This week continues my list of the top Texas Tech football wins since that momentous night in 2008 against Texas.
Here’s a quick recap of the first portion of the list (here’s the full article):
at #15 Nebraska, 2009
vs. #24 TCU, 2013
vs. #16 Arizona State, 2013
at Arkansas, 2015
5) at Texas, 2015
4) vs. Michigan State, Alamo Bowl, 2010
So, upward and onward with my list.
3) vs. #5 West Virginia, 2012
This was a fantastic game for the Red Raiders, obviously. Geno Smith was a the penciled-in Heisman Trophy winner prior to this game, after passing for 656 yards and 8 touchdowns against Baylor a couple of weeks before. West Virginia was known for having one of the most prolific offenses in the country with standout wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
However, one of the greatest equalizers known to man known as the West Texas Wind was violent and furious on that mid-October day in Lubbock. The vicious winds had quite the effect on Smith, as he was just 30 for 56 passing on 275 yards. The Red Raiders found no trouble with the winds, however.
Seth Doege threw for 6 touchdowns and 499 yards, the Red Raiders put up 35 points in the first half, and they never relinquished their early first quarter lead. Jace Amaro had a couple of electrifying plays, including a 61-yard reception and a 39-yard touchdown reception. I am still amazed how open Amaro used to get, given the fact that he is the largest Texas Tech receiver I have ever seen. SaDale Foster added in a 53 yard rushing touchdown right before the end of the first half that put the Red Raiders up 35-7. The game was never close. The Red Raiders and Jones AT&T Stadium successfully knocked off another top ranked opponent.
It’s important to note that the Red Raiders were predicted by the Big 12 media to finish 9th in 2012. After taking down the #5 Mountaineers, the Red Raiders were 5-1, 2-1 in the Big 12, slated to face a ranked TCU team the following week.
2) at #3 Oklahoma, 2011
Many of you are probably are very surprised that I have this as the second best victory. Before I make my case, let me tell you the awesomeness of this victory:
1) 65-21 in ’08 was still a fresh wound, and this helped a little.
3) After a breakout freshman season in 2009 followed up by a quieted down season in 2010, Alex Torres came out of the woodworks and caught 3 touchdowns in each of the first three quarters.
5) After a rough outing against Kansas State the week before, Seth Doege had a remarkable game, his first big victory as the starting quarterback for the Red Raiders.
6) Albert Pujols hit 3 home runs and the Rangers lost to the Cardinals 19-8 in Game 3 of the World Series to go down 2-1 in the series earlier that night, and the Red Raiders took my mind off the horrid loss for just a night.
Yes, that’s a lot of great reasons why that game was so awesome. That is why it is number two out of the forty-nine wins that the Red Raiders have had since 2008. Here’s why it is not number one:
1) The game started with a prolonged rain delay. It may have helped the Red Raiders due to the fact that Oklahoma was sleepwalking, but it was still a beating.
2) This game would have been one of the most signature and pivotal moments in Texas Tech history had the Red Raiders finish out the rest of the season as one of the best teams in the Big 12. Instead, the Red Raiders lost five straight and got outscored 256-102 in those games. That five game losing streak was one of the lowest of low points we have seen in recent Texas Tech football history.
1) vs. #23 TCU, 2012
Once upon a time, I was a Texas Longhorns fan. Yep, I admit it. As an eight-year-old in 2003, how was I not supposed to be a fan of one of the greatest players in college football history? Vince Young that is. It’s like faulting any kid today that worships Stephen Curry. Sure, I might be playing the victim card, but hey, I am a Red Raider fan now. So quit your yapping.
As Vince Young’s departure proceeded, so did the majority of Longhorn fandom. Which brings me to my first ever attended game as a true Red Raider fan: September 16, 2006, #24 Texas Tech at #20 TCU.
That game was beyond brutal.
Texas Tech failed to score a touchdown in this game. The last time they had not scored a touchdown in a game was in 2000, and the Red Raiders have scored a touchdown in every game since that fateful game in 2006. It was approximately 385 degrees in Fort Worth that afternoon, we had to park about 2.5 miles from the stadium due to the poor parking scheme that TCU had setup, and I had lost my sixth grade football game 37-14 earlier that day. Lots of losses that day.
The next meeting against the Horned Frogs took place in 2012. Boy, what a great day that was.
The state of both programs was significantly different in 2012 than from the time that the teams had previously met. Mike Leach was no longer the coach for the Red Raiders. TCU had gone to back-to-back BCS bowls in 2009 and 2010, winning the Rose Bowl in 2010 on their way to an undefeated season.
Texas Tech was coming off their victory against the Mountaineers the week before (see above), while TCU was just beginning their first major slate of Big 12 games, starting with the Red Raiders.
The game overall had a weird feel to it. Both offenses would have great drives, and then it seemed like neither team could put a decent drive together. At one point in regulation, both teams led by 10 points. In fact, in between Texas Tech touchdowns in the second and fourth quarters, the drive summaries read as follows:
Not your typical Texas Tech/TCU game. Then, halfway through the fourth quarter, the game changed momentum after this unbelievable catch from Alex Torres:
The game changed tides after that. Seth Doege eventually threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Torres on that drive. Tech took the lead and got the two-point conversion to go up 29-26.
After a TCU punt, Kenny friggin’ Williams happened.
Man, what a run that was. Williams was always a bowling ball kind of runner and this play exhibited that precisely.
Then, TCU got a quick touchdown, Tech had a three-and-out, and TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom kicked a field goal with just 18 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, and then Tech decided to bust out the Wildcat the first play of the second overtime. REALLY?! THE FREAKING WILDCAT?!?!?! WHEN SETH DOEGE IS PLAYING OUT OF HIS MIND?!?!
Jakeem Grant on the receiving end of that, because of course.
TCU scored another touchdown of their own, but could not hold serve on their possession in the third overtime. Jaden Oberkrom nailed his sixth field goal of the day, and TCU took the lead 53-50.
On Tech’s possession, Doege made a great back shoulder pass to Darrin Moore to get Tech down to the six-yard line. After an incompletion on first down, Doege found Torres once again wide open in the back of the end zone, and the Red Raiders took down the Horned Frogs, 56-53.