Just eight days ago, Texas Tech sat atop the Big 12 standings with a 4-0 conference record a perfect 7-0 record overall and a No. 9 national ranking. Saturday night, the high-flying Red Raiders suffered their second straight loss to a team from Oklahoma.
This time, though, the loss to the Cowboys of Oklahoma State was even more hurtful because it was before a record home crowd in Lubbock and, what’s more, dealt a serious blow to Tech’s once-promising title chances. In a little over a week’s time, the Red Raiders have gone from No, 9 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll all the way down to No. 23
Oklahoma State, now 4-1 in league play and 7-1 overall, pounded the Red Raider defense for 482 yards of total offense, the most given up by Texas Tech all season. Most of that total was on the ground, led by junior Desmond Roland, who gained 96 yards on 31 carruies and three rushing touschdowns for the Cowboys in his second start of the year.
Texas Tech fell behind early by a 21-0 count, but the Red Raiders fought back with 21 points of their own in the second quarter to narrow the Cowboys lead to 28-24 at the half. OSU got it’s offense on track again in the second half, running off 21 third-quarter points to mount an 18-point lead from which the Red Raiders were never able to recover.
Tech’s big tight end, 6-5, 260-pound Jace Amaro, was a workhorse, as he has been all season, catching 15 passes from freshman Red Raider quarterback Davis Webb, one for a touchdown. Webb threw for 425 yards in a losing cause. The loss dropped the Red Raiders’ record to 7-2 and 4-2 in Big 12 play.
“You lose the turnover battle and get outplayed on special teams against a really tough team like that, you’re going to have a hard time winning the game,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said in his postgame comments.
The Cowboys were one of two conference teams to log a victory over the weekend. West Virginia converted ba 35-yard field goal in overtime to hand TCU its third straight conference loss and the Mountaineers second overtime victory over the Horned Frogs in successive seasons. West Virginia had come from behind in the second half to build a 10-point lead, but the Horned Frogs scored the final 10 point in regulation, the final three on a 45-yard field goal with just 19 second left on the game clock, to send the game into the extra session.
The win was Oklahoma State’s fifth straight over Texas Tech and they are the first team to defeat the Red Raiders three straight times in Lubbock since Nebraska did it in 1994, 1996 and 2000.
Kansas Ciach Charlie Weis will have to wait at least one more week to get his first win over a Big 12 opponent. The Jayhawks trailed Texas by just 11 points, 14-3, after the first 30 minutes in Austin on Saturday. The Jayhawks trailed by only 14-6 with a bout six and a half minutes to go in the third quarter. But a 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter by Texas defensive tackle Chris Whaley, however, opened the floodgates and led to 21 unanswered Longhorn points and a 35-6 margin that effectively put the game away.
“All the momentum in the game changes in one play,” Weis said afterward.
In the only other conference game on Saturday (Oklahoma and Baylor drew a bye ahead of their upcoming showdown on Thursday), Kansas State got its offense going early for the first time in a long while. The Wildcats scored early and kept the defensive pressure on Iowa State all afternoon on Saturday for an easy 41-7 victory. K-State featured a balanced offensive attack, gaining 227 yards on the ground and 221 yards through the air in securing the Wildcats’ fourth win of the season to go with four losses. It was Kansas State’s second win in five conference games.
Despite the wide margin of victory, surprisingly there was widespread disappointment in the K-State locker room after the game. “Shutouts don’t happen in college football anymore, ” Wildcat head coach Bill Snyder told reporters on Saturday. “They played well enough and the cocahes coached well enough that they deserved (a shutout).”
What Else Did We Learn From Big 12 Action In Week 10
- Texas has won five straight conference games and has worked itself back to the doorstep of the top 25 national rankings. The Longhorns are ranked 26th in both the current AP and USA Today polls. But on a cautionary note, Texas’ five conference wins have been against only one team (Oklahoma) with a winning record. Other than Oklahoma, the Longhorns have beaten Kansas State, TCU, Iowa State, and Kansas, teams with a combined conference record of 3-18. The Horns will be favored at West Virginia next weekend, but the final three games are against teams (, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor) with a combined record of 12-3.
- TCU’s upset loss to West Virginia was the Horned Frogs’ third consecutive loss and the first three-game losing streak in head coach Gary Patterson’s 13 seasons at TCU. Three years ago, the Horned Frogs defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl and finished the season ranked No, 2 in the country. With just three games remaining in 2013, TCU (3-6, 1-5) is in real danger of not making the postseason for the first time in nine seasons. The Frogs’ next three games are at Iowa State and Kansas State and at home against Baylor. The last time a Patterson-coached TCU team finished un der .500 was in 2004, when the team went 5-6.
- Oklahoma State’s Clint Chelf isn’t known as a running quarterback, and he had rarely run with the ball this season before Saturday night’s game at Texas Tech. The senior signal caller took off on several runs against Tech, though, including one that went 67 yards for a touchdown. He finished the game with 88 yards on six carries and two rushing TDs. Chelf’s 67-yard TD run was the longest by an OSU quarterback since 1972.
- Texas has held its five Big 12 opponents to an average 3.5 yards per rushing attempt. The two non-conference opponent before the Longhorns began conference play averaged 7.0 yards per carry.
- Baylor did not play over the weekend, but the school announced that it would remove the tarp that covers unused seats at Floyd Casey Stadium in anticipation of a large crowd turnout for Thursday’s nationally televised game with Oklahoma.