by Russell Raunam
Alpha Media Intern
Oregon vs Texas Tech was everything that it was expected to be, and maybe more. We had points, big plays, big turnovers, and the game was in balance until the very last snap. When Tyler Shough found himself with the ball for the last drive of the game down one possession, could he get the win against his former team?
Texas Tech got the scoring started with an 18 yard pass to Myles Price, but Oregon immediately responded with a 72 yard touchdown to Tony Franklin Jr. two plays later to tie things up at seven all.
Oregon scored another touchdown, and after a trick play two point conversion, took the lead 15-7 near the end of the 1st quarter. Texas Tech responded with a solid 15 play, 75 yard drive that ended in a Mason Tharp 7 yard slant route for the touchdown. Texas Tech decided to chase the points and match Oregon’s two point conversion of their own, but failed. After a field goal by Oregon to extend the lead, the two teams entered half 18-13.
Texas Tech had the 3rd quarter they needed, filled with fireworks and potent defense. After getting the ball to start the 2nd half, Texas Tech drove down the field in just five plays ending in a QB scramble from Tyler Shough to take the lead 20-18. Tech’s defense responded to the momentum set by the offense by forcing a three and out, and blocking the punt starting their drive at Oregon’s 41.
In a moment where the home crowd was the loudest all game, Texas Tech now had the ball after a huge turnover and looking to score again. But all the momentum was sucked out of the Jones after Tyler Shough threw an interception on the first play of the drive. It is now Oregon’s ball as if the blocked punt never even happened.
Oregon’s following drive ended in a failed QB sneak in the Red Raiders end zone, and after a trick play double pass, Texas Tech went 83 yards in three plays for another score and went up 27-18. The Lubbock crowd was absolutely rocking.
Bo Nix kept his Ducks in the game, after a 17 play touchdown drive that included multiple 3rd down conversions obtained with his legs. Texas Tech was kicking off the 4th up two with the ball.
Similar to “live and die by the 3-pointer” in basketball, Texas Tech has lived and died by the 4th down in the 15 career games under Head Coach Joey McGuire. So when Texas Tech was staring at a 4th and 2 from their own 33 yard line, Texas Tech put complete faith in Tyler Shough. In a game where Shough finished with 383 total yards and all 4 touchdowns for the Red Raiders, Shough was stuffed on the 4th and 2, completely flipping the game upside down.
Oregon was held to a field goal on the short field, taking a 27-28 lead. Remember that failed two point conversion from the 2nd quarter?
Texas Tech followed Oregon’s field goal of their own, regaining the lead 30-28 with a little of five minutes left.
Oregon’s final drive of the game consisted of Bo Nix dumping short passes to his receivers nickel and dining his way down the field and it worked. Camden Lewis hit a 34 yard field goal to take the lead once again, 31-30 with 1:10 left in the game. Remember that failed two point conversion from the 2nd quarter? That decision by Texas Tech Head Coach Joey McGuire proved to be very crucial.
After getting near the 50 yard line, Tyler Shough felt pressure on 2nd and 5, and while getting tackled for a sack, threw a pass that fell right into defensive lineman Jeffery Bassa’s arms, running it back for a pick 6 with 35 seconds left. Texas Tech fails the hail mary, losing 38-30.
Bo Nix and Tyler Shough battled, combining for 788 yards and 6 touchdowns. The difference maker would come in the turnover department, Tyler Shough threw three interceptions and lost a fumble whereas Bo Nix kept a clean sheet with zero turnovers.
Texas Tech shut down superstar running back Bucky Irving, Irving only rushed for 38 yards with his longest run only going for nine yards. Tahj Brooks totaled 66 yards on the ground, including a big 35 yard run. On only six carries, Tahj Brooks averaged an exceptional 11.0 yards per carry. Both starting running backs ranked 2nd in rushing yards for each team as the QB’s led in way through the air and on the ground.
Texas Tech has dropped to 0-2 for the first time since 1990, but looks to gain their first win of the season vs the high flying offense of Tarleton State. Kickoff is Saturday September 16th, 6:00 pm at Jones AT&T Stadium.