There are only two regular season games left this weekend. We’ve got a full list of Big 12 football as the race for the conference crown continues as we head into final week.
While some teams are still fighting for the final Big 12 championship spot, others are just struggling to make a bowl game. That was the case Saturday in Ames, Iowa, when the state of Iowa hosted Texas Tech.
The Cyclones came into this game with a 4-6 record and needed to win their last two games to qualify for the Bowl. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders were just one win away from the magical number six they achieved. Here are my three thoughts on Texas Tech’s 14-10 win over Iowa State.
1. Texas Tech made plays when it mattered most
Texas Tech didn’t need much attack to win this game as 14 points was enough to leave Ames, Iowa with a win. Tyler Shough started Saturday night and he wasn’t great by any means, but he got the job done. Texas Tech’s first touchdown came off a long 14-game drive that ended with Donovan Smith finding the end zone. Then, with that offense backed against the wall, they responded with another long touchdown drive in the fourth quarter when Tyer Shough found Baylor Cupp for a four-yard score. That final touchdown was enough for Texas Tech to win the game. I know it wasn’t the best attacking display, but I think that last shot on goal was extremely impressive.
As far as defense goes, they did a great job. Outside of a drive, they shut down the Iowa State offense when it mattered. Sure, they gave up a few yards, but this defense had two key stops from within their own five-yard line. They also kept Iowa State scoreless on nine of their 11 offensive drives. It didn’t matter how many yards they gave up because they only gave up ten points on the scoreboard.
2. Missed Opportunities in the State of Iowa
If you’ve watched this team play at all this season, you know they rarely take chances. Kicker Drake Nettles went 1/3 on his field goal attempts and missed an important kick before the first half ended. Six points remained on the field from the kick-off game alone. Of course I mustn’t forget the two horrendous offensive actions in the third quarter. The first bad drive was when Iowa State needed just one yard to hit a first down on Texas Tech’s two-yard line. They stomached three straight run plays and got stuffed on each of them. On the very next drive, they had two chances to find the end zone again from the two-yard line and didn’t score. This offense is absolutely embarrassing to watch and there should be some serious discussion about an offensive coordinator change this offseason. This whole Tom Manning thing isn’t working at all.
3. Texas Tech goes bowling
Prior to the Kansas game, Texas Tech lost four of their last five games. They were 4-5 and I wasn’t sure if they would be able to win two of their last three games to go to six wins. Well, they proved me wrong when they crushed Kansas last weekend and found a way to win on the road in Ames on Saturday night. I picked Texas Tech to finish ninth this season and they made me look like an idiot. Texas Tech isn’t where they want to be as a program yet, but this is a great first step in the right direction for first-year head coach Joey McGuire. These bowl drills should help tremendously and will set you up for next season.