Sunday, September 20, 2009

Longhorns Survive Air Raid

What is it about playing Texas Tech each year that leaves me with this feeling of uncertainty? We can be destined for a national championship ranked #2 playing an unranked Texas Tech team and my stomach would still be in knots. My senior year in high school (2002-2003) Texas lost to Texas Tech in Lubbock,TX. The next four years while attending UT we defeated the Red Raiders on each occasion. The year following we made it five in a row. Then came the catch heard round the world that any Longhorn fan would love to have back in 2008 when Michael Crabtree dashed all hopes of a national championship with a last second touchdown to send Tech past Texas in Lubbock. It is no wonder then that as I attended tonight's match-up against the two teams I felt a bit light headed and sick to my stomach. It could've been partially due to lack of food or lack of sleep but any Longhorn fan knows that when Texas plays Texas Tech nothing is guaranteed.

Tonight's game was one for the books alright. I hadn't seen Colt McCoy so off in any of his previous collegiate starts. Come to find out after the game he had missed a day of practice and was battling flu-like symptoms throughout the week. You could see it in his step and his throwing ability, or inability finishing 24-34. To his credit his two interceptions were both tipped by Texas receivers before finding the hands of the Tech defenders. Excuses aside Texas was able to do one thing right tonight. Run. It was exciting to see a Texas offense come up with run after run. Tre Newton looked good... he looked real good. With a balanced offense Texas was able to control the game during crucial drives late in the game. Another highlight of the evening was the Texas defense. Texas Tech got their typical 400+ yards through the air people expect out of a Mike Leach offensive system but what was missing was the running game. They finished with -6 yards in the rushing category thanks to a steady Texas pass rush that caused sacks, fumbles, and timely interceptions.

The highlight of the night in my opinion came when Sergio Kindle sacked Potts deep in Texas Tech territory causing a fumble recovered by Texas. It was a huge hit that rocked Tech's Potts as his helmet rolled on the field to the shouts of over 101,000 attendees. The largest ever crowd to witness a game of football in the state of Texas sure made things difficult for the Tech offense. They continually shot themselves in the foot with untimely penalities. To their credit and a tribute to Potts' resiliency they drove the length of the field late in the fourth quarter to climb within 7 points before Texas kicked a field goal to seal the victory.

In my mind it was a classic Texas/Texas Tech game. Never underestimate the Red Raiders. I'm excited about the remainder of the season and happy to come away with the "W" no matter how many knots my stomach had in the end. If we take care of business the next few weeks it should be a classic matchup against OU with national championship hopes on the line come October.

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