Recap: Texas Longhorns 70, Texas Tech Red Raiders 35

Recap: Texas Longhorns 70, Texas Tech Red Raiders 35

Joe Cook22 days
Aritcle written by:Joe CookJoe Cook

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The only thing Texas Tech won was the coin toss. The Texas Longhorns scored five touchdowns on its first five drives, and added a sixth first-half score on a pick-six courtesy of Josh Thompson. At halftime, it was 42-14. After 60 minutes, it was 70-35.

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian went to Bijan Robinson early and often. Texas moved into Red Raider territory, and similar to last week, had to convert a fourth-down on the opening drive. Texas picked it and six points up when Casey Thompson found Robinson on a wheel route for a 38-yard score.

The first offensive drive for the Red Raiders made some progress down the field, but Moro Ojomo helped snuff out Sonny Cumbie’s offense and sent them to the sideline.

The Longhorns took over and marched down the field, boosted by a 22-yard pass from Thompson to Marcus Washington. Roschon Johnson ran it inside the 10, Thompson to the five, and Johnson to the end zone to make it 14-0.

Red Raider quarterback Tyler Shough did his best to keep his team in the game, but Tech was forced to punt the ball away. Keilan Robinson blocked his second punt in as many weeks and Morice Blackwell brought it to the end zone, but Robinson lined up in the neutral zone and was ruled offsides. On the ensuing 4th-and-short for Tech, Shough found the tight end for the conversion and kept moving the ball.

Facing 3rd-and-goal later in the drive, Shough kept the ball, eluded BJ Foster, then dove into the end zone to make it a 14-7 game.

When Thompson and ten other Longhorns took the field in response, they moved down like they had in their other two drives. Using an unbalanced formation and faced with another fouth down, Johnson converted to keep the Texas drive alive near midfield. Thompson maneuvered the offense to the one-yard-line, then added another rushing touchdown with a sneak for the score.

It capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive that wore down the Red Raider defensive front that entered the game as one of the top run-stuffing units in the country.

Red Raider head coach Matt Wells, offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, and the Tech offense tried to revert to its historic, pass-happy DNA in response and it ended up costing them. On a pass intended for Erik Ezukanma, Josh Thompson intercepted it and returned it to the end zone on the first play of the drive to make it 28-7.

When the Texas Tech offense returned, backup quarterback Henry Colombi took the field instead of Shough, who made his way to the locker room. Colombi picked up one first down, then flailed on the Red Raiders’ desperate fourth-down attempt on their own side of the field.

Texas took over on the Tech 40, and moved down the field into a 3rd-and-5 situation. Casey Thompson dropped back and lofted an excellent throw to Xavier Worthy, who brought in the 23-yard pass for six more points.

Down 35-7, Tech didn’t totally give up on the half. They moved down the field thanks to a big run from SaRodorick Thompson, then Colombi found Myles Price downfield for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Again, Foster was in coverage and couldn’t make the play.

With 3:31 left in the half, Texas took over and, as they did every other drive, moved down the field. Some luck was involved as a Casey Thompson pass intended for Joshua Moore sailed over No. 6, but found the waiting hands of Jordan Whittington.

With the clock at 15 seconds, Roschon Johnson took a direct snap and rumbled home for a seven-yard score, making it 42-14 at half.

The Longhorns and Red Raiders traded interceptions after halftime, with Thompson’s pick coming on a ball intended for Whittington in the end zone. Texas Tech couldn’t move forward, and actually moved nearly 20 yards backward thanks to holding penalties and sacks, including one via a unique formation where Texas defenders lined up in an I-formation of sorts.

Alfred Collins recorded the sack, and Tech had to punt. Jamison fielded it and returned it 42 yards to the Red Raider seven.

Bijan Robinson took the first carry of the series to get it to the five. On the next play, Thompson flipped a pass a few feet forward to Whittington, who reached the end zone to make it 49-14.

The Red Raiders did not take long to respond. On the third play of the ensuing drive, Colombi found Loic Fouonji for a 69-yard score. Jamison forced him out of bounds, but Fouonji re-established himself inbounds and hauled in the pass before running untouched to the end zone.

Texas faced a 3rd-and-long on the following chance after Robinson fumbled a ball out of bounds. Thompson found Whittington again, and he scampered 36 yards to pick up the first and move into TTU territory. The next play, Robinson found space and moved Texas into the red zone with a 33-yard rush. Johnson moved Texas to the three, then Thompson found Worthy for a three-yard touchdown pass to help Texas eclipse the 50-point mark.

Though down 35 points, Tech did not go away without effort. On the first play from scrimmage following Worthy’s score, Colombi found Kaylon Geiger for a 75-yard touchdown pass to make it 56-28 with 5:02 left in the third.

The quick turnaround was the worst thing possible for the Red Raider defense. After two quick passes for a first down, Thompson found Worthy over the middle. Worthy spun out of two tackles before turning on the jets and finding the end zone for a 62-yard score and Thompson’s fifth touchdown pass.

Texas Tech drove into Longhorn territory with a few Colombi passes, but faced a fourth down. True freshman Barryn Sorrell brought Thompson down in the backfield to give the ball back to the Longhorns.

The 35-point margin at the end of the third quarter was enough for Sarkisian to place Hudson Card in the game at quarterback. A fresh Keilan Robinson ran through and around the Red Raider defense on the drive, which culminated in a score from the Alabama transfer to make it 70-28.

Second-string Longhorns at several positions filtered onto the field as Texas Tech began its first drive of the fourth quarter. The Red Raiders put together a 14-play drive that included a 4th-and-14 conversion to the Texas two-yard line. Colombi ran it in two plays later to make it 70-35.

Texas was happy to take its time on the next drive with heavy doses of Keilan Robinson and Jonathon Brooks to run clock. True freshman Charles Wright even made it into the game. The Longhorn run game milked most of the remaining 6:40 on the clock before Texas Tech ran a couple of plays to extinguish the clock.