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Williams: At least there will be a bowl game

Big 12 competition has a way of wrecking plans

Posted: November 26, 2012 - 12:10am  |  Updated: November 26, 2012 - 1:14am

The day Texas Tech became bowl eligible — Oct. 20, earlier than nearly anyone expected — Tommy Tuberville happily but quickly steered the conversation in other directions.

Tech had just eked out a 56-53 triple-overtime win at TCU and, while Tuberville acknowledged 2012 wouldn’t end the way 2011 did — with no bowl game — he vowed his team wasn’t going to stop there.

The Red Raiders had five weeks left, plenty of time to accrue several more skins.

. Tech dropped four of its last five — lopsided losses at Kansas State and Oklahoma State, close calls against Texas and Baylor — and even winning a bowl game might not change the tone of the last month.

The Red Raiders intend to try.

“I think we’ll bounce back pretty smoothly,” middle linebacker Will Smith said after the 52-45 overtime setback Saturday against Baylor. “It was a tough loss. It hurts just like the one last week, but we’ve got to get over it and get on to the next game and try to finish the season out strong.”

The Red Raiders, though better on defense, weren’t as good as they thought around midseason they were going to be. Sometimes the offense failed to generate points to match its yardage. Or, like Saturday, when the yards and points were there, so were too many turnovers.

And injuries, the bane of Tuberville’s first two years at Tech, set again in the second half of this season.

Six games without tight end Jace Amaro and four without fullback Omar Ontiveros made the offense more one-dimensional. Losing Amaro and wide receivers Javon Bell, Bradley Marquez and Alex Torres hurt the passing game. At times, Seth Doege seemed to look almost exclusively for Eric Ward and Darrin Moore.

The games didn’t get any easier either. Tech beat the defending Big East champions and the defending Mountain West champions, but the rest of the Big 12 was a bear.

“We played hard,” Tuberville said. “We’d like to have a couple of these games back. Some of the teams we played were on a roll by the time we played them, but we held our own with most of them. We gave ourselves a chance in most. A couple of them we didn’t. But we played a lot of good teams in a row.”

More than once in the last month, I saw a Tech player choke up talking about a tough loss. I never got the sense they were giving in when they weren’t getting the job done. In that regard, they were better this season than last season.

“I feel like all the losses we took this year, the tough losses, we never got down,” said Moore, who has 13 touchdown catches. “We came back the next day ready to work. We never held our heads low. We came back and we got right back at it.”

After a 7-5 regular season, the Red Raiders have a few weeks left to maintain their resolve. The best thing that could happen for Tech would be to snare an invitation to the Holiday Bowl, which remains possible and would be the game in which the Red Raiders would face the best opponent.

No. 16 Oregon State, which will be 9-3 once it disposes of non-conference opponent Nicholls State this weekend, is going to be available to the Holiday Bowl. So will at least one other ranked Pac-12 team, maybe No. 17 UCLA, which is 9-3.

Either would give the Red Raiders a legitimate opponent to keep them motivated in December. And a legitimate team to beat.

Otherwise, it’s shaping up as a long offseason. If it isn’t already.


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don.williams@lubbockonline.com • 766-8734

george.watson@lubbockonline.com • 766-2166

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Leach is at WSU

And has been gone for three years. You might as well talk about Spike. Along those same lines, nash, youre obviously right. A championship around here is a pipe dream, maybe not even that. Plus, he lied to the public and lost any credibility he had. Time for a change.



I did cover Spike as well as Jerry Moore, Rex Dockery,etc with my 40 year statement. Tired of the frustration. Let's move on and unite once again. We can do better. I would even be willing to take a risk on Kingsbury as head coach although I'm not sure that is the best option at this time.



Heres the problem, without unearthing old bones. Someone (we all know who) is going to have to swallow some pride before Tubs is "let loose". My idea, if I was Hocutt - which I aint. Would be to allow him to walk "because of personal obligations, problems, issues, etc", then bring in Kingsbury, who all the fans would be on board with, or Dykes. But, regardless, Hocutt will have to have the Pope's blessing. Good luck on that one. Even then, whos to say we dont get into a Jerry Jones type situation where that idiot only wants "his type" of coach. One that will brown nose the regents, etc.



Any option out there is better than what we got now.


Bowl hopes

Any bowl you can attend with a losing record*, isn't worth sh**! *See Texas Tech

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