• Comment

Turnover disparity at heart of Tech's second-half slide

Red Raiders end season on five-game stretch without a takeaway

Posted: November 25, 2012 - 9:47pm  |  Updated: November 26, 2012 - 1:14am
Back | Next
Baylor's Nick Florence is tacken down by Texas Tech's Cody Davis during their game on Saturday in Arlington. (Zach Long)  Zach Long
Zach Long
Baylor's Nick Florence is tacken down by Texas Tech's Cody Davis during their game on Saturday in Arlington. (Zach Long)
Get your A-J Media Digital Subscription now!

Cornelius Douglas swallowed hard and shook his head as he struggled tried to explain the why of it all.

The senior cornerback had been at the heart of a four-takeaway performance two months ago against Iowa State in the Big 12 opener, when a ball-hawking secondary (three interceptions) and a relentless defensive line (one forced fumble) led the Red Raiders to a 24-13 victory.

On Saturday, though, that performance seemed more like two years ago, as Tech (7-5, 4-5 in Big 12 Conference play) faced questions about its fifth straight game — and sixth in its last seven — without a takeaway following a 52-45 overtime loss to Baylor.

“You really can’t call it,” Douglas said. “It’s just how the ball plays. If a turnover is going to happen, it’s going to happen. Some players are able to make turnovers, and we just weren’t able to capitalize on doing that.”

As a result, Tech couldn’t make wins happen in the season’s second half, losing four of its last five games and needing double overtime against Kansas to secure its only victory in that stretch. The Red Raiders forced three turnovers during a 56-53 triple-overtime win Oct. 20 against TCU that pushed their record to 6-1. But during its 1-4 finish, Tech didn’t have any takeaways while turning the ball over 11 times of its own.

“I think we set a national record of six games without a turnover,” Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said, “and that’s pretty hard to do.”

Though five consecutive games without a takeaway isn’t believed to be a record — a check of the NCAA’s online record book didn’t reveal the stat — the stretch did put Tech near the bottom of the country, tied for 106th, in turnover margin. The 10 turnovers forced by the Red Raiders this season are second fewest in the nation.

Tech’s defense, of course, made strides this season. The Red Raiders rank 39th in total defense at 366 yards per game. That’s 75 spots better than where the unit finished each of the previous two seasons. But the inability to change momentum with turnovers clearly hampered the team in the season’s second half.

By contrast, Oregon ranks 46th in total defense (382), but the Ducks have forced a nation-leading 38 turnovers, creating short-field situations for its potent offense. It’s the same formula Oklahoma State used last season en route to a Big 12 title: A statistically average defense making plays when they mattered most. The Cowboys had 44 takeaways last year, five more than any other major-college team.

On offense, Tech’s 22 turnovers were tied for 72nd in the country, but they often showed up at the worst times. Of those giveaways, 13 came in Tech’s five losses.

No more was the crippling disparity more apparent than Saturday, when the Red Raiders gave it away four times — and never took one back — in a seven-point overtime loss. It was a game — more than any other this season — that left Tech and its fans to ponder the “what if.”

 

To comment on this story:

nick.kosmider@lubbockonline.com

• 766-8735

george.watson@lubbockonline.com

• 766-2166

  • Comment

Comments (19)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
3
0

If ifs and buts were candy

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts , we would all have a merry Christmas. Ba Humbug!We stink.

3
0

i used to wonder

i used to wonder why Tech would always "defer" when we won the coin toss. - the opponent always got to receive the kick & be on offense.

now i know. Tubs thought the opponent would have a longer distance to cover that way.

because if we received we'd be 3 & out & the punt would let opponent get the ball near mid-field.

I think Tubs should acknowledge that 25 yard line or mid-field doesn't make that much difference the way our defense plays.

6
2

Yeah like some guy on another thread said

We were only a bunch of turnovers, a bunch of penalties, a bunch of injuries, and a bunch of points away from being 12-0.

3
0

Next Year

Where will we be next year. A solid defensive line. An experienced MLB. No one in the secondary that is reliable.

The offense will have a new/inexperienced QB. Depth at Running Back. A good receiver corps if Amaro is back. Plenty of holes in the O- line, especially at tackle.

Right now 7-5 looks pretty good to me,

4
2

Points of interest

Of our 7 wins, 2 were against winning teams. The cumulative record of the 7 teams we beat is 31-49. Our conference record over the past three years is 9-17. There has already been an article posted tonight reinforcing the idea that our bad luck due to injuries is of biblical proportions and affects Tech, but, I suppose is scarcely a problem for other teams. Again, no front office accountability, its pure bum luck, doggone it. Im like most, Tubs is toast with the vast majority of the fan base, but, most likely will get another shot from those who are, in the end, going to look stupid after hailing him as so much better than the last guy. Or, they allow him to "resign because his cat has the flu and he has obligations to him", kind of the type of non- self incriminating release the arranged with Gillespie.

4
3

coyote the misquoter

Mr. Coyote, please re-read my comment on the other thread. In it I point out some realities that took place and I put us at 9 wins without mentioning injuries and leaving Doege's problems in the mix against Baylor. My point is that we aren't far away and I'm quick to point out how much better that is than last year. Also, you can run down our opponents and maybe their final records weren't shiny but they were ranked when we played them!

4
3

AJ....

Why don't you write an article calling tuberville out on the promises he made when he took over as HC? He hasn't delivered what he promised and should be called out!! Not too much to ask after 3 yrs on the job.

2
1

Scarlet

Doesnt matter what was. Part of the reason they arent ranked now is we beat them. Speaking of reality, thats the reality.

3
0

Scarlet

part of the reason THEY were ranked then was the same reason WE were ranked then .... we hadn't played anybody worth a crap. Here are the records of the teams we beat ...

Northwestern State 4-7 Texas State 3-8 New Mexico 4-9 Iowa State 6-6 WVU 6-5 TCU 7-4 Kansas 1-10

TCU was the only decent team that Tech beat and we did it overtime and are lucky that the refs forgot about the offensive interference rule because thats how we scored our last 2 touchdowns ... pushed the cornerback down and caught the ball.

WVU was on a roll when we beat them but they had already proven to have one of the worst defenses in all of Div 1

Iowa State was average and Tech had the incentive to avenge the embarrassing loss from 2011.

All 4 of our other wins were against hapless teams. Even one of these wins was an EMBARRASSING overtime win against a awful Kansas team.

Scarlet, look back up at the first comment on here "if if's and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry christmas" ... TAKE THAT TO HEART. The fact is, Tech isn't very good. Tuberville has taken what was a VERY GOOD college football program and has it mired in mediocrity.

4
2

Why Should Tech Deserve A Bowl Game

Why should Tech go to a bowl with this resume. Here are the records of Tech's ONLY wins..Northwestern State 4-7, Texas State 3-8, New Mexico 4-9, Kansas 1-10, Iowa State 6-6, WVU 6-5, TCU 7-4. TCU was the only decent team that Tech beat and we did it in overtime and are lucky that the refs forgot about the offensive interference rule because thats how we scored our last 2 touchdowns ... pushed the cornerback down and caught the ball. WVU was on a roll when we beat them but they had already proven to have one of the worst defenses in all of Div 1. Iowa State was average and Tech had the incentive to avenge the embarrassing loss from 2011. All 4 of our other wins were against hapless teams. Even one of these wins was an EMBARRASSING overtime win against an awful Kansas team.The fact is, Tech isn't very good. Tuberville has taken what was a VERY GOOD college football program and now it's a low budget program at best.

6
0

Massive Coaching Failure

No one has focused on the extremely poor clock management that cost Tech 7 points at the end of the first half. And without those points and the momentum that came with them, the game would have effectively been over - Tech win!

Inside the 5 yard line, and with a time out, Tech had an opportunity to make sure Baylor would have no time left for a half ending score (whether or not Tech scored).

Tech on second down went into the wildcat and snapped early in the play clock (preserving significant time for Baylor). When that 2nd down play lost yardage, Tech immediately called time out rather than allowing the play clock to run down before doing so (again preserving almost 30 seconds for Baylor).

Tech fumbled on 3rd down. That was not expected. But even if that had not happened, and Tech had scored on third or fourth down, Tech had saved Baylor enough time to take the kickoff and score!

That is just poor coaching and not what should be expected from an experienced head coach earning $2million per year.

And I can't help but add, penalties can happen ant time, to anyone. But well coached teams are not consistently hurt by penalties. Ask Bill Snyder. And yet every week Tuberville complains of penalties!

2
0

Two Million Dollars of Mediocrity

When I say that Tuberville is two million dollars of mediocrity I am being kind. As numerous posters/alumni/fans have shown: Tuberville has done a very poor job of bringing this team around. One only has to look at his conference record and the consistent team meltdowns to find evidence of his poor coaching. While this coach would not even come close to being able to call this a winning season if it were not for the laughable pre-conference schedule, at best we can say he is mediocre. Is he really worth TWO million dollars a year? The fact that TTU just cut its library budget by ONE Million dollars--the library is the very heart of Tech's academic mission--while we pay a man who lies, who refuses to lead, who refuses accountability for his team's poor performance, and who regularly shows poor judgement or coaching acumen is reprehensible. It is a DISGRACE that this man is paid such an obscene amount of money for "turning" Texas Tech into a powerhouse seventh in the Big 12. (To be truly mediocre you have to be in the middle, and Tech is not even there).

I wonder how parents, alumni, and students feel about lack of access to academic books, journals, and research necessary to learn and stay abreast of his/her respective field of study while the football "coach" is making more money than almost anybody at the university. It is a very sad irony, but it certainly does speak volumes about this administration. Tuberville is not worth two million dollars of mediocrity.

3
0

Putting up with mediocrity

As a Baylor grad living in west Texas, I always enjoyed watching Tech and wished for the day that we could find a coach that knew how to win. When Art Briles was hired, I was skeptically optimistic. He's proven that a team's CEO can make all the difference.

Under Leach, TT was a team that managed to do more with less than almost any other team in the Big 12(-2). Tuberville, on the other hand, has thrown a consistently winning program into the toilet. If you look at Leach's conference record in his last three years, he was 16-8. In the three years he's been at TT, Tuberville is 9-17 (and that was with Texas having two down years, and not playing A&M this year). That's a pretty huge decrease in conference wins.

As an unbiased bystander, it seems to me that TT alumni need to be more vocal and united in their dealings with the administration. If enough people quit giving money, and quit buying tickets, people might start listening.

Good luck.

0
1

@Insagent

That is a great thought. However as long as Czar Perry runs the state (or maybe the country of Texas) (I wonder if the country of Texas will allow their czar to be anointed czar for life) we are stuck with Hance. And, Hance is not going to admit Tuberville is a failure since he is the one that engineered the scenerio of his hiring.

Baylor is very lucky to have Art Briles. The team shows that it does not give up and keeps going until they win. The Baylor sports program has certainly changed over the years and has improved greatly even with a few missteps in basketball along the way.

0
1

Press Conference

I cannot find any mention of Tuberville's weakly press conference. Could it be he was so euphoric from the last game that he forgot about holding a press conference to discuss the last victory. Oops, now I know, Hance hasn't told him what to say yet.

0
0

@Feaco

Feaco,

Don't get me started on Governor GoodHair. Perry is an elected official, he listens to those that cause the biggest commotion. That's one of the advantages of a private school. The alumni have a lot louder voice because the school relies heavily on donations since they don't get public money.

Getting someone to dig up the details on the accident that Tuberville's wife caused, and resulted in someone's death, would be one way of stoking the fire.

0
0

@Insagent

I have only one thing I might disagree with you on and that is that governor goodhair listens to those that donate more money to his political pacs.

0
0

@ imchimere

you think 2 mill a year is alot of $$$ but if you look at big-12 coaches tubberville is paid 9th out of 10 coaches. Only Paul Rhodes- iowa st is paid less

0
0

I think bills right

And comparatively, Tubs is earning every penny. Perhaps thats what they want. A coach that loses doesnt get as much money. On the bright side though, we dont have to "worry", "hope for", etc about another school coming in and snatching him away (unless, of course, New Home Jr High is looking. Although they probably have a morals clause which would get you fired for lying). Oh well, theres always high school football. And the cowboys. Ok so theres not the cowboys.

Back to Top