Semifinal 1 - #10 2012 @ #1 2008
Well that sure wasn’t supposed to happen. 2008, the cream of the crop of Red Raider football, was not only taken down in game 1, they were taken out with a vengeance. Kenny Williams and Seth Doege put on a show as Graham Harrell had trouble finding his receivers consistently. Harrell actually had more passing yards than Doege, 457-330, and both quarterbacks finished with 2 passing scores and no picks, but Doege had just 1 fewer completion than Harrell on 21 fewer attempts. 2008 started off going up 7-0 on a 10-yard score to Adam James, but after that it was all 2012, with 52 unanswered points, including TD runs from Williams of 50, 49, and 46 yards plus a SaDale Foster run of 43. 2008 would finally score again early in the 4th on a pass to Crabtree but the game was well over by then.
2008 came back strong in game 2, showing 2012 that they would not be taken lightly, with Harrell torching the 2012 secondary, going 33-41 for 517 yards and 6 TD’s. Doege wasn’t terrible in the game, with 371 yards and no picks, but only a single TD. The big story of the game was 2008 shutting down Williams and Foster, who only had a combined 177 yards. Eric Morris had an efficient day, with 3 of his catches going in for points, all in the first half.
The tone of game 3 needed to be set early, with both teams looking to take an early lead. SaDale Foster would break out for a 51-yard score to put 2012 up 7-0. 2008 would cut the lead to 10-7 on a 26 yard pass from Harrell to Detron Lewis, but Kenny Williams responded immediately on a 30 yard run and 2 more scores in the 2nd quarter put 2008 behind 31-7, a hole they could not crawl out of. Harrell and Doege would put on a show, throwing for a combined 769 yards and 7 TD’s, but the 2012 rushing game was too much for 2008, running for 221 yards.
Somehow, the impressive 2008 team could not get past 2012’s balanced attack. Doege’s arm plus Williams and Foster’s legs could carry this team far into the tournament.
Semifinal 2 - #7 2001 @ # 4 2009
In the quarterfinals, Ricky Williams was able to pile up the yards on the 1997 team, but that would not be the case against 2009. He only had 33 yards on the ground on 20 carries against the stout defense of 2009. Kliff Kingsbury wasn’t very effective either, as his only TD pass came early in the 2nd quarter to put 2001 up 10-7. Taylor Potts took over from there, going 22-36 for 304 yards and 3 TD’s. Potts spread the ball around, with no receiver having more than 4 receptions.
Kliff had a much better game 2, throwing for 471 yards and 3 TD’s without any interceptions. The 1st half was a back and forth affair, with 2009 taking a 24-17 lead into the half. 2009 would go up 31-20 early in the 4th, but a Ricky Williams 77-yard pass from Kingsbury and a 2-point conversion put the game within 3 points. 2001’s defense shut down 2009 the rest of regulation and a time expiring field goal by Robert Treece sent the game to overtime. 2001 received the ball first, but could only manage a field goal after Kingsbury overthrew Mickey Peters on 3rd and goal. It took 2009 just 3 plays to score a TD as Baron Batch ran in from 4 yards out to take the game and advance in the bracket.
These 2 games were highly entertaining, with the Air Raid on full blast between Harrell and Doege, and an OT thriller between Potts and Kingsbury. The 2008 team was a shoe in to win the whole tournament by many, but Lubbock is a crazy place to play football. Upset Lives Here