A gritty fourth quarter defensive shutout and Alan Bowman’s bounce-back performance resulted in the 10th consecutive victory over the Baylor Bears at The Jones.
For many Tech fans, the script looked eerily familiar as a crucial turnover and a lack of offensive execution allowed Baylor to take a 13-6 lead into half time. However, the Red Raider offense would come alive in the fourth quarter to do their part to secure the win for the Red Raiders. As with any win, it takes key contributions by each position group, so let’s evaluate their production:
Rarely does alternating quarterbacks work and it wasn’t working until Henry Colombi went down with an apparent injury. Alan Bowman would not be denied the opportunity to lead the Red Raiders to a come from behind victory. He responded to an awful start to his evening by making critical throws and showed some mettle when the game was on the line. Let’s face it, we are still in transition between the Air Raid and a David Yost establish the run and more balanced offensive philosophy. The bottom line is that Alan Bowman delivered and should be the favorite going forward.
Running backs: B+
Overall a good performance by this talented group. Each player brings a unique skill set and they all catch the ball out of the backfield well. Collectively, the group ran for 129 yard averaging four yards a clip. SaRodorick Thompson lead the way with 69 yards rushing and one huge reception for 30 yards and a heads up decision(debatable by some) to not score on the game winning drive. Finally, Tahj Brooks is going to be a force who displays a nose for finding the end zone and found pay dirt twice against the Bears. A solid day by the deepest position group on the team.
Receivers/Tight ends: B+
Not a lot of opportunities for the receivers until Bowman took over late in the game. KeSean Carter lead the group with seven catches for 84 yards and had a big time reception to set up a Tahj Brooks score to start the comeback. Erik Ezukanma got behind the defense for an explosive 46 yard gain late but a holding and a false start penalty ended in another Garibay field goal. T.J. Vasher turned a hitch into a 28 yard reception but couldn’t get on the same page with Bowman on a few shots down the field. Travis Koontz had once reception for 21 yards but John Holcomb dropped a sure touchdown from Bowman off an RPO. Overall the blocking by the receivers and tight ends elevates their grade to a B+ and hopefully they will have more opportunities to make plays after the bye week.
Offensive Line: B-
The line got better as the game wore on after giving up a pair of sacks with Colombi in the game. A positive was how well the line paved the way in the goal line and short yardage situations. The minus is due to the penalties that thwarted a touchdown and having to settle for a not so easy field goal late in the fourth quarter. Those miscues are the ones that can and have cost Texas Tech losses in close games. The center and guards are further ahead of the tackles and that pattern has been evident throughout the season. At the end of the day, it all starts up front and if we are going to upset Oklahoma State this group will have to play their best game of the season.