Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville fielded a couple of questions Monday about run calls on third-and-long, a circumstance that's had Red Raiders fans grousing at offensive coordinator Neal Brown this year.
Tech faced third-and-6 or longer 11 times Saturday in a 59-21 loss at Oklahoma State. On those occasions, Tech quarterbacks completed 3 of 9 passes with an interception, a sack, two other quarterback pressures and a touchdown.
The Red Raiders ran twice: a 9-yard gain by Eric Stephens on third-and-15 from the Tech 20 and a 1-yard loss by Sadale Foster on third-and-10 from the Tech 21. Tech trailed 28-7 in the first instance and 45-14 in the second.
“Third-and-15 or 20, I’ll pass that over to y’all and let y’all call those plays,” Tuberville told the media. “Those are hard. What happens is we’ve gone back, and we tend to turn the ball over a little more than we should on those situations, because they’re dropping eight (in coverage). They’re not going to let you throw it in there. You’ve got to be dang near perfect.”
OSU safety Shamiel Gary intercepted Doege on a third-and-15 throw from the Tech 18, setting up the touchdown that moved the Cowboys ahead 21-7. It was Doege’s fourth interception this season on a play from inside Tech’s 40.
“We’ve been trying to play a little field position,” Tuberville said. “A lot of times you’ve to take your medicine and run it, try to get some yards back and punt the ball down the field and play defense. You can’t put everything on the quarterback on every snap.”
Tuberville said on the occasions the Raiders played it safe, the makeup of the offensive line played into it. Left tackle LaAdrian Waddle left with a knee injury early in the second quarter, and the shuffling that resulted left only center Deveric Gallington in his original spot.
“We were having a tough time protecting Seth,” Tuberville said. “We didn’t want to continue to turn (pass rushers) loose.”