Grades | Texas Longhorns 31, Texas Tech Red Raiders 22

Jamie Squire

Grading out the Texas Tech Red Raiders in their 31 to 22 loss the the Texas Longhorns.

Texas 31, Texas Tech 22 | Boxscore | Quotes

I mean, it's our last chance at UT. It's our last chance to really try to do something special here that nobody has done before and give us an opportunity to do that. So that's out of it too. It hurts, but we should let it hurt.
On losing to UT

QUOTES

I honestly feel bad for Doege and I generally don't feel this way about players. Doege was one of the bigger problems last year in attempting to beat a quality opponent, and maybe I'm too close to the situation, but I can hear the disappointment in his quotes and it is a tough thing to read.

It has been since 2008 since Texas Tech has beat UT. I really don't care who is the coach or who isn't the coach, I know that this team really wanted this win. And whether you blame the referees or the play calling or the risk-aversion, it still stinks and is incredibly disappointing.

We'll try something new this morning as I try to review the game and do it with grades. There were specific points that I wanted to make about each position group that I was afraid I wasn't going to do if I just wrote general thoughts.

I had a family function yesterday afternoon and I was sneaking away checking my phone as to what was happening as often as possible and not be a complete ass is not the easiest thing in the world. I hate having to watch a game that I know Texas Tech lost. When I got up at 3:00 am because I cannot get used to time change, it was incredibly disappointing knowing pretty much what was going to happen.

GRADES

B

QUARTERBACK

QB Seth Doege wasn't perfect, but he wasn't the reason why Texas Tech lost this game. He wasn't really on the mark, completing only 59% of his passes, but he was effective enough. A lot gets thrown at the feet of a quarterback, but shouldn't happen during this game. I'd also add that Doege was relatively clean and the problems of not being able to feel pressure have been better over the course of the last handful of games. When Doege takes off and runs in certain situations, he's a better quarterback. UT played a deep zone for pretty much the entire game. The Longhorns weren't going to give up the big play and they didn't. They just weren't going to allow it. I can't think of a throw that Doege threw over the top of the defense or a deep post route and that's because I just don't think the defense was going to allow it.

A

RUNNING BACK

RB Kenny Williams is this team's second best player and I'm pretty confident about that. And the scary thing is that he's really just scratching the surface. It stinks to consider how good a player is after a loss, but that's the case here. And with RB Sadale Foster as a change-of-pace back, it really makes Williams that much more effective. Williams should have had 2 touchdowns, we'll get to that later, and finished with 93 total yards. RB Eric Stephens was pretty good coming out of the backfield for screen passes and as a collective group, the running backs finished with 162 total yards. I think the only glaring mistake was that Williams or Stephens missed a block that resulted in a running back loss.

A

RECEIVERS

WR Eric Ward is this team's best skill player and it's really not even close. He's special and the numbers he is putting up recently play that out. Consistently very good players are the most dangerous players. This is the first game I can remember in a long time where there were only 7 players that caught a pass. There really weren't just a lot of passes going to players not named Ward and Darrin Moore as they caught 15 of Doege's 26 completions. No one else was a threat. I'd also add that WR Marcus Kennard should have agreed to redshirt. The fade route to Kennard was there for him to go up and grab. He really didn't even make a decent play on it, but truthfully, I don't think that Moore has the athleticism and I can't remember where Ward was on that play. If Kennard had Ward's tenacity, he'd be really tough to beat.

C

OFFENSIVE LINE

I guess we have to put the penalties here because the two most costly penalties, whether they were accurate or not, were against the offensive line. He chop-block on RG Le'Raven Clark and the holding call against C Deveric Gallington. I think you all have been around long enough to know that I almost never complain about officiating and I won't do it here. There were 128 other plays to make a difference and that didn't happen. I think complaining about referees are for those fans that need someone or something else to blame. Don't get me wrong, I think the referee got the calls wrong on both of those calls and I think Texas Tech wins this game had both of those calls not been called. But they were, that's the reality of the situation. I thought the line, despite not being athletically gifted enough to really handle UT, did an excellent job. RT Terry McDaniel was bull rushed into the lone sack of the game, but overall, I thought the line was okay.

C

DEFENSIVE LINE

When you run a one-gap defense, if the defensive line doesn't do their job, then everything falls apart. Things completely fell apart in the first three or four drives and I thought the Texas Tech defense was in for an incredibly long day. There is still significant improvement here, but I would say that the biggest problem with the line is that there is no pass rush. At this point, it is literally non-existant. It has been non-existant, except against non-conference opponents for the better part of the last four years. The line did tighten up and play much better as the day progressed. Some of this can be attributed to the seemingly conservative play of the Longhorns, but make no mistake the line played better. I would mention that the Leon Mackey expirament at defensive tackle, I think, has ended. He just doesn't have the size to play there in conference. Even then, at defensive end, he's not terribly effictive and over-runs plays too often. He's over-aggressive, like Scott Smith was last year. One of the other things that I noted was that there were too many times, especially early, where DT Delvon Simmons would get stood up at the line of scrimmage. Simmons is almost always going to have to work on leverage being a 6-5 defensive tackle. I think at some point next year if Michael Starts, Anthony Smith and J.J. Loller pan out, then he would seemingly be a prime candidate to play at defensive end.

D

LINEBACKERS

There is no other way to say this, but in the first three series the linebackers were as shitty as I've seen them play all year. LB Will Smith, on one of Gray's bigger early runs of the game, literally ran right into an offensive linemen and took himself out of the play. The next play, LB Blake Dees replaced Smith. There were too many times during the game, especially early, when this unit found themselves out of place and over-running plays. But they eventually settled down and I did think that the play of LB Sam Eguavoen warranted some praise and I really wish that LB Terrance Bullitt was more of a natural of a football player and he's just not as instinctual as I'd like for him to be. Smith did eventually settle down, but his early mistake cost this team 7 points. He just can't afford to take himself out of this game.

F

SECONDARY

The play-action of UT fooled this unit so horribly and embarrassingly bad and as a result, Davis and Goodwin make it look incredibly easy. There was no help, the safeties bit on the play-action and it resulted in two easy touchdowns. This unit is incredibly short-handed and I should say that Texas Tech will be pretty good with CB Bruce Jones at cornerback next year, but there is a reason why Texas Tech has two JUCO cornerbacks committed next year and it's because the other options are not appetizing. CB Eugene Neboh shouldn't be asked to cover Davis in that type of situation, he should have some help over the top. But everyone bit on the play-action. I'd also add that there is a reason why Derrick Mays is the third or fourth team cornerback. The fade route to Davis in the endzone would not have been a touchdown with Douglas covering Davis. Mays mis-timed his jump and his footwork as the play started looked plodding. The fact that he was right there, to intercept or at the very least knock down the ball was disheartening. This unit was playing CB Cornelius Douglas, NB Tre Porter and NB Jarvis Phillips. I don't know whether to credit the defense or UT's conservative play-calling, but nothing bad happened in the second half other than the touchdown fade-route. They did play much better, but not having a safety over the top on two different play action plays is either a coaching decision (i.e. go all out to stop the run) or a player decision (i.e, biting on the running back).

F

COACHING

It is my nature as a human being to avoid risk. For me, it's worked out okay, but I'm not a football coach. I wish I could give you some logical explanation as to why Tommy Tuberville would go for it on 4th and 8, but not go for it on 4th and 9 in the same damn drive or 4th and 2 early in the first half. When it appears that I'm defending Tuberville in terms of his risk-aversion in previous games, it's not so much as a defense, but the need to understand what's happening. There are times that Tuberville has won a game because he's been careful or because he's run out the clock by running the ball. But then there are times when it will cost you a game and this was one of them. There are coaches that do not give one flip to risk-aversion and so Texas Tech fans went from one extreme to another. There was no in-between. And I've tried to give Tuberville credit, the onside kick against TCU was a huge reason why Texas Tech was able to win that game, but Tuberville wasn't logically consistent yesterday. And because it is my nature to try to understand, I honestly didn't have a huge problem with any of the field goal attempts except for the last blocked field goal. You can blame the penalties or the coaching or whatever. Texas Tech wasn't out of the game because of those calls. The potentially could have been completely out of the game had some of those field goals been 4th downs and been climbing their way out of a hole or been up by a couple of touchdowns. There's no way to know what would have happened. But the last attempt was incredibly problematic for me because I knew, and Tuberville should have known, that UT was entirely capable of running out 5 minutes of clock. He had to know and he didn't take the chance. That is maddening and I wish I could explain that away. There were also a ton of second down runs and I get the frustration with that too. I don't know how this works, but if Tuberville wants OC Neal Brown to run 25 to 30 times a game, and I do think that this is one of those things that Tuberville wants to do, then he's got to run the ball at some point.

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