The Texas Tech Red Raiders lost to the Oregon Ducks, 38-30, in a non-conference game in Lubbock, Texas. Here are three thoughts on the game.
Battle of Ducks QBs
Tyler Shough transferred away from Oregon after the 2021 season and landed at Texas Tech. Bo Nix transferred from Auburn to Oregon before the 2022 season. It’s rare — but not as rare as it used to be — for quarterbacks that that sort of succession history to face each other on the field.
How did it go?
Well, by halftime the Ducks and Nix had the edge, 18-13. Nix threw for 201 yards and two scores, while Shough had 101 passing yards and two scores. Shough made up for it on the ground, as he rushed for 92 yards, including a long of 58.
So, all things considered, pretty much a draw in the first half.
By game’s end, both had great individual games. Shough threw 282 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 101 yards.
Nix threw for 359 yards and two touchdowns while avoiding an interception. He rushed for another 46 yards.
But, at the end of the game, it was Shough throwing an interception to Oregon’s Jeffrey Bassa that put the Ducks up by eight and in control with less than a minute left.
The Red Raiders Need More Tahj Brooks
On the one hand, when you rush for 174 yards on 32 carries in a game against a team like Oregon, you have to be happy about that.
But Shough ended up being the Red Raiders’ leading rusher with 101 yards. What really stuck out was the number of carries — 23.
The next closest back for the Red Raiders was Tahj Brooks, who ran the ball just six times for 66 yards. That’s a great yards-per-carry average. But let’s not focus on that.
Let’s focus on the fact that Shough carried the ball 23 times.
If the Red Raiders are going to be contenders in the Big 12 and get to Arlington, Shough has to be upright to get there. His arm can make a difference for this team.
By the way, last week against Wyoming, Shough wasn’t the leading rusher. Brooks had 39 yards. Shough had 36 yards. Shough had more carries (15) than Brooks (11).
Why on earth isn’t Brooks getting the football more?
This is the offense and Shough is going to run at times. But he can’t run this much, and if he has to run this much for Tech to be productive and win games, then one has to question the game planning and play-calling. Brooks has rushed for more than 1,500 yards in his college career.
Brooks is a talented back. Let him run and let him run a heckuva lot more than he ran on Saturday night.
How Close or How Far Away?
Texas Tech is 0-2 now. They’ve lost a double-overtime game to Wyoming on the road and lost to a Pac-12 title contender in Oregon on their home field by eight points — but a game that the Red Raiders led with less than two minutes to play.
If we’re being honest, it shouldn’t matter if the Red Raiders lose all three of their non-conference games. What matters is the conference slate and that runs the same for every Big 12 team.
The Red Raiders have played well enough to win both games. They’ve also made enough mistakes to not only lose both of those games, but to give observers pause as to how they’re losing those games.
So what happens now? It’s not time to panic in Lubbock. The talent is there and perspective is needed.
But the Red Raiders also need to get things moving in the right direction. Big 12 play is just two weeks away.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.