THE RESULT | SHOCKING | That's the only word, right? I'm not trying to say that some of you didn't believe that it could happen, but I think for the most part, as Oklahoma was embarking on its 40th straight win and Texas Tech was without two starters on defense and two on offense, that there wasn't going to be much of a chance to win the game. I mentioned after the game that I hope no one writes what people have written about Missouri last year, that Gabbert had an off night and Texas Tech and Tuberville shouldn't get credit for beating a team where its quarterback was having a bad night. Well, here's some news, when teams lose, usually their quarterback struggles and you can choose to chalk it up to the quarterback singularly or you can choose to believe that a player doesn't play in a vacuum and that there are things that can affect how that player plays, including the defense.
Right now, this is Tommy Tuberville's signature win and he and his staff earned every bit of it. I thought Glasgow and Brown called masterful games last night. Not perfect games, but they both had their respective squads tuned in to what they needed to do and I thought they played their tail off on both sides of the ball.
CALLING THE DEFENSE | DC Chad Glasgow was already down two starters before this thing even started, but he was on his game on Saturday. A couple of things stood out to me. On third or passing downs, Glasgow employed three defensive ends, including usually DE Leon Mackey and DE Scott Smith at the end spots and usually DE Jackson Richards lined up inside along with another defensive tackle, most likely DT Kerry Hyder. I don't know if this was a result of Langley being out, but Glasgow obviously wanted to put some pressure on OU QB Landry Jones and from watching the game, it's clear that Jones is less accurate the more pressure he feels. This was a way to create pressure. And honestly, this was the perfect game for Smith and Mackey in that they probably knew that Jones wasn't going to run and if there was ever a game where they could just rush up the field without a worry or care as to containment, this was it. I hadn't seen Mackey and Smith in a game together and talk about a significant difference. If those two play together the entire year, I think we're talking about different outcomes. They are difference makers.
CALLING THE OFFENSE | How do you stop an over-aggressive defense that you know is going to bring the house each and every time? Mix in plenty of screens and draws and you'll have a defense on their heels. OC Neal Brown calling the game was something. He seemingly toyed with the OU defense for the entire game, although it helps to have a quarterback smart enough to implement the game-plan. Brown calling for the Torres bubble screen, for two first quarter touchdown plays was a thing of beauty, as were the draw plays. Those draw plays were a delayed handoff and it wasn't just a quick and short delay, but a purposeful two second delay and it create a situation where OU couldn't just rush up the field, because when they did, either RB Aaron Crawford or RB DeAndre Washington would take advantage of an over-aggressive defense.
I know that some of you still don't like the type of offense that Neal Brown runs. It's not Leach's Air-Raid. Honestly, I never wanted Brown to try to replicate what anyone else has ever done because that would always be a failure. Brown called 96 offensive plays and ran the ball 44% of the time, which is just about what he has averaged this year. The reason that no one is complaining about that is that Texas Tech won and even though the offense has been doing what it's been doing for some time, I think this is the offense that Brown wants, but I think he's probably want a little bit better yard per carry average, 4.4 YPC for Crawford and Washington, that's still pretty darned good. And being able to effectively run the ball does help run out the clock. It doesn't help in the second to last OU drive where OU was sitting on running the ball, but Tuberville had to run the ball if he wanted to force OU to call their timeouts, and he did. OU obviously didn't let Texas Tech get a first down or even a yard, but it did force OU to burn timeouts that they would probably need.
Additional Storylines and MVP's after the jump.
TRUST YOUR BENCH | I also absolutely loved Glasgow's ability to trust his bench. WS Cody Davis apparently screwed up last night, missing a tackle and his backup, Brett Dewhurst played most of the game:
"He missed a tackle," defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow said. "He put his head down and missed a tackle on the first play, and Brett Dewhurst came in and did some good things. I was confident with either one out there, and they made some plays."
Glasgow isn't afraid to make a change or replace a player. He also isn't afraid to go 20 deep on the defense and he knew that with a face paced offense, he was going to have to give the starters an entire series or two off. Glasgow trusted his bench to the point that he had little-used CB Sawyer Vest in the game when it was getting awfully close. Vest did get burned on a touchdown grab, he just didn't get in position in time, but don't think for a second that Glasgow didn't go right back to Vest the very next series and OU and Jones tried to take advantage of that. Sure, Vest gave up a touchdown, but so did the most athletic cornerback on the team, Tre' Porter, and I thought that was a much uglier play (it was the first OU touchdown) than Vest's. The point being is that Glasgow couldn't win this game without playing a handful of players and he did and it worked.
OFFENSIVE STARS | For me, it starts with QB Seth Doege (63% and 8.4 yards per attempt). He executed the game-plan to almost perfection. I couldn't think of a throw that I thought was in jeopardy of being intercepted the entire night. And that game-plan, which is try to stretch the field, complete everything short and intermediate and don't turn the ball over, isn't easy. And it was obvious that Brown wanted to try to get WR Darrin Moore the ball, early and often, but Moore still isn't up to speed and probably four or five of Doege's incomplete passes were of that variety. Even though he tarted Moore, Doege spread the wealth, which is something he's done all year long as not one receiver caught more than 6 passes. WR Eric Ward continues to make tough catches, although he did have one drop that I think he knows he should have made (I even think it was a 3rd down). IR Alex Torres absolutely shined, catching only four passes for 94 yards and three going for touchdowns. WR Marcus Kennard came up with 3 big catches and the announcers mentioned that he was five inches taller than his opponent and every pass was the variety where he could go up and get it. Also really enjoyed the appearance of WR Aaron Fisher, who I think is going to have a tremendous career at Texas Tech before it's all said and done (he's only a redshirt sophomore). I have gone six games this year, intentionally, without mentioning a certain player, and will not be petty for the sake of being petty, butdid have a good game as well.
PLAYING IT SOFT | Some of you may have actually listened to the podcast I did with Crimson and Cream Machine, but in it, I said that I thought that Texas Tech should give up the short to intermediate passing game. I don't know if Texas Tech called a blitz the entire night and forcing Jones to make those plays, under pressure from the three defensive ends to rush the quarterback. This worked as the defense did a terrific job of containing, especially in the first half.
HELLO, MY NAME IS ERIC WARD AND I'M A RECEIVER FOR TEXAS TECH AND WHEN I DON'T CATCH THE BALL, IF YOU ARE AN OPPOSING TEAM DEFENDER, YOU SHOULD REALLY HAVE YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL | Hat-tip MDRaider06.
DEFENSIVE STARS | The defensive line isn't going to have much, if any statistics to back up their solid play, but DT Kerry Hyder and DT Dennell Wesley were fantastic. They kept the OU offensive line off of the Texas Tech linebackers and Wesley exhibited enough strength and power to get a tackle for los on his own. I've already mentioned how big of an impact Mackey and Smith made, it's unbelievable how good they are. Richards will step into Smith's shoes next year and Texas Tech won't lose a step. LB Daniel Cobb and SS Terrance Bullitt were all over the place, being completely wreckless at times, notching 9 tackles, 2.5 TFL, and 1 forced fumble. Bullitt had 8 tackles and 2.0 TFL. Big props to FS D.J. Johnson who forced Oklahoma's first turnover by stripping All-American WR Ryan Broyles. Johnson also finished the game with 5 tackles. Somehow, Texas Tech finished with zero sacks and only one quarterback hurry. Those are the official stats, but that's not an accurate picture of what happened. Collectively, the Texas Tech defense adequately stopped the Oklahoma running game and harassed Jones to the point that they were largely ineffective when it mattered. OU lost that game in the first quarter and first half, thanks to a defense that played their rears off.
GOING FOR IT | I don't have too much more time, but here's my thoughts on Tuberville and when he decides to be bold and when he doesn't. My thought is that Tuberville likes to take a very calculated approach to going for it on 4th down and other "risky" plays, like going for it on 4th down with Jackson Richards trying to rush for 4 yards. I think that Tuberville will go for it when he thinks he doesn't have anything to lose, i.e. playing in Norman as a 29 point underdog. When he does think he has an advangage, he's not going to be so aggressive, and I don't know if I can blame him. Against Kansas St., I'm sure he kept telling himself, "just be patient, Doege won't turn the ball over a second, third and fourth time." He plays the percentages and don't be surprised not to see the same "go for it" coach against Iowa St. I'm guessing that Tuberville thinks that he's got a better team than Iowa St. and he doesn't need to be as agressive.
OFFENSIVE MVP | QB SETH DOEGE AND OC NEAL BROWN | Two huge performances.
DEFENSIVE MVP | LB DANIEL COBB AND DC CHAD GLASGOW | Cobb fills in more than adequately for an injured LB Blake Dees and for me, I see the potential that Glasgow brings to this program.
SPECIAL TEAMS MVP | K DONNIE CARONA | Get a handful of field goals blocked the last two weeks? No problem. Carona calmly kicks two huge field goals, which ended up being the difference in winning this game and losing this game (OU's kicker missed a chip-shot).