The month of November is one of my favorite months of the entire year. You have Thanksgiving and of course a whole lot of football. While the turkey and dressing may steal the spotlight, for college football fans, this month is known as championship November.
Going into the weekend, there is a five-way tie for first place in the Big 12. But before we get there, we had some Thursday night action in Lubbock as the Texas Tech Red Raiders hosted the TCU Horned Frogs. With both teams fighting for bowl eligibility and the saddle, this game had plenty of importance. In the end, it was the Red Raiders who came out on top 35-28. Here are my three thoughts on the game.
Welcome Back Behren Morton
Ever since the second half of the Kansas State game, Texas Tech had been without backup quarterback Behren Morton. He went down with an injury in that game three weeks ago and made his return on Thursday night against TCU. In his absence, third-string quarterback Jake Strong filled in and no disrespect to Jake but he’s not Behren Morton.
Behren finished the game going 28/36 for 282 yards and two passing touchdowns. His three favorite targets were Xavier White, Coy Eakin, and Myles Price. Alongside the efficiency in the passing game, it was refreshing to see running back Tahj Brooks get 31 carries. Tahj rushed for 146 yards and a score and at times like this, it looked like TCU wanted no part of him.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this offense on Thursday was their third down conversions. Texas Tech went 7/18 on third down and 2/3 on fourth down. When it mattered most, the Red Raiders moved the chains more often than not. Due to the offense moving the football, they were able to keep the football for nearly 35 minutes of this game. It was a great night for this offense, and I must give credit to offensive coordinator Zach Kittley who I have been hard on over the last few weeks. Also, the saddle is back in Lubbock for the first time since 2018.
TCU Missed Opportunities
I admire the toughness of TCU quarterback Josh Hoover. He had little to no protection from his offensive line and spent most of the game running for his life, yet he made some plays to keep TCU in this game. Josh had some excellent throws on third down to keep the offense moving but he also made some bad mistakes.
Late in the third quarter, TCU had a one-point lead and had the ball on their own 21-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Josh threw an interception to give Texas Tech great field position. Then with a chance to tie the game late, he threw another pick that ended the game. Josh certainly had his good moments on Thursday night, but he also had some bad ones too.
While the offense had their fair share of struggles, so did the defense. They let Texas Tech control the game and they couldn’t get off the field on third down. I know the offense put them in tough spot in the third quarter, but I didn’t like the way this defense played at all outside of the third quarter.
Who is Going Bowling?
Both Texas Tech and TCU are now sitting at 4-5 after this game. They each have three games left and need to win two more to become bowl eligible. For the Red Raiders, they still have to play Kansas, UCF, and Texas. As for TCU they still have Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma.
I am sorry TCU fans, but I don’t see how this team can win two out of their last three to get to six wins. This was a must win game for them and they blew it. As for Texas Tech, I have a little more faith in them with a healthy Behren Morton. They are good enough to beat UCF and will need to beat either Texas or Kansas to get to that magic number. Maybe they can take this possum with them next weekend to Lawrence as a good luck charm.