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Film room: The right side of the turnover

Interceptions, fumble recoveries, and goal line stands helped Texas Tech topple Baylor

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Hearing the Victory Bells again after more than a month is pleasant, even more, if we consider that this victory came against Baylor, leading for 59 minutes and 46 seconds, and maintaining a safety margin through it all.

The offense did its part, with a solid mistake-free performance, but it was the defense that sealed the deal. In fact, the ‘D’ allowed 523 yards to the 1-8 Bears but was able to force 4 turnovers, made by one interception, and three recovered fumbles. In addition, Texas Tech closed the door on two fourth downs.

Adding to the mix Tre King’s fumble, the turnover margin of the game was +3, and led pushed the season total to +10, ranking 10th in the FBS, and 1st in the Big 12. Let’s see how some of those turnovers happened.

The first turnover of the game came late in the first quarter, with Texas Tech leading 14-7.

Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer was lined up in the shotgun, alongside running back JaMycal Hasty, with four receivers. Texas Tech answered with an aggressive 7-man blitz (yellow+red), loading the left side of his defensive front.

The play was a read option of the quarterback, who took away the ball from the running back and tried to run to his left, where there was only open field, as his wide receiver (purple) ran into the end zone bringing with him the defensive back.

Brewer couldn’t secure the ball and lost it. Linebacker Dakota Allen made a huge effort to break into the backfield and recover the ball, but probably if the quarterback had had the possession from the beginning of the play, he wouldn’t have slowed down his run and Allen wouldn’t have reached him

In the second quarter, the Red Raiders had their first turnover on downs, as they issued a huge goal-line stand and stopped five consecutive plays inside their 6-yard line. First, defensive back Demarcus Fields broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Denzel Mims, then, the defensive line contained three consecutive running plays. Let’s see the last one.

There wasn’t much imagination on the Baylor sideline, as they called three almost identical plays, but Texas Tech skillfully resisted.

The Bears ran a goal line formation, with six offensive linemen, two blocking tight-ends, and a fullback (yellow), who went to block to the right side. Texas Tech had seven men at the line of scrimmage, and other four just behind (black).

At the snap, Hasty tried to run behind the center, but defensive tackle Broderick Washington got rid of the block and stopped the running back well behind the line of scrimmage.

Skipping Vaughnte Dorsey’s interception nearly at halftime, let’s see the second fumble recovery, that came in the third quarter.

It was another big mistake by the quarterback, as he tried a handoff to the running back, in this case, #7 John Lovett, but the latter faked the carry. The ball bounced for some seconds on the ground and defensive tackle Mychealon Thomas recovered it.

The latest play to be analyzed is the fumble recovered by defensive back Douglas Coleman and his run for a touchdown.

Baylor lined up with two receivers per side and a running back, while the Red Raiders showed a 4-man pressure and a supposed Cover-2 defense with man coverage.

Unexpectedly, Texas Tech worked in zone coverage, with linebackers Allen and Jordyn Brooks moving to the left once wide receiver Tony Nicholson motioned to that part of the field. Coleman (red) was covering his zone too, and was the first tackler coming to Nicholson, and showed a piece of ability, stripping the ball away before his opponent touched the ground.


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