Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was asked again Monday about the Red Raiders’ conservative three-play series late in regulation against TCU. Trying to protect a 36-33 lead, Tech opted for three running plays then punted as the clock dwindled from 2:23 to 1:20.
The play selection became a topic of debate after TCU subsequently drove 56 yards for the tying field goal, forcing overtime and grabbing momentum.
“They made one good drive before that. We didn’t think they could do it again, but they did,” Tuberville said. “ ... We always go back and look at those scenarios of what decision we made, why we made it, would we change it?”
Tech took possession at its own 49-yard line after recovering an onside kick, and the runs went nowhere. Eric Stephens made 1 yard on first down out of the wildcat formation, then 2 on second down. On third-and-7, Sadale Foster took a snap in the wildcat and was thrown for a 2-yard loss.
By calling three rushing plays, the Red Raiders forced TCU to use its last two timeouts. Then Tech let the clock run after the third-down play before taking a delay-of-game penalty in punt formation.
Tech was one first down away from running out the clock with kneeldowns.
“Probably, you’d like to say, ‘Hey, man, we should have gone out there and tried to make that first down by throwing one or two',” Tuberville said. “But what if you throw it to them and they run it back?”
Tech QB Seth Doege has had six interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, in the last four games.
Tuberville called the situation "probably the hardest point of the game to coach."
“Now that it’s over with and we won it, we made the right decision,” Tuberville said. “But if we hadn’t (won), it would have been the wrong one.”