Another dominant effort on the ground for the Texas offensive line was paired with an impressive effort from Greg Robinson's defense to put up a 41-16 victory over the Red Raiders in Austin. The run game was able to victimize a bad TTU run defense, while the defense abused a one dimensional Red Raider offense using a throwback 3-3-5 defense featuring a DT, 2 down DEs, and a roaming Jackson Jeffcoat. A share of the Big 12 championship is up for grabs in Waco, with the outright title being available if OU knocks off OSU. Onto the numbers...
27 - 128 (4.7) - 0: Malcolm Brown carries - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs
17 - 102 (6.0) - 1: Joe Bergeron carries - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs
Malcolm Brown the workhorse put in a Malcolm Brown line: his 5th 20+ carry effort in 6 games, and a season high 128 yards (averaging 96.7 over his last 5). He continues to pick up positive yardage on carries, but his lack of explosiveness (long of 14 yards) limits his output each week and makes me feel better about the prospects of him returning as a senior next year.
I've been hesitant to enter the "which back is better" debate throughout the year as I've felt each brings something unique to the table and the sum is greater than the parts, but damn is it visually appealing to watch Joe Bergeron run. A guy built like that running sideline to sideline, turning it upfield and plowing through a secondary (and looking like he's pissed off doing it) is football I can watch all day long. The outside zone and pin and pull were butter for Joe B as he picked up 6.0 yards a carry with a long run of 27. With Gray out and Daje's off the field issues up in the air, Joe B is the closest thing to running game has to a home run threat.
28 - 94 (3.4) - 1: Texas Tech rush attempts - net rushing yards (yards per carry) - rush TDs
9 - 59: Texas sacks - Texas Tech yards lost
31-52 (59.6%), 302 (5.8), 1-1: Texas Tech pass completions - attempts (comp%), pass yards (YPA), TDs-INTs
5 - 19: Texas Tech 3rd down conversions - attempts
The Texas Tech run game was absolutely absent in Austin for the Red Raiders, with 51 of the team's 94 net rush yards coming on Ryan Erxleben's fake punt TD. Take out the fake punt and QB rush attempts, and Tech only went for 8 carries and 57 yards, with 35 of those yards coming on one carry. The secondary played off the front's effort as well, keeping a talented TTU receiving group in check, only allowing 5.8 yards per attempt. The lack of a run game and poor passing performance contributed to a 5 - 19 3rd down conversion rate for Tech.
A big reason for the effort was Greg Robinson's newly unveiled 3-3-5 defense: part game plan specific to Tech, part response to DT depth concerns. With a DT manning the middle and controlling the A-gaps (mostly a dominant Malcom Brown), the Texas D was able to shuttle in 2 defensive ends (Cedric Reed, Reggie Wilson, Shiro Davis, Bryce Cottrell, and Caleb Bluiett all seeing significant snaps) and let Jackson Jeffcoat freelance his way about the defensive front. The look confused the young TTU QBs and kept the bad TTU OL offbalance all game long. Everybody for Texas got in the action:
Jackson Jeffcoat: 3 sacks for 24 yards lost. Jeffcoat has 57 career TFLs, tied for 3rd at Texas with Cory Redding.
Duke Thomas: 2 TFL, including 1 sack for 9 yards lost. Added an INT.
Cedric Reed: 4 TFL, with 2 sacks for 7 yards lost.
Reggie Wilson, Shiro Davis, Bryce Cottrell, and Caleb Bluiett: 5 TFL, including 3 sacks for 19 yards lost.
4 - 112 (28.0) - 2: Mike Davis catches - receiving yards (yards per catch) - receiving TDs
Big play Magic was back. A year after putting up 4 catches for 165 yards and 2 TDs on Tech, Mike Davis added another 4 catch and 2 TD effort, with 112 yards this go around. He did it all for a passing game that was pretty lacking on the day, grabbing a crucial 3rd and long on a contested grab, a nice slant in the red zone late (important because of Texas's struggles scoring TDs in the red zone), and an impressive deep post where he made the entirety of Tech's secondary look silly. It was his 10th career 100 yard receiving game, tying him for 2nd on the UT career list with Jordan Shipley. The 18 career TDs are good for 5th on the UT career list, now 1 TD short of 4th with Quan Cosby.
0: receptions for Jason Shipley
The goose egg for Shipley ends his reception streak at 33 games, which will be good for the 3rd longest streak in school history.
2 - 2 (37, 49): Anthony Fera FG makes - attempts (distance)
Fortunately for Texas's red zone struggles, Anthony Fera has had himself a season, earning a nod as a Lou Groza Award finalist. The season he's put together is worthy of the great Texas kickers that came before him. His 95% FG percentage is on pace to be best in school history, while making each of his last 15 kicks. He's 13 of 13 when the game is within 7 points, and 5 of 5 when the score is within 3. I sure wouldn't mind seeing him take home some hardware after the season he went through in 2012.