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Eye of the Storm: Red Raiders have rough road ahead

Texas Tech is nearly a four-touchdown underdog for Saturday's game in Arlington

Posted: November 11, 2013 - 12:00am
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Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury stand by as Baker Mayfield walks off the field during their game on Saturday in Lubbock. (Stephen Spillman/AJ Media)  Stephen Spillman/AJ Media
Stephen Spillman/AJ Media
Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury stand by as Baker Mayfield walks off the field during their game on Saturday in Lubbock. (Stephen Spillman/AJ Media)
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Texas Tech detests the thought of going from a 7-0 start to a 7-5 finish. But that prospect is staring the Red Raiders in the face unless they spring an upset in one of their final two regular-season games.

Tech (7-3, 4-3 in the Big 12 Conference) is nearly a four-touchdown underdog for Saturday’s game in Arlington against No. 4 Baylor (8-0, 5-0), and the Red Raiders are almost certain to be an underdog in their regular-season finale at No. 23 Texas (7-2, 6-0), which leads the Big 12.

Tech’s situation grew a little more dire Saturday when the Red Raiders dropped their final home game 49-26 to Kansas State, their third loss in a row.

“We got outcoached. We got outplayed,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “It’s up to us what we’re going to do for the last two weeks. I was disappointed for the seniors. I let them know I appreciate what they’ve done and it’s not the way we want to send them out in their last (home) game, but there’s a lot of football still left to play.”

Tech’s best chance to avoid a late-season collapse might have already passed. Coming off the 7-0 start and a competitive, 38-30 loss at Oklahoma, the Red Raiders needed to take advantage of back-to-back home games against Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

Tech failed to win either, though, and now much come up with come up with a big win on the road to forge a better end to the season.

“I don’t think it’s spiraling out of control,” senior wide receiver Eric Ward said. “We still have two regular-season games left. I mean, we knock off Baylor, have a big win, people tend to forget about what happened this week. You’re only as good as your last (game).

“We need to build on what we didn’t execute on (Saturday), but the sky’s the limit. The season’s not over yet. We’ve still got games to play. We’ve just got to learn from our mistakes and protect the ball.”

Kingsbury might have his biggest coaching yet, trying to rally the team.

“You’ve just got to have leaders step up,” he said. “Like I said, we have a lot to play for. We have a lot of good players in that locker room still. It’s not like we’ve just become a terrible team. We just haven’t played well, and we’ve got to get better.”

At the moment, the Red Raiders aren’t sure what they can depend on. The defense has been steamrolled during the three-game losing streak, dropping from No. 24 to No. 74 against the run. Offensively, Tech has 25 turnovers — more than all but six of the 123 teams in the FBS.

The Red Raiders have committed more turnovers than their opponent in six of seven Big 12 games. They were minus-3 against Kansas State and minus-6 during the three-game losing streak.

In the first half the last two weeks, Tech trailed Oklahoma State 28-3 and Kansas State 35-10. The defense got two quick stops after halftime Saturday and the Red Raiders narrowed the gap to 35-19, but lost momentum with a failed onside kick and an interception that Wildcats safety Ty Zimmerman returned for a touchdown.

“I think our defensive staff did a good job at halftime figuring out what we needed to do and got them off the field,” Kingsbury said. “But at that point, we’re in a big hole, and sometimes it’s too little, too late. As a team, we haven’t started fast the last three weeks and that’s on me as a coach. I’ve got to get them ready to play.”

 

don.williams@lubbockonline.com

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College football

Who: Texas Tech vs. Baylor

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington

Records: Texas Tech 7-3, 4-3 in the Big 12; Baylor 8-0, 5-0.

Rankings (BCS/AP/coaches poll): Texas Tech unranked; Baylor 5/4/4.

Last game: Kansas State 49, Texas Tech 26; Baylor 41, Oklahoma 12.

Last meeting: Baylor 52, Texas Tech 45 (OT).

TV: FOX (channel 34; Suddenlink Cable channel 10)

Line: Baylor by 26.

 

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Maybe coach if you look at

Maybe coach if you look at why defenses just sat on man coverage and played the short game. On the defense maybe find out why they got steam-rolled what would be the cause for that? Turnovers happen with young qbs that are not stars. But a 3 turn overs are better than 1590 yards in offense and no TDs to show for it and a passing completion rate of 43% for passes of 15+ yards for 9 games.

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Maybe coach if you look at

Maybe coach if you look at why defenses just sat on man coverage and played the short game. On the defense maybe find out why they got steam-rolled what would be the cause for that? Turnovers happen with young qbs that are not stars. But a 3 turn overs are better than 1590 yards in offense and no TDs to show for it. Yep beat Baylor and all will be good.

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Come dw, aren't u kenp?

Same ole, same ole.....you could be twins. As to your post, count 6 injuries to starters on defense, "THAT'S WHY", but KK is too proud to make excuses, "THAT'S WHY". As to the 'other post' you made under the article where you claim the coach isn't taking responsibility (your ridiculous comparisons to Tubby and Obama), if you read the article above (the very one you commented on), you would see the following excerpt from KK: “We got outcoached. We got outplayed,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “It’s up to us what we’re going to do for the last two weeks……………..As a team, we haven’t started fast the last three weeks and that’s on me as a coach. I’ve got to get them ready to play.” Your posts are clueless and spiteful, find a new hobby.

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Don't do it

The 26 points may be tempting, but don't take them. It could be far worse that four touchdowns. Tubby left a program in bad shape, with little depth even after his touted "good" recruiting years which have been shown to be anything but. It will take Kliff a while and some actual good recruiting to turn it around.

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@wichita65

So this team and future teams at Tech should just give up? "No more challenging yourself guys, because our past will dictate the future." Look at Tech's past players that are in the NFL. Most of them were not highly recruited, and more than all are big names in the game. Hard work and dedication is the name of the game. It doesn't matter what our past was like, that is such a cop out. Ooooo boooo whoooooo nobody wanted us in the past so were and always be little ole Texas Tech. Poor poor pitiful me. It's a shame that a large collection of our fan-base is a bunch of losers like Wichita, dw, kenp,... . We aren't winning so I am going to bash amateur athletes and really take my 12 year old anger out on a new coach and his staff. If that really satisfies your feelings then you need to grow up! Be a representative of the University, despite if you are hiding behind a fake screen name.

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You have to have the right talent....

to begin to plug gaps, witchita65. Don't go hating on Kliff because he has been stuck with Blunderville's recruiting......that's like continuing to blame George Bush for everything 4 years out which many in the media still do. Kliff doesn't own this yet......not yet. Three years from now, yes, he will own it, good or bad. I think it will be good......no reason not to right now. I wonder just how much you really know about this game based on the comments you make......remember how competitive BU was during the Grant Teaff years? People thought they had arrived and for a long time to come....remember TCU just a few years ago....yes they're having their problems now but they will continue to work hard and be a force to be dealt with again.

I don't see why people never think this can happen for us. I get tired of reading posts like this on the blog......it never stops. I doesn't take long to derail a program and folks we have come very close since the debacle of 2009.......

If you're not a believer get off the blog and go whine somewhere else.

Guns Up!!!!!!!

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POSITIVE

Thank you to all of those of you that are making positive comments! I love Coach Kingsbury and the rest of his coaching staff. Give them a few years to get "THEIR" program in place. This year has been so refreshing after listening to The Liar the last three years. GUNS UP! Wreck 'em Tech!

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@wichita, kenp, dw, naysayers

Whoever you are, you clearly have no clue about football. First of all, have you forgotten that Tech was one win away from the national championship game in 2008....that was HUGE for Tech! Especially when it was done during a year when UT was No. 1 in country before we knocked them off (one of UT's best teams ever, and one of OUs best teams ever, unfortunately for us, resulting in 3 way tie for Big 12 South- considered the toughest division in the country next to SEC West at the time). Second, Tech and Baylor (if you knew your history) ended up in Big 12 because Tech and A&M were the next two biggest schools in Texas next to UT (sports, academics, other criteria) and Baylor snuck in on politics via its clout at the legislature --- no-one wanted Baylor because they were whipping boys back then. OSU, KSU and Baylor have all only 'recently' become powers....Tech routinely beat all of those teams (including A&M, with a fair number of wins over OU) up until a few years ago...remember? As to rotating QBs, of course KK is going to rotate them when he understandably hasn't found the starter yet, and when one is messing up or hurt, the other will of course come in. Have you forgotten how much rotating of QBs OSU, WV, KSU, UT and OU have done themselves this year alone? You must have tunnel vision, not to mention that only reason we are rotating frosh is because our true starter, Brewer, started year injured which lead to current situation. And yes all teams have some injuries, and I wish Tech had more depth (obviously that 'experienced' coach of 30 years Tubby couldn't find it despite all his HC experience and charm), but name one other team who has had their starting QB hurt the entire year AND at least 6 defensive starters out like Tech (remember Tech started with a thin line, especially after departure of Delvin Simmons and Michael Starts when they transferred after Tubby left at the 11th hour after he said he was staying). Last, if you have 'the game plan' for the next game, tell us what it is now for the record since you are such football gurus, we want to know now, not on Monday morning...come on, hang it out there. You guys are clueless and clearly not fans so beat it! Guns Up Red Raider Fans, Big Things Ahead, Go King, and Wreck'm!!

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Way to go

LoyalRedRaider.....nice summary of the past several years. Baylor only became a member of the Big 12 because Ann Richards was govenor of Texas at that time and she was a BU graduate.

Art Briles is a Tech grad and for that reason I'm pleased for him.....as we all should remember he was also on Leach's staff for 3 years. He, no doubt, was a diamond in the rough we overlooked and let get away.

However, we have a new diamond coaching staff who will show everyone on this blog what they are made of.....when we start winning big games wonder what Wichita, kenp and the other clueless ones will say then......something like "I knew we would win if we kept this coaching staff......period?"

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blame game

You can blame Tubberville all you want. But wait, when he came here and didn't win, it was Leach's fault. He was shopping for another job and didn't sign any top notch recruits. If you go back far enough, when Leach didn't win right away, it was Spike's fault for not signing good players. When does the buck stop. Leach never won anything and neither did Spike, nor Tubberville. Let's face it, regardless of who the coach is, Tech is going to be a little bit better than average from now on. Again, as long as UT, OU, OSU, KSU, and perhaps Baylor, are in this conference, Tech is going to be going to the Alamo, Sun, or similar bowl.

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wrong

The Big 8 was going to become the Big 10 or something similar by adding ONLY UT & A&M. When these 2 insisted on Tech & Baylor, several schools, namely KU, Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska voted against adding Tech & Baylor. After much arm twisting, I suppose Richards too, Tech & Baylor were added. They brought small stadiums, arenas, lack of tradition, and rivalries to the mix, regardless of the arguments you put up. Two big brothers stepped up, like it or not.

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history keeps repeating

At the conclusion of the 2008 season, OU, Tech, & UT tied for 1st place in the Big 12 South. To break the tie and play Mizzou for the Conference Championship, OU, which ranked #2 in the country at the time, was picked. In a Sports Illustrated Pre-Season poll, Tech was ranked as high as #10. In an article written by Sports Writer Olin Buchanan, he indicated Tech might challenge OU & UT for the Conference Championship in '08 if "they could stop the run and consistently move the ball on the ground when their passing attack bogged down". Deja Vu all over again!! The present situation is not only history but the future as well.

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@wichita65

Ok apparently you were in the room or something when they were deciding on the alignment, because you know all of this information that you have yet to produce any evidence. According to your opinion on Tech it doesn't surprise me that you would have such a misinformed story about how it came to be Texas, A&M, Baylor & Tech. Here is a story of KSU's old pres that was in the room when discussions were beginning.

http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/34237/a-lesson-on-the-history-of-the-big-12

If you know your history of Tech during those years they were top dawgs in the big 3 sports. 91-95 Tech was either tied or had a 2nd Place finish in football. Also, Tech had won a SWC Conference Title in every major sport in 1994. I don't see how anyone could bypass that interesting little fact about Tech sports, especially if you really tell it like it is.

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Red Raider for Life

Way to go and shut up (hopefully) wichita65 and his/her negativity. So very tired of comments like this going back to 2009.....no one on this blog is making excuses; as far as I see it the majority of the true fans know what is happening and are willing to give the coaches ample time to fix it.

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