin gus the run, and once the run got going, then the pass offense opened up. Matt Williams kicked well, especially with the wind. Were going to defer anyway. Getting the ball in the 4th quarter and having the wind at your back, and Zouzalik catching the ball on the 20-25 was one of the bigger plays because he didn't let the punt roll. Didn't get turnovers, but made play defensively. Offense looked better with the sideline routes, and the pass protection improved. CO played some zone with 4 man rush. Needed a win like this to get some confidence.
"It was a fight the whole time. They came out, and we came out, and it was a dog fight and it came down to the last minute. It’s real big for us and it’s a really great feeling right now, but we know we’ve got to forget about it tomorrow and start getting ready for next week. We needed this win. We needed to come out and show that we’re going to fight the rest of the season, and we’re never going to give up."
DEFENSIVE MVP | DT PEARLIE GRAVES | Where has Graves been hiding. I'd love to know how he looked, but 3 TFL in his first action, he was pretty good.
"We didn’t really do anything different. We just came out with a lot of swag. We just tried to go out there and do what we do best. That’s to go out there and stop runs and do what we can."
SPECIAL TEAMS MVP | K MATT WILLIAMS | Probably my MVP of the game. Texas Tech doesn't get that win without Williams' leg.
"I was just trying to stay relaxed. I tried to focus on other things than kicking the ball, but I just took a deep breath and kicked the ball. I know God gave me the talent to kick the ball through the uprights, and that’s why he put me here. I just have to do my job."
GAME NOTES | These are my notes from the game, without editing.
CO: Pretty big gains in the first drive. Forced a 3rd down. Damn.
TT: Potts in SG; RB behind and RB to his right. New formation and got 6. Swindall gets a 10 yard gain. Sticks as WR and in wildcat with Stephens as QB. Jailbreak dropped by Detron Lewis. 3rd/8 was incomplete with Darrin Moore. Punt, LaCour had to make the tackle. 58 yard punt, 44 yard return.
CO: Starting at the TTU 42. Huge punt return for Colorado for 45 yards that ended up on the TT 40 yard line. Colorado only had to go 40 yards for the touchdown. Defense has 3rd/1. CO has 2/TE and gets 1st down. CO loses yardage on reverse and receiver slips. The QB draw gets a few back. Dartwan Bush has redshirt lifted and is playing. Also in is Pearlie Graves. The receiver that doesn't really do a whole lot offensively got open. Also mentioned that Pearlie Graves is playing at DT and then makes a stop in the CO backfield. Nice to hear that TT defenders were dragged around by Will Jefferson. QB sneak by CO gets 1 yard TD.
TT: Ben McRoy gets the handoff (maybe motion) and gets a 1st down. Alex Torres drops the pass, said it was uncharacteristic of Torres. Detron Lewis is now at the outside spot and Torres is inside receiver. Batch makes a catch and Corn Douglas holds to bring it back. Poor play after the penalty, 3rd and long (actually needs 24) and now they punt again. Not much of return, only 2 yards. Yea!
CO: False start, so some good news there. I'll take anything at this point. Hansen to Stewart and get a fairly easy first down. Pistol formation, but only gets 2. Lawrence Rumph and LaRon Moore get in the game. Moore was on CO's best receiver, McKnight.
TT: Torres misses another pass, thrown out of reach, but he did have his hands on it. Batch gets 2 and now another 3rd down. Potts is sacked. You could almost see this happen on the radio. I'm thinking deer in headlights since the broadcasters called it as it was happening. Corona punts, only his 3rd of the day. CO will have to go 70 yards with a 56 yard punt.
CO: Bront Bird gets Jefferson with only 3 yard gain. Force a 3rd down and 6. Moore doesn't let as well as Sonier, Jefferson get up field. Jefferson converts on a 3rd down for 15 yards. Dewhurts hits him and doesn't wrap up. Another 3rd down, Patterson catches the ball, but takes for a 7 yard loss. Let's see if TT can not gift another 3rd down. Pearlie Graves gets the sack at the 36 yard line. Right now, Graves has 2 TFL, including a sack. CO punts and Tre' Porter has a block in the back.
TT: Level mentioned that Chris Olson was switching from TE to RG and taking out Deveric Gallington. With Potts 1-5 for 4 yards, it would seem smart to maybe do the same thing with Steven Sheffield. Leong catches the ball and loses yards. Potts should be 2-6 for 2 yards at this point. Offisides by CO. Positive yards! Eric Stephens with a gain. TT went 5 wide on 3rd down and all were looking for the sideline for the call and apparently everyone was taking a smoke break. Had to call a timeout. Torres is tackled at the 45 and gets 17 yards. Stephens for 7, Keown and Edwards open it up. Stephens gets another long gain (25), while Batch gets a carry. 2nd/9 with a pass to Leong, will be interference on the defense, Jimmy Smith. Credit goes to Leong for this hopeful touchdown. Ball on the 2 yard line. CO forces a 3rd/1 and Aaron Crawford gets a touchdown. The right side of the line opened up the hole. What? Jacoby Franks has a broken bone in foot.
CO: Hansen is decked by Julius Howard. Shoulder pad into the headgear. Hasen is nailed by Howard and is on his back. Hawkins is in the game. Throws incomplete. Hawkins gets a play for a 1st down, 11 yards. Swing pass. Fehoko makes a good play, forces a 3rd and 8. Tony Clemons makes a catch in front of Jarvis Philips, maybe a bit short of the 1st down. Just an inch short. CO is going to go for it. Langley, Graves, Whitlock and Graves. Hawkins under center and short of the 1st down and but spins to just get it. Loss of 8 as the defense strings out the run, a sweep. Seriously, how do you get a loss of 8 on a sweep? Time out. McKnight is apparently wide open and now inside the 25. Was in between Howard and Cody Davis. Catch was in front of D.J. Johnson. Yuck. 3rd/1 and Stewart gets 1st down. Result is a FG.
TT: Torres makes the catch. An actual first down on a drive. McRoy gets the ball again. Said that the ball was high by Potts and now another 3rd down. Another incompletion to Franks, sounds like Potts again as Franks had to dive. Said that Leong was wide open.
CO: Hawkins throws incomplete, coverage by Phillips. Hawkins to Clemons, again with Phillips for 23 yards. Huge chunk of yards. McKnight gets the 1st down with Johnson on coverage. Why is Brian Duncan making a play down the field and the running back is running straight up the field? Sack by Whitlock and Bront Bird. Loss of 7. Now 2nd and 17. Someone makes a play for 14 and now 3rd/3. Clemons makes catch for 25 yards and said that Johnson is looking at Porter and asking why Porter isn't making tackles. Now at the 3 yard line. Paul Richardson gets the TD.
TT: Dumb penalty, on special teams, the ball is at the 7 yard line. This is going to go well. Positive yards on a 1st down pass to Lewis and Batch with a 1st down run. Potts overthrows Batch on the very next play. Batch does get a bit back, 11 yards. Torres makes a big catch, goes for 45 yards. Apparently Jimmy Smith has been mouthy all game long. Coverage is great. Wow, a Torres touchdown. Threw flat-footed and threw a bullet 15 yards for a touchdown.
CO: Hawkins is throwing the ball all over the place. Just threw for 15 yards, Dewhurst on the tackle. This says volumes about the pass defense. Cody frickin' Hawkins is a good quarterback against this defense. Whitlock makes another play behind the line, forcing a 3rd/15. Moore holds on the previous 1st down play, but then he makes a pretty good play on 3rd down. Perhaps TT will get a touchdown on offense.
TT: 1st pass is dropped by Baron Batch. All CO secondary is playing press coverage. Another incompletion on 3rd down. 3 and out. Awesome. Franks' broken foot, will require either him being out for the year or having to work through it.
CO: Hawkins continues to throw the ball like he's Joe Montana. Stewart gets the ball on 3rd down and does eventually get it. Cody Davis tries to hit Stewart up high and misses. This defense is a mess. Johnson allows another touchdown, by Paul Richardson. A freaking 60 yard touchdown.
TT: Stephens gets no gain on rush. Swindall catches a pass, but now he's slow to get up after 4 yard catch. Leong gets the catch, but gets the 1st down. Stephens gets a hand-off, for 30 yards. Behind Waddle and Edwards. After a long run, it's 3rd/8 and delay hand-off and doesn't get the 1st down, still 2 to go. 4th/2 Lewis gets enough for 1st down. Potts to Moore and the ball is over-thrown. Batch with another delayed hand-off for no gain. 3rd/10 and Potts is sacked at the 24. Pocket collapsed and no receivers are open. End of the quarter. 40 yard FG by Matt Williams..
CO: Hawkins throws incomplete, but it was due to Johnson just running Clemmons off the field. Whatever works. Stewart gets the ball for 4. 3rd/6 and incomplete. A 3 and out? What? What are the words I am typing? Punt, but Blake Kelley gets blocked into the football and now it's CO football. Really? It's come to this. I'm sure that people will blame Tuberville for this, but that seems extreme. The long punt return? Yes. A player being pushed into the ball? No. CO now has the ball at the 35. Clemons and Phillips battle again, thankfully falls incomplete. Clemmons with Philips on him for 5. 3rd/5 and Paul Richardson gets the ball for an easy 1st down. Johnson with the coverage. Luckily the result was a missed FG.
TT: Lewis gets a grab, something different, but they don't describe it well here. Throw to the outside and then let the other two block. Leong gets another grab and then Batch gets enough for a 1st down. Austin Zouzalik gets another 1st down and the offense starts to click, 16 yards. Lewis gets 32 yards on a pass on Jimmy Brown. Ball on the 6 yard line. Leong with a fade pass for a touchdown. This never happens.
CO: Hawkins to McKnight for no gain. Hawkins to McKnight again for 4 and Johnson gets the tackle. Hawkins throws incomplete. No screw-ups on special teams.
TT: Said that Jacoby Franks is out for the game, Harris thought that this means that Franks is probably out for the year. RB Harrison Jeffers with the carry, holding on Edwards. Yuck. Mis-direction and almost gets back to the 20, still a long ways to go. Lewis gets a long catch and now it's 3rd/2. Lewis gets the 1st down. Thank you. Zouzalik drops the pass, right in his hands. Seems like this is the one time that it wasn't Potts' fault. Moore makes a short catch, for 1, and now 3rd/9. Torres makes a huge catch, was hit as he makes the throw, and picks up 42. Potts bobbled snap and incomplete. Potts completes pass now 3rd/5. Trips left, Lewis on the right. Jalil Brown makes the interception on Lewis. Potts wanted 1-on-1 coverage. Tuberville and Neal Brown are having words with Potts. Tuberville went after Brown and then Brown and Tuberville and Potts get in a 3-way? I can only hope.
CO: Hawkins hands off to Stewart, only gets 1. Dewhurst makes a play, forces 3rd/6. Hawkins to Clemons, but bobbled the ball. 3 and out.
TT: 4:26 with the ball at the TT 47 yard line. Moore to the left, trips right. Potts to Lewis for a 1st down, 15 yards. Swindall and Torres with the blocks. Batch with the ball, and another 1st down, 14 yards. John Harris is looking at the coaches' pants. Milking the clock a bit. Stephens gets to the 21 for 4 yards. Stephens gets the ball again, goes down to the 16. Now 3rd/1. Pistol look, Stephens behind Potts and Batch to Potts' right. No gain and now a 4th down. Matt Williams with a 37 FG try. Williams makes it. First lead of the game. Dear sweet clean football gods, please make this stick. Carona kicks it into the endzone for a touchback.
CO: Hawkins throws an awful pass. Patterson catches the ball, with Moore on coverage. Pick up of 2, maybe 3rd/8. Hawkins misses Clemons. Only 1:51 left in the game. Go for it on 4th/8. Incomplete. Ball goes over to 4th down. Johnson on McKnight. Maybe his best play of the day.
TT: Tuberville tells Brown, the ball stays on the ground. He's coaching like a guy desperate for a win. And will have to call a timeout. Now 1:44. Potts takes a knee. CO calls a TO. Won't be able to run clock down to zero. Now 4th down and 0:50 left. Colorado will have a play or two. Batch runs the ball. Now 16 seconds left and at their own 30. Turnover on downs.
CO: Hawkins to Clemson out of bounds. Hawkins to Richardson and incomplete. Only 3 seconds left. The pitch routine and TT recovers.