Texas Tech Falls in Arlington to Baylor 52-45, Looks to Bowl Game and 2013
The loss for Texas Tech drops them to 7-5 on the season and 4-5 in the Big 12 while Baylor improves to 6-5 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12. The Big 12 Conference has 9 teams bowl eligible out of 10 conference members.
The Red Raiders dominated the first half until a Doege interception deep in Baylor territory and a fumble in the Bears redzone gave Baylor life. The Bears capitalized off the fumble to score before the half to make it 21-14 Red Raiders. Doege would commit four turnovers on the afternoon.
The second half showed more fireworks as the Bears gashed the Tech defense for 674 yards, 398 of which were in the first half. Texas Tech rang up 567 yards against a Baylor defense that shutdown Heisman Candidate Collin Klein the previous game.
The four turnovers hurt Tech as Baylor turned those into 14 points to get back into the game. In the overtime session, Baylor scored first on 4 running plays to take the first lead at 52-45. A holding play pushed Tech to the 35 and the Red Raiders couldn’t recover to convert the 4th and 5 play where Eric Ward couldn’t hold on to a pass in tight coverage.
Texas Tech showed obvious improvement from last season in 2011 to this year, but a late season collapse has the team looking at 7-5 with a bowl slot in the Heart of Dallas Bowl or the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas played in Houston.
In Head Coach Tommy Tuberville’s three seasons at Texas Tech, his teams are 5-10 in games played after the start of November. The loss Saturday for the Red Raiders was indicative of that record Saturday.
“We knew this would be a high‑scoring game. We felt we would have to score 45, that was our number, 45 to win the game. It wasn't enough,” said Tuberville in postgame comments. “We had some great performances. But again, our third overtime and we weren't able to pull it off.”
With another season almost done the Red Raiders can make a return to the post-season after missing last year and build towards 2013. Yes, Tech will play against an average team in an average Bowl game, but that extra month of practice can help jumpstart the preparation for 2013 and allow the players returning a chance to get better.
7-5 isn’t acceptable to a lot of Texas Tech fans, but many of those fans didn’t predict a winning season for the Red Raiders this year anyway. For a team that was picked 9th out of 10 teams to conference before the season began, the fan base seem less than excited.
Fans should be happy with the team this season because the ball was moved forward towards something potentially better in 2013. The road to respectability begins with the bowl game next month for the Red Raiders.