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Statement loss: Texas Tech surrenders 70 in all-time embarrassing defeat to rival Texas

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Everything that could go wrong went wrong, and Tech fans are left pondering: what’s next?

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Texas John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders rode into Austin in high spirits, owners of the team’s first 3-0 record since 2017, a renewed defense and high-powered aerial attack.

They left with absolutely nothing to smile about.

In the biggest game of the season, Tech had a chance to validate its undefeated record and earn a win that would’ve been that much more special over the SEC-bound Longhorns, but that opportunity dissolved before Tech’s eyes by the end of the first quarter.

Texas amassed - or, rather, Texas Tech allowed 639 yards of total offense, including an embarrassing 336 yards on the ground. And let me just say, any Power-5 program that surrenders 336 rushing yards should consider dropping down to the FCS. That was historically bad.

A game Matt Wells hoped could be a program-defining win turned out to be a statement loss, and those who were slowly climbing back on the “Keep Matt Wells” bandwagon after an auspicious start to the season did a triple backflip right off onto the “Fire Him Now” train.

The loss puts Tech in an interesting position. The season is far from over. The Red Raiders are 3-1 with a date in Morgantown next week, followed by a home matchup against a TCU team that just lost to SMU, before heading into the Kansas bye. Tech could easily be 5-2 heading into late October-November stretch that will see the Red Raiders play three of four games at home.

Wells will frame this as a one-off outlier, a tape to burn and never look at again. Red Raider fans can only hope that’s the case, but it’s hard to ignore a game as bad as this one. You have to consider the culture that would allow 336 rushing yards and 70 points. At some point, pride has to kick in, and we didn’t see that at all Saturday.

If Tech comes out flat and loses to West Virginia next week, that could spell doom for Wells and initiate yet another rebooting process. But if Wells gets these guys right in practice this week and Tech destroys West Virginia, we might be able to let this loss go and chalk it up to the Longhorns potentially just being that much better than the Red Raiders this year.

Either way, change is coming. It has to.