The weather in late October may be cooling down but the Big 12 title race is just heating up. There is still plenty at stake for everyone as teams are looking to remain in the hunt. In Provo, Utah, the Cougars were hosting the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Texas Tech is coming off a tough loss to Kansas State last week while BYU got embarrassed in Fort Worth by TCU. Each team already has two losses in conference play so another loss would be devastating to their Big 12 title hopes. In the end, BYU came out on top. Here are my three thoughts on the game.
BYU Got the Job Done
The stat sheet wasn’t exactly a pretty one for BYU’s offense, but they did just enough in this game to win it. Quarterback Kedon Slovis tossed two touchdown passes and didn’t turn the football over which is key. Meanwhile the rushing attack ran for 150 yards and averaged five yards per carry, which was impressive. It also helps when you have receivers making catches like this as well.
While the offense managed to put some points on the board, I was more impressed with BYU’s defense in this game. Last week against TCU they were torched for over 400 yards through the air and gave up 44 points. On Saturday night against Texas Tech, they held the Red Raiders to just 14 points and managed to get five takeaways.
I don’t know what it is about this team at home because they just play differently compared to on the road. Playing in Provo isn’t easy for opposing teams by any means, but it also makes it tougher when the home team plays up to what they are capable of. BYU definitely missed some opportunities in this one, but I felt like they controlled the entire game from start to finish which was impressive.
Texas Tech’s Turnovers Continue
Last week when Behren Morton went down, Texas Tech it was time to bring in third string true freshman quarterback Jake Strong. While I liked the confidence the staff had in him by letting him throw the ball all over the place, he ended up throwing three interceptions that were very costly.
On Saturday against BYU on the road, this offensive staff once again let Jake air it out. And just like last weekend, he threw three interceptions. In fact, it could have easily been five or six if BYU’s defenders could have caught the football. The Red Raiders turned the football over a whopping five times. You simply can’t do that on the road against a good team and expect to win. Defensively I thought Texas Tech played well enough to win and stay in the game but unfortunately the offense held this team back. As much Tech fans hate to hear it, this team is not winning a Big 12 title this year.
Is BYU a Contender?
The Cougars were picked to finish 11th in the Big 12 preseason poll as nobody gave this team a chance. Well, here we are heading into late October, and they are without a doubt in the Big 12 title race. There are a total of nine Big 12 teams who have two or less losses in conference play and BYU is one of them. I know the schedule is going to pick up as they will have to face Texas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State over the next few weeks but don’t count this team out just yet.