Here are five takeaways from Texas Tech’s 70-35 blowout loss against Texas:
Another slow start
Texas Tech’s start to this game didn’t do it any favors. Less than 10 minutes into the first quarter, Texas already established a 14-0 lead. The Longhorns’ offensive line absolutely dominated the Texas Tech front, allowing them to run the ball easily. The talented Bijan Robinson also continuously made plays, totaling 71 scrimmage yards through only the first two drives of the game. The Red Raiders have continuously put themselves in a hole early into games this season, something that’s made it difficult for them to establish the run and execute their offensive game plan.
Easy going on the ground
The Texas Tech defense had seemed to establish an identity for itself early into the season. Opponents struggled to run the ball against the Red Raiders through the first three weeks of 2021, averaging just 1.7 yards per carry. But Texas dominated the ground game today and established it very early into the game. The Longhorns dominated nearly every aspect of the first half, but most notable was the 5.7 yards per carry they averaged.
No pass rush
Not only was the run defense ugly for Texas Tech, but its pass rush was also completely non-existent. Thompson had all day in the pocket, completely unbothered by the Texas Tech defensive front. The Texas offensive line looked dominant throughout this game, and that was especially obvious in the run game. But another confusing adjustment from the Texas Tech defense was the decision to drop eight into coverage for most of the game. The Red Raiders have often rushed only three defenders for most of the last two years, a decision that’s usually haunted them. Through their first three games of the season, the Red Raiders looked much more aggressive and brought blitzes often. That game plan seemingly went out of the window for this game, and the decision to give Thompson more time in the pocket was confusing.
Setting themselves back
If Texas Tech wanted to remain competitive in this game, it needed to force turnovers and establish the run game early. The Red Raiders weren’t able to do either of those things and hurt themselves with mistakes of their own. With leading rusher Tahj Brooks out with a leg injury, it was apparent early that they were in an uphill battle. Tyler Shough threw a pick-six and the run game only picked up 70 rushing yards in the first half. With the Red Raiders unable to do anything to slow down the Longhorns’ defense, their lifelessness of offense dug them in an unrecoverable ditch way too early into this game. At halftime, Texas Tech was down 42-14, an abysmal start that doomed their chances at a victory.
Now without Shough?
In the second quarter, Tyler Shough went down with an injury that would cause him to remain out for the remainder of the game. His injury happened on a play where he threw a pick-six to the Longhorns’ defense. Shough has been inconsistent this season, but also showed some promising flashes. If both Brooks and Shough remain out for an extended amount of time, the Texas Tech offense could have a difficult stretch in front of them. Backup quarterback Henry Colombi did look impressive, however, throwing three deep touchdown passes.
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