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Four Down Territory: TCU holds on to beat Texas Tech

Red Raiders fall short in Fort Worth

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Texas Tech at TCU Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Two losses in a row has Texas Tech sitting at 4-5 after nine games. The Red Raiders gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter to fall below .500 on the season. Let’s get into it.

First Down: RUN. THE. BALL.

We made a big deal about this after the Baylor game, but it seems as though nothing has changed. Tahj Brooks and SaRodorick Thompson both averaged just under 6 yards per carry and only got the rock a combined 18 times. It is absolutely inexcusable. Comparing the top running back for TCU, Kendre Miller, he got 21 carries on his own, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. We’ll touch on that shortly.

It blows my mind that we are having to beg for more carries for these studs in the backfield, but here we are. What will it take for Tech to run the ball?

Second Down: Defensive scheme was questionable.

Max Duggan didn’t play well, yet you allowed Kendre Miller to average 7.5 yards per carry. Yes I know he had multiple runs of over 20 yards, but thats the game folks, one play doesn’t lose you the game. In a game where you could’ve consistently put 7 or 8 guys in the box to force Duggan to throw you didn’t. A missed opportunity.

Third Down: No turnovers for the defense. Again.

I’m ok with the ultra aggressive defense. I really am. Tyree Wilson and Jesiah Pierre had fantastic games, each with 2.5 tackles for loss, but with this defense comes the high risk-high reward style of play. The bottom line is right now, we are only seeing the high risk portion of that style. There has ben no reward, other than the West Virginia game. Tech has only generated 11 turnovers on defense this year, tied for 8th in conference with 5 interceptions through 9 games. If you’re going to boast about a gimmick “Take Three University” some results need to back up the talk. And the bottom line is that the results simply aren’t there.

Fourth Down: One play doesn’t lose you the game, but it sure doesn’t help.

The irony of this game is not lost on me. The cactus bowl, battle for the saddle, whatever you want to call it, the opening score of the game happened on a punt return by Derius Davis. I’m not going to blame this one on the refs, but there were a couple of obvious blocks in the back that went uncalled. It’s just the truth. TCU special teams have been a bright spot for them this year, ironically their special teams is coached by Mark Tomerdahl, Tech’s former special teams coach, who never had the Red Raiders in the top half of the conference in special teams during his time in Lubbock.

Tyree Wilson was called for a phantom face mask towards then end of the third quarter on a sack of Max Duggan that would’ve forced a 3rd and 18, deep in their own end of the field. If Tech stops them on that fourth down, they have the ball and the lead going into the fourth quarter. I’m not saying the outcome changes, but TCU ended up scoring on that drive, a possible 14 point swing, a rough sequence for the Red Raiders. Again, one play doesn’t lose you the game, but it sure doesn’t help.

Tech will try to battle back into the win column this week against a scrappy 6-3 bowl eligible Kansas squad in Lubbock.