Texas Tech Gives Cowboys a 50-Burger as Early Christmas Gift
Texas Tech outgained Oklahoma State by nearly 100 yards. Alan Bowman threw for 372 yards. SaRodorick Thompson and Xavier White led the way for 258 yards rushing with 6.8 yards per attempt. They won the turnover battle with a +1 difference. The Texas Tech offense scored six times while the Oklahoma State offense only mustered five scores.
All of that should seemingly add up to a Red Raiders win, but the Oklahoma State Cowboys would finish in the lead, 50-44.
Here's how it all happened.
The Red Raiders opened up with the ball, getting one first down before flaming out and punting to the Cowboys to start. Oklahoma State would respond by driving down the field with little effort before the Texas Tech defense showed up and forced a missed field goal attempt.
Alan Bowman would lead the Red Raiders back onto the field and get to 4th and one immediately. SaRodorick Thompson would get the first. The Red Raiders would get right back into a 4th and short situation. This time, Thompson would get the first down, and way more, with a 59-yard touchdown.
The Cowboys would respond with an eight-play drive of their own, culminating in a Dezmon Jackson touchdown run.
The 2nd quarter would open with a couple of punts before Oklahoma State would strike again with a six-play drive and another Jackson touchdown run. Not to be outdone, Texas Tech would finish an 85-yard drive and a 24-yard Thompson touchdown to respond and make it 14-14.
Dezmon Jackson, who was making his first start as a Cowboy, would help Spencer Sanders down the field on a 10-play, 75-yard drive and finish it with his third straight touchdown run, making it 21-14 Cowboys.
After a Red Raider three-and-out, Colin Schooler would force a fumble and the Red Raiders would recover. They would set up the FG and cut the lead to four points. The half would end with the Cowboys leading, 21-17.
The third quarter was all Texas Tech early. Zech McPearson would open with an interception. Then, they'd force an OSU punt after wide receiver Erik Ezukanma fumbled right back. The two teams would trade a few punts before Bowman connected with Ezukanma for a 48-yard touchdown. Texas Tech would have their first lead of the game, but it would be short-lived.
Matt Wells would try an onside kick on the ensuing opportunity and Oklahoma State would run it back for a touchdown. The next drive for Texas Tech? An Alan Bowman pick-six. If you blinked, you'd have missed how the Cowboys went up by 10 points to make it 34-24.
To Texas Tech's credit, they didn't quit. A two-play drive would end on a 70-yard touchdown run by Xavier White. At this point in the quarter, Texas Tech's defense had allowed only 25 yards and zero points. The Cowboys would wake up with three straight plays of 20-plus yards, with the third one ending in the end zone for Tylan Wallace.
Texas Tech would head into the fourth quarter with a Myles Price fumble and trailing 41-31.
The 4th quarter continued the craziness with an Oklahoma State drive that stayed on the ground all the way to a nine-yard Spencer Sanders touchdown run. A Bowman intentional grounding in the endzone would swing the Oklahoma State lead all the way to 50-31. Game over, right? Not so fast.
Bowman would lead a 10-play, 90-yard touchdown drive culminating in a Ezukanma touchdown grab from 32-yards out. A missed two-point conversion would cut the lead to 50-37. The defense would then immediately force a turnover. Bowman would lead another touchdown drive with a pass to Loic Fouonji for 31 yards. Score: 50-44, OSU.
A failed onside kick would give the ball back to Oklahoma State with 1:46 left in the game -- and with the Red Raiders retaining all three of their timeouts.
Texas Tech's defense would bow up and force a 4th down. Oklahoma State would get 24 yards on the 4th and short and kneel out the game.
Final score: 50-44.
I keep going back to the sequence of the onside-kick return immediately going into a pick-6 for the Cowboys going from a four-point lead for the Red Raiders to a 10-point deficit. If the Red Raiders had kept the momentum and kicked it deep, what would have happened? Would Alan Bowman have felt the need to force a ball on the next drive? Would the defense have had the lapse on the next drive?
College football more than any other sport is a game of momentum. The first failed onside kick gifted the momentum back to Oklahoma State and felt like the move of a desperate coach who didn't trust his team to keep it up.
The players on the field shouldn't have to continually make up for the coach's decisions. This is yet another game where the Red Raiders are needing to do just that and not coming up with enough plays to make up for the wild decisions from the coaching staff.
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