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Red Raider Gridiron: Shades of 1985; Defense Wore Down

Texas Tech is struggling, much like the 1985 season. The defense wore down by the end of the game and was unable to stop West Virginia.

John Weast

Good morning everyone. Let's have a great week.

Shades of 1985. LAJ's Don Williams writes that this season reminds him of the 1985 season:

Goodness, it's starting to look like 1985 around here.

That's an awful place for the Red Raiders to be, but aren't the parallels spooky?

Tech has lost eight conference games in a row. The last time that happened, James Hamrick kicked a 57-yard field goal - same end of Jones Stadium, same kind of October day, with 18 seconds left - to send lowly Rice past Tech 29-27 in 1985. Then four weeks later, SMU's Brandy Brownlee made a 57-yarder in Texas Stadium to beat Tech 9-7.

Defense Wore Down. LAJ's Nick Talbot writes that the defense wore down by the end of the game:

On a third and goal from the 1-yard line, the Red Raiders held, stopping Rushel Shell an inch from the end zone. On fourth and inches, the Red Raiders couldn't make the stop. Shell bounced off his own offensive line, extended and got the nose of the football across the plane of the goal.

"It was very close," Robertson said. "We stopped him, but he bounced off and got in. You just have to get the ball across the pylon and he did that. We should have stopped them long before that, but we had those penalties. And our defense was gassed there."

The series before was even more telling. On three straight rushes, Wendell Smallwood picked up 48 of his 123 yards. After an incompletion and a timeout, Texas Tech made one of its biggest blunders of the game.

Don't Look Now. Kansas took Oklahoma State to the wire in Lawrence this Saturday and maligned QB Michael Cummings had a pretty good day:

Cumming completed 20 of 37 pass for a career-high 288 yards and one interception. It was the most passing yards by a Kansas quarterback since Dayne Crist threw for 303 yards in a loss to TCU on Sept. 15, 2012. It was more yards than Jake Heaps ever racked up; and more than former starter Montell Cozart managed during the season's first five games.

After the game, Bowen would not declare Cummings as the starting quarterback for next week's game at Texas Tech.

Miscellaneous. If you can stomach it, here are the DMN's best in Texas rankings . . . if you can stomach it, part II, FoxSports' David Ubben with his Big 12 rankings . . . also from Ubben, in his best and worst of the week column, the equipment staff misspelled WR Devin Lauderdale's name and in other news, I just now noticed this . . .