With the non-conference wrapped up, it is time to move on to conference play in the Big 12. There was a full slate of games this weekend, but few were bigger than the one going on in Lubbock, Texas between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The Longhorns came into the game with a 2-1 record with their lone loss coming from Alabama. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is fresh off a disappointing road loss to NC State last weekend.
It’s always crazy when these two schools meet up in Lubbock and that was the case once again on Saturday afternoon with this one going to overtime. Here are my three thoughts on Texas Tech’s 37-34 win over Texas.
1. Texas is Still Texas
There were a lot of people talking about how different this Texas team was compared to years past. They played tough against Alabama but lost and many folks thought that they were the real deal even after struggling against UTSA last weekend. However, this Texas team isn’t much different than years past.
I understand Quinn Ewers is still injured but the offensive gameplan was questionable at best. Texas failed to use Bijan Robinson because they simply didn’t give him the ball enough. He is their best player on offense, yet he only touched the ball 17 times on Saturday. I know he had the costly fumble in overtime, but you have to give your best player the football. There also was a noticeable drop off in the passing game once Xavier Worthy left. And please, get rid of the wildcat because it doesn’t work.
Defensively, I am not sure why Texas decided to not bring more pressure throughout the game. The few times they brought pressure they were able to rattle Donovan Smith a little and then they stopped. However, they were also probably exhausted because Texas Tech had 100 plays off offense.
2. Donovan Smith Should Remain the Starter for Texas Tech
I know that eventually Tyler Shough will come back for Texas Tech, but I feel like Donovan Smith gives this team the best chance at winning games. I said that in the offseason, and I still feel that way through four games. Smith went 38/56 for 331 yards and had three total touchdowns against the Longhorns. His favorite target was Myles Price as he connected with him 13 times in this game. Plus, he adds a ton of value in the run game because he is a problem in the red zone and short yardage. From here on out, Donovan Smith should be the guy at quarterback for Texas Tech.
3. Joey McGuire Took Chances and It Paid Off
There were times throughout the game where I was questioning the decisions of Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire. Time after time, he kept going for it and to his credit, it worked out. The Red Raiders offense attempted eight fourth downs and they were able to convert six of them. Not many coaches in college football would be willing to take chances like that but in the end, it paid off. Joey McGuire brought a lot of hype with him to this program and so far, he has delivered. Jones AT&T Stadium was rocking, the tortillas were flying and for the first time since the Michael Crabtree catch in 2008, Texas Tech beat Texas in Lubbock.