Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Jenkins/AP/Shutterstock (13610082k) Wide receiver Derius Davis (11) takes a pass into the end zone for a touchdown against Texas Tech during the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Fort Worth, Texas Texas Tech TCU Football, Fort Worth, United States – 05 Nov 2022
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) AT #7 TCU HORNED FROGS (9-0, 6-0 Big 12)
This Week: TCU 34, Texas Tech 24
Next Week: TCU: at #24 Texas, Texas Tech: vs. Kansas
Much was made all week about TCU’s initial college football ranking of seventh, despite sitting at 8-0 with four wins over teams who were ranked at the time they played. With an objectively better resume than some others ahead of them, many fans in Fort Worth were up in arms all week that their Frogs had been snubbed. Saturday’s home game against Texas Tech, a team facing their fifth ranked opponent in seven weeks, was an opportunity for TCU to emphatically put what they are capable of on display for the committee. For Texas Tech, the trip to TCU represented not only an opportunity to play spoiler but also another chance for freshman Behren Morton to grab a firm hold of the starting quarterback job.
The Horned Frogs electrified the huge 11:00 a.m. crowd at Amon G. Carter Stadium almost immediately, forcing a three-and-out on Texas Tech’s opening drive for a punt. Derius Davis received the punt, ran it back 82 yards for a score, and the Frogs led 7-0 less than two minutes into the action. After TCU’s next drive stalled out on downs deep in Red Raiders’ territory, Texas Tech put together an impressive three-play, 80-yard drive of their own to tie the game at seven. The Red Raiders added a field goal as the first quarter ended, giving them a 10-7 lead through the first stanza – but TCU responded with a kick of their own to tie things back up just two minutes into the second quarter. After both defenses held strong through much of the second quarter, TCU finally found their way back deep into Texas Tech territory in the half’s final moments. Texas Tech’s defense stood tall again though, holding the Frogs to a field goal and a 13-10 lead.
Donovan Smith and Tyler Shough began to relieve Behren Morton at quarterback more regularly in the third quarter, as Texas Tech’s unorthodox three quarterback offense continued to be part of the game plan. After Tech’s defense continued to step up early in the third quarter, it was Tyler Shough who found wideout JJ Sparkman for a 33-yard touchdown with 8:38 to play in the third for a 17-13 Red Raider lead. TCU looked poised to retake the lead deep in Tech territory on the following drive, but a fourth-down and four stop by the Red Raiders kept the Horned Frogs off the board once again in what was quickly becoming the defensive performance of the year for Texas Tech. TCU’s next drive to begin the fourth quarter was aided by three crucial Texas Tech penalties, two of which were 15-yard personal fouls – and eventually, the Frogs would take back a 20-17 lead with Kendre Miller’s short touchdown run. TCU began to grab control shortly thereafter, turning the Red Raiders over on downs and quickly connecting for another touchdown. This time a 23-yard strike from Max Duggan to Derius Davis that made it 27-17. The Horned Frogs were off and running from there, scoring their third touchdown of the fourth quarter with 5:46 to go on a 16-yard strike from Max Duggan to Emari Demercado to make it 34-17. Texas Tech quarterback Tyler Shough was intercepted less than a minute later by Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, but the Red Raiders’ defense showed some pride with a stop in their own territory. Tyler Shough punched in a late score on the ground to pull the Red Raiders within 10 with less than two minutes to play, but it would not be nearly enough to get Tech back into the game. TCU recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock on a 34-24 win that moves them to 9-0 and one step closer to a potential appearance in the College Football Playoff.
BAYLOR BEARS (6-3, 4-2 Big 12)
This Week: Won, 38-35 at Oklahoma
Next Week: vs. #13 Kansas State
Baylor headed on the road to Norman for a matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday; an afternoon game between teams who likely expected to be ranked come early-November. The Bears looked to build on momentum gained with their last win, a 45-17 blowout of the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock. Freshman running back Richard Reese entered the game having run for 334 yards over Baylor’s last two games, chomping at the bit for an opportunity to attack an Oklahoma defense that had been porous against the run all season.
Both offenses got off to hot starts, each beginning the game with 10+ play drives leading to touchdowns. Baylor’s first score came from running back Craig “Squirrel” Williams, his third of the season to tie it at seven midway through the first period. Baylor’s defense came up with the first stop of the game on the next Sooners’ drive, an interception to give the Bears back the ball in OU territory. Baylor would quickly convert for their second touchdown, a six-yard scamper by Jordan Nabors to make it 14-7 late in the first quarter. Oklahoma responded, scoring in three plays to tie the game at 14 on a 63-yard pass to Marvin Mims Jr. before the first quarter ended. Baylor’s opportunistic defense struck again early in the second quarter, as their second interception of Sooners’ quarterback Dillon Gabriel set up the Bears’ offense in Oklahoma territory once again. This time, Baylor settled for a field goal, taking a 17-14 lead with just under 13 minutes until halftime. Baylor looked explosive in the run game on their next drive, quickly powering their way downfield en route to a second “Squirrel” Williams touchdown for a 24-14 lead midway through the second quarter. Oklahoma continued the first half shootout on their next drive, as Eric Gray ran a score in from five yards out to make it 24-21. The Sooners would miss a field goal as the game went into the half, allowing Baylor to hold onto their lead at the break.
Baylor took the football to begin the second half, marching 75 yards in eight plays to extend their lead to 31-21 on Richard Reese’s 10-yard touchdown run. The Sooners continued to respond, driving downfield for a touchdown that pulled them within a field goal with seven minutes to play in the third. After a few stops by each defense, Baylor finally broke through again for a score. Qualan Jones became Baylor’s fourth different player to log a rushing touchdown on the day in the fourth quarter, giving the Bears a 38-28 lead with nine minutes to play. The Sooners added a touchdown to pull within three with four minutes to go, but the Baylor offense did what was needed to secure the win in the final moments. The 38-35 win moves the Bears to 6-3 and keeps all of their Big 12 hopes and dreams alive.
BEST OF THE REST AROUND TEXAS
(All games played Saturday, unless specified otherwise)
FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION
UTEP at Rice, Thursday 6:00 p.m. CT
UTSA at UAB, 2:30 p.m. CT
Florida International at North Texas, 3:00 p.m. CT
Texas State at UL Monroe, 4:00 p.m. CT
FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SUBDIVISION
Houston Christian at Incarnate Word, 2:00 p.m. CT
Northwestern State at Texas A&M Commerce, 2:00 p.m. CT
Southeastern Louisiana at Lamar, 3:00 p.m. CT
Abilene Christian at Tarleton State, 7:00 p.m. CT