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Report from the field

Last night the Jones was hopping.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A good atmosphere in a college football game is like art: I can’t define it, but I’ll know it when I see it. Last night at Jones AT&T Stadium produced one of the greatest atmosphere’s I’ve had the joy of experiencing.

I’ve witnessed crowds in College Station, Austin, Waco, Tuscaloosa, and Jerry World, but no crowd was more electric and consistent than the Red Raider Nation last night. From kickoff to the final whistle that crowd hollered, stomped, and cheered like it was the last football game they’d ever get to see.

Last night was the first Saturday night game Lubbock hosted in quite some time, so the fans came hungry and ready to go. The blackout theme was well represented with what looked like 98% of Tech fans wearing their black apparel.

It didn’t take long for the student section to get started heaping jeers at OU. There were a number of chants I’d rather not repeat here degrading the Sooners and specific players. What they lacked in creativity the students made up for with enthusiasm.

The general vibe from the stadium was one of a cautious optimism overcast with a grim feeling that this game could go south in a hurry. When OU dropped 13 unanswered points to start the game nobody rushed for the exits. The noise didn’t fade away, adversity only strengthened the resolve of the home crowd.

The intensity rose and rose throughout the first half and reached its fever pitch when Giles caught his first touchdown pass of the night to give the Red Raiders what would be their only lead of the night.

After halftime Baker’s antics were not met with open arms but with the expected and deserved level of disdain. I have zero doubt that if Baker was sacked or threw an interception the crowd would have gone into an absolute frenzy. Shame it didn’t happen.

When the crowd realized in the second half that a win was actually attainable it reached a new level of intensity. Every OU third down was raucous and the first two downs sounded like a Kanye West concert.

Last night’s game brought the rowdiness back to the Jones, hopefully reestablishing Lubbock as one of the most difficult travel destinations in the conference.