This wasn’t the 56-53 triple overtime game it was last year.
“I don’t know what type of game that was, but we won,” Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
In a conference heralded for its unrealistic offensive numbers, the defense controlled this Big 12 opener for Texas Tech and TCU Thursday night in Jones AT&T Stadium in front of 58,702 fans.
And Tech’s defense got the better of TCU — again and again and again.
Though the Red Raiders gave up 401 yards, they limited the damage from six TCU trips into Tech territory.
“That’s a talented offense with some really good playmakers,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “To hold that team to 10 points with all the bad situations we put them in is an incredible feat.”
Safety Tre Porter and linebacker Will Smith had nine tackles apiece, linebacker Terrance Bullitt broke up four passes and safety J.J. Gaines and noseguard Jackson Richards both had interceptions.
The Red Raiders shut out the Horned Frogs in the first half, the first time they held an opponent scoreless since 2010 against Weber State and the first time since 2009 against a Big 12 foe in Kansas State.
It wasn’t until the second play in the second half that the Horned Frogs’ offense crossed the 50-yard line.
Texas Tech allowed only 133 yards of total offense for TCU in the first half — 66 yards on the ground and 67 yards through the air.
“Texas Tech defense, this year we’re trying to make a statement that we’re out here trying to play defense, too,” Smith said. “It’s not just an offensive school, but we do play defense. That’s the standards we’re trying to set from here on out.”
The Red Raiders kept up the defensive momentum in the second half. On the first series of the third quarter, the Horned Frogs opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 44, but running back Aaron Green who ran into defensive lineman Kerry Hyder and Smith for no gain.
Later in the third quarter, after TCU drove inside the Tech 30, noseguard Jackson Richards sat in a passing lane and intercepted a pass into the middle.
“From the beginning we’re going out,” Bullitt said. “(We’re going to) come out, play with kerosene, a body full of kerosene and play like we’re on fire.”
Jaden Oberkrom’s 37-yard field goal finally got TCU on the board at the 6:11 mark of the third quarter.
That adds up to 38 minutes and change that the Horned Frogs went scoreless against the Red Raiders.
“It was the best defensive performance I’ve been a part of since I’ve been a coach,” Kingsbury said. “We put them in bad spots all night. We kept stepping up, turning them over and getting stops against a talented offense and a really talented quarterback. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
For the game, junior middle linebacker Sam Eguavoen was credited with eight tackles, Gaines with seven and Bullitt, Robertson and sophomore middle linebacker Micah Awe with six each.