Sunday, November 4, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: Texas 31, Texas Tech 22
By Carter Strickland
After more than two seasons of suffering loss after loss to ranked teams, Texas pulled off a 31-22 upset of No. 18 Texas Tech Saturday. The win moved Texas to 7-2 with back-to-back home games against teams it should be favored against up next.
1. Mike Davis: The junior wide receiver has been the most viable downfield option for Texas all season. Davis got loose for touchdown catches of 75 and 25 yards and had a 54-yard reception to set up another touchdown for Texas. In the past four games, Davis has six receptions of 25 yards or more and has been targeted nine times on those passes.
He was telling me before the plays, 'Throw it to me it is a touchdown,' " Ash said. "Mike probably says that before every play so it doesn't matter. But it was great to see that pay off."
2. Fast start: The Longhorns have had issues starting games quickly but scored on their first three possessions against Tech to take a 21-10 lead. Texas was bale to get out to that lead by using a mix of speed plays to the outside, running back Johnathan Gray and deep passes to Davis. The Longhorns had 180 yards on their first three drives against what was the No. 12 defense statistically in FBS
3. Carrington Byndom: The junior cornerback has been in a season-long slump but appeared to break out of it with two key plays against Texas tech. First, Byndom knocked away a game-tying two-point conversion attempt. Later he blocked a field to keep the Red Raiders from getting to within two scores in the fourth quarter. Texas coach Mack Brown said Byndom had been playing through some nagging injuries this season and that might have been part of the issues. But, Brown said, Byndom played with the confidence and poise he had come to expect from him.
1. Injuries: It's out of Texas' control but the Longhorns are starting to suffer more and more injuries at critical spots as the season progresses. Perhaps the biggest against Texas Tech was a hit sustained by linebacker Kendall Thompson. The sophomore was one of two linebackers playing consistently at that position for Texas. Without Thompson, Texas was forced to go with true freshman Peter Jinkens. Thompson was taken off the field on a cart but no update of his status was provided. However, due tot he nature of the hit, it would not be a stretch to believe Thompson might be out for the Iowa State game. If that is the case, Texas will have to lean heavily on Jinkens and another true freshman Dalton Santos.
2. Second half start: After ripping off a rather quick 24 points in the first half, Texas had the ball and a chance to extend the lead to start the second half. It didn't happen as the Longhorns failed to cross midfield on the first three drives of the third quarter. Texas had 34 yards in the third quarter as opposed to 286 in the first half.
3. Fourth-down defense: Mack Brown has continually harped on stopping teams on fourth down. Apparently no one is listening. Texas Tech converted two fourth downs against Texas, one on fourth and eight for 18 yards and a another fourth and short that went for 15 yards. Tech scored nine points as a result of extending those drives. Texas was able to stop Texas Tech once on what turned out to be inconsequential series near the end of the half. In Big 12 play, Texas has now allowed opponents to convert 13 of 15 fourth downs.