Texas Tech Gets Beat by Oklahoma Before the Game Even Starts
There are times in a season where the rosters are so drastically mismatched that the game is decided before kickoff. Once in a blue moon, a team will overcome the vast talent chasm and the underdog will prevail, but most often, the team that should win the game does.
Generally, though, you would like the underdog to act like they want to win for a quarter or two before giving up.
On Saturday in Texas Tech's 55-16 loss against Oklahoma, the Red Raiders did not get that.
New head coach Matt Wells started the "conservative" option at QB, and then called a rudimentary game plan with zero pizzazz or chance for the remainder of the game, even after getting down 17-0.
There was no fire or passion from the team. It was like the Red Raiders punched the clock because they had to so they could get to the next week. The defense gave up big play after big play, and missed several tackles per drive, giving up 644 yards.
Oklahoma scored on 9 of their 14 drives. Two of those drives ended in punts, Jalen Hurts threw an interception and Oklahoma had the ball at the end of both halves.
Offensively, well...is there a word that is more conservative than 'conservative'? The offense put forth by Yost and Wells was cautious, circumspect, muted, repressed, and inconspicuous. It was more mouse than lion.
With that in mind, I didn't hate what I saw. The running game looked good, with around 200 yards gained. Meanwhile, Jett Duffey flashed his vision several times over the middle of the field. Duffey threw a touchdown that got called back, and another that hit the ground after being corralled in the back of the end zone by receiver T.J. Vasher.
If you squint and cock your head to the side, there were some solid building blocks on offense.
I think part of the problem is that Wells is in this for the long haul. This is year one in a rebuild. And week four of year one in a rebuild. He doesn't trust his roster completely because it isn't his.
Do I agree with kicking field goals when your team is down 17 inside the 10 yard-line? No. Do I like punting on 4th and 3 when you're down 30? No. But I do understand that it's very early in the process, and that Matt Wells conceded that game very early on. (And the kicker needs work, too.)
By the way, Trey Wolff was 3-3, and Austin McNamara averaged 48 yards per punt on his six attempts.
The bottom line is, Texas Tech did not try to win today. But that doesn't mean that Matt Wells doesn't have a plan to win later on.