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Instanalysis - Texas Tech

Matt Cotcher

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FINAL SCORE: Texas 34 – Texas Tech 13

First half: Texas 17 – Texas Tech 13
Second half: Texas 17 – Texas Tech 0

First half observations:

  • Great adjustment by John Harris to gain 36 yards on 3rd and 12 to keep the first drive alive. That setup a 46 yard field goal from Nick Rose. That’s the kind of success the Horns needed to start the night.
  • The Horns nearly get a sack, but Tech managed a first down on their 2nd drive. Texas is doing a good job of giving up underneath throws and gang tackling early-on.
  • Texas gets solid yardage from Malcolm Brown on first down (2nd drive) but then only gains about a yard on consecutive running plays. 3 & out, but a good punt and nice coverage pushes Tech back to the 35.
  • CB blitz from Bryson Echols didn’t get a sack, but the pressure forced an incompletion. That’s a good call with Texas not getting much pressure from their front.
  • Tyrone Swoopes fumbles at the Texas 5 and Tech scoops it up for a score. We’ve already seen Swoopes have 2 negative plays in the opening quarter while trying to make a play downfield. The first one only cost the team a few yards, the 2nd one costs 6 points.
  • Johnathan Gray tries to stretch a run to the left and ends up losing yards. There’s no hole to hit but stretching it horizontally only loses yards. It’s a no-win situation.
  • Poor tackling and a personal foul penalty put the Tech offense in business, but a chop block pushes them back to the 34. Another personal foul (facemask) by Edmonds gives the Red Raiders first and goal. Jason Hall flirted with another personal foul taunting penalty, but it’s not called and the defense responds with a sack.
  • A missed Texas Tech field goal is 4 points the Red Raiders have left on the field. They’re being gracious hosts.
  • The Horns double their offensive output on the first drive of the 2nd quarter, and featured some nice rushing, but Rose misses a 37 yarder. It’s still 6-3.
  • WR drops are hurting, but most of the drops are off the mark by Swoopes. I’m not sure who to blame more.
  • The hit by Diggs on Mahomes will be a YouTube favorite for Texas fans. My goodness.
  • Malcolm Brown capitalizes on the turnover when he punches in the TD. He was almost the entire offense on that 9-play drive (20 of 25 yards). He’s running really well.
  • As soon as Texas takes a 10-6 lead, the defense forgets how to tackle. With Tech’s 3rd string QB in the game, this is terrible fundamentals by the defense. On the same drive, 3 Texas DB’s go with the wideout on a flag route and leave the flat uncovered. 3 more missed tackles allow Tech to convert 3rd and 13, then the Red Raiders punch it in to take a lead. Bedford has to be tearing his hair out.
  • I know he’s just a freshman, but Armanti Foreman’s kick return late in the 2nd quarter was ridiculously poor. He could have gone to the sideline or inside and instead ran straight into his blockers.
  • 2 plays, 85 yards and Texas is back in front. The OL did a great job of providing Swoopes with enough time to hit Harris after a pump fake.
  • With time expiring in the half, Texas goes for a 4th down conversion and runs a play for Jacorey Warrick? Say what? Top it off with porous pass pro and Swoopes going down hard and that was not a good play.

Second half observations:

  • The Horns convert 1 of 2 3rd downs on their opening drive of the half and tacked on a field goal to extend their lead to 7 points. Converting 50% of third downs on that drive raised their conversion rate for the game to 30%.
  • Testaverde fails to convert on 4th down on a tough play call for a 3rd stringer. That gives the ball back to the Horns at their own 37. This is a chance to get some separation – but the most un-Shipley like thing possible (fumble) keeps Tech in it.
  • The referees are reviewing everything…ex cept for the drop by Marcus Johnson. That was clearly an incomplete pass in slow motion – I’m shocked they didn’t use replay for the real time call based on history.
  • The third quarter was fairly forgettable for both teams. Not a lot of offense on either side. Texas feels closer to success than Tech, but ‘closer’ doesn’t count.
  • Testaverde is a 3rd string walk-on. The Texas defensive backs are playing well. Again, I’m unsure who to give credit to?
  • The pass interference on Nigel Bethel was so bad that 3 different referees threw flags. (Side note – Swoopes threw it 60 yards in the air. Impressive.)
  • Really nice job by Swoopes to extend the 4th quarter TD play with his legs. Shipley came all the way across, eventually getting open, and the only reason Swoopes had time to find him is because of his scramble.
  • The touchdown drive at the end of the 3rd/beginning of the 4th quarter was 9 plays, 89 yards and almost 4 minutes long. That’s the kind of drive that should put a home team to bed.
  • Daje Johnson’s 4th quarter carry reminded everyone what a difference-maker he can be.
  • Another rushing TD for Malcolm Brown and the Horns are off to the races. This offense is good when in rhythm. This game is also the first opportunity they’ve had to call a punishing running game for three quarters and then enjoy the dividends in the 4th quarter.
  • Mykkele Thompson’s 4th quarter interception punctuated a night where the DB’s had plenty of chances for more picks.

Two takeaways

  • John Harris, Quandre Diggs, Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray all played angry tonight.
  • That was a patient win. Most of the players in post-game talked about the week the team had in practice. Their confidence showed tonight. While message boards and Twitter were exploding, the team stayed the course.

Notable Stat’s

  • In the first half, Malcolm Brown rushed for 73 yards and John Harris had 123 receiving yards. That’s 85% of the team’s total yardage.
  • Texas had 231 yards and 17 points in the 1st half. Texas had 238 yards and 17 points in the second half.
  • Only 5 penalties…but they were 50 costly yards.
  • Texas finished the game 5 of 16 on 3rd downs.
  • 5 Texas trips to the red zone and 4 touchdowns. That works.
  • 9 solo tackles (13 total) for Steve Edmond.
  • 10 PBU’s for the defense, including 4 by Duke Thomas.
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Haven't had a chance to rewatch, Matt, but on one of Tech's drives when they were having success, Poona was in for Big Malc.  That is a huge drop-off and to be expected.  The big man needs the occasional breather.  It is unfortunate that his best backup is a true freshman.  Good for Poona for making the two deep.  Bad for the previous regime for leaving the roster depleted.


I will rewatch, and it may not be today, have some work to catch up on.  You probably picked it up, but it deserves a mention.  Big Malc is dominating, and it is not a criticism of Poona to say he is not as dominating as the Junior, soon to be NFL draft pick, at least he is not as dominating, yet.


One other thing that I believe is a compliment to Strong.  It seems that other coaches are changing their game plans to play Texas, due to Strong/Bedford's defensive prowess.  I may very well be wrong, and it can be argued, but I think they respect Strong and his command of defense - a lot!  We will be a force to be reckoned with, very soon!


Hook 'em!


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Have to give credit to the Tech RB's credit for playing a good game against the Texas D. DeAndre Washington gobbled some yards against Texas. ShifTy guy that made some nice cuts.

I told ha to watch out for him. Their running game is not bad. And having to use a 3rd string walk-on forced them to rely on it more than usual. Kid is electric.

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My take aways differed somewhat.


The Negatives:

1.  Our MLB's simply suck.  And, they have sucked since last year and they will continue to suck until they finally matriculate.  Santos needs to gain weight and play with his hand on the ground.  #33 is almost as bad.  Compared to these two, Scott Derry looked like an All American.  The other LB's, including Hicks, are mediocre at best.

2.  There is not a single, solitary break away threat on the offense - none.

3.  Our super star high school RB's are college busts, IMO.  They are mediocre, at best.  Ho hum!

4.  Our OL is on a par with Sam Houston State. 

5.  The main man, our QB, is young and inexperienced.

6.  Our receivers scare nobody.


The Positives:

1.  Our coaches are superb and i don't believe there is a college crew in America that could have and could do a better job with the mullets and scrubs Strong and his bunch have had to work with.

2.  Our overall  defense is above average and have had to face the most powerful offenses in the country - and have gone toe to toe with them.

3.  Jaxon could catch a 30 - 30 rifle bullet.

4.  We are playing tough - on both sides of the ball.  We just aren't that talented.


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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    W 38-18
    L 21-40
    W 58-0
    Texas Tech
    W 70-35
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    Oklahoma State
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    Kansas State
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