Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brad Tollefson/AP/Shutterstock (13417806h) Texas’ Jordan Whittington (4) is tackled by Texas Tech’s Malik Dunlap, top, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Lubbock, Texas Texas Texas Tech Football, Lubbock, United States – 24 Sep 2022
The No. 22 Texas Longhorns fell to a late rally by the Red Raiders in an overtime thriller on the road in the Big 12 opener for both teams. Texas played well enough to build a 24-14 halftime lead, but the aggressive play calling and excellent play by Tech quarterback Donovan Smith wore the Longhorn defense down and allowed the Red Raiders to complete the comeback in overtime 37-34.
- Hudson Card is taking full advantage of his opportunity while Quinn Ewers is out with an injury. Card looks to be in total command of the offense and was accurate with his passes, this combined with timely scrambles makes Card a very effective leader of the offense. He made one bad decision in the first half on an interception that should never have been thrown, but overall he appears to be a different quarterback than what we saw last season. The offense did suffer a second half lull, but Card played well enough to win.
- Texas Teach won the game because new Red Raider head coach Joey Maguire refused to blink. He went for it on fourth down eight times and converted time and time again. This belief in his team allowed Tech to wear down the Longhorn defense and steal the win. Maguire becomes only the second Texas Teach head coach to defeat Texas in his first try.
- Donovan Smith turned in a stellar performance for the Red Raiders. Up to this point in the season Smith had been guilty of questionable decision making, turning the ball over at inopportune times. But today Smith weathered a storm of Longhorn rushers coming up with one fourth down conversion after another. Tech overcame a ten point first half deficit by keeping the ball away from the Texas offense and running more passing plays than Texas ran in total.
- Despite giving up more than 30 points for the first time this season the Texas defense played well. Red Raider quarterback Donovan Smith started the game on fire, completing 9 of 10 passes on the opening touchdown drive, but the Longhorns applied pressure and tallied several stop[s that allowed Texas to build a halftime lead and appear to have the game in hand. Smith and the Tech offense wore Texas down as the snaps mounted in the second half. Texas recorded a goal line stand early in the fourth quarter and only began to falter when the Longhorn offense began to sputter in the second half.
- While there is a lot of football left to play, you have to wonder what the ceiling is for this Texas team. They are still in the fragile stage of program building where one bad performance can wreck the confidence and belief that has been established. Texas will surely be tested further as the Big 12 schedule continues. At this point in the season the growth of the program seems undeniable, but the only thing that counts is the win column. Texas has avoided turnovers, played tough situational defense, and employed an adaptable offense that can still hit another level when Ewers returns. But a loss like today, when the game was all but won, can take the wind out of the sails as we saw last season. The ingredients are in place, what kind of meal will they create?