Texas Tech lost a tough one 31-22 on Saturday afternoon in a game where mental mistakes seemed to cost the Red Raiders. Texas took full advantage, stopping Tech in the red zone, limiting them to field goals on offense and a few big plays by David Ash and the Longhorns.
Head football coach Tommy Tuberville said the same, stating that mental errors cost Tech in a big way.
"A lot of disappointment obviously. We just shot ourselves in the foot. Made too many mistakes against a good football team. The last two weeks we've done that, so hopefully we can correct that."
After scoring a touchdown to make the game pull within two and make it a 24-22 contest, the Red Raiders seemed to have all the momentum as Texas punted it back to Austin Zouzalik. The Red Raider offense the stalled out, going three-and-out. Tuberville felt that the drive was a huge momentum killer that really put Tech in a hole.
"Yea, that drive killed us," he said. "We got the momentum, we scored, and everybody was going full speed. Then we have three-and-out, and that was just -- It wasn't the game, obviously. But it put us in a bind of having to go down and score and having to score again."
The segment of the team hit the hardest by the loss was the seniors. Tuberville said that the coaches addressed the seniors exclusively, and he hopes the team can come back and play well down the stretch for those seniors.
"That's who we talked to We didn't talk to the rest of the team. Seniors don't have an opportunity again to play their in-state rival. That was it. Hopefully we can play better for them the next three games and get into a good bowl game."
Smith disappointed for seniors
The Tech defense had a rough start to the game, giving up 24 points in the first half, including two huge pass plays from Ash to Mike Davis. Davis caught a 54 yarder to set the Longhorns up for a 1 yard touchdown and the caught a 75 yard bomb for a TD on the very next drive.
The Red Raider defense then got things under control in the second half, limiting Texas to only 7 points after halftime. Middle linebacker Will Smith said that Tech did make a few adjustments at the half and noted that a few small changes earlier in the game may have stymied the Longhorn offense earlier in the game.
"There were a few minor adjustments, but it's just about settling down and just paying attention to what you already know. Just simple things like that that we should have done earlier that could have helped us prevent a couple more early score."
Like Tuberville, Smith feels bad for his senior teammates. He took the loss pretty hard himself and understands their emotion.
"I feel really bad for them because they've been here four years and haven't beaten them once. So that touches me deep too, because I was in the locker room and got pretty emotional about this loss too. I understand how they feel."
Doege upset with loss
You could tell that Red Raider senior QB Seth Doege took this loss hard. The senior knew this was his last shot at the Longhorns, and it was also the last shot at a special season. Doege did say, however, that the Red Raiders can still finish out and play in a good bowl game.
"I mean, it's our last chance at UT. It's our last chance to really try to do something special here that nobody has done before and give us a an opportunity to do that. So that's out of it too. It hurts, but we should let it hurt. We should know how it feels. But at the same time we have three games remaining, and we can win all three of those and have a really good season. But, it hurts to know that the goals you were after and you set for your team going into the season kind of went out the door with this loss."
So what was the difference in the game, in Doege's opinion? Mental mistakes.
"Penalties. I don't think I have to explain much of it. I don't know. It's hard for me to remember every time we were in the red zone. But I know when we were in the red zone, every time that we didn't get points, the majority of the time it was penalties that kept us from it."