The regular season is in the books and now it is time for bowl season. Eight Big 12 teams will be playing over the next few days and Texas Tech is up next. The Red Raiders finished the regular season with a 7-5 record and earned themselves a trip to Houston where they faced Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl. Tech put on quite the show inside NRG Stadium with a big 42-25 victory. Here are my four thoughts on the game.
1. The Defense Stepped Up
It’s not often Texas Tech gets praise for their defensive efforts, but they earned it on Wednesday night. Sure, they gave up some yardage but holding Ole Miss to 25 points isn’t bad at all. What really stood out to me was the forced turnovers. The Red Raiders defense had five takeaways in this game which helped the offense in a big way. I felt like whenever Tech needed to make a play, they got the ball back. And speaking of getting the ball back, how about their fourth down defense? Ole Miss was just 2/7 on fourth down. I know the offense will steal the headlines, but this defense deserves some praise.
2. Tyler Shough Was Awesome
Tyler has had some up and down moments throughout his time in Lubbock, but he truly is a good quarterback. Unfortunately, he battled some injuries this year but when he came back, he looked like his old self. Against Ole Miss, he put the offense on his back as he threw 242 yards and a score. But what was even more impressive was the job he did in the run game. Shough ran for over 100 yards and had two rushing touchdowns. I know the defense put him in some great spots, but he certainly delivered.
3. What a Year for Texas Tech
The Red Raiders haven’t gone bowling much lately. Prior to the arrival of Joey McGuire, Texas Tech has only gone to one bowl in the last four years (2018-2021). It took just one season under Joey McGuire to get to a bowl game. While that may not be impressive, just look at what the man has done in his first season in Lubbock. He finished fourth in the Big 12 which is Tech’s highest finish since 2009 and he also had a winning record in Big 12 play which is the highest since 2009 as well. The last time Texas Tech won eight games in a season? It was 2013 which was Kliff Kingsbury’s first year as a head coach. Joey McGuire has done so much in such a short period of time at Texas Tech, and I am glad they extended his contract. For the first time in a long time, I am excited for the future of Texas Tech football, and you should be too.
4. The Big 12 is on the Board
It took four games but the Big 12 is finally won a bowl game thanks to Texas Tech. Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Kansas fell short in their games which gave the conference an 0-3 record. The Big 12 needed to get into the win column and Texas Tech delivered in a big way. On Thursday, the conference will get two more tries with Texas and Oklahoma.