In the Texas Tech football team’s loss to Kansas on Saturday, a handful of turning points went against the Red Raiders leading to the first loss to the Jayhawks since 2001.
The 2019 Texas Tech football team simply has no margin for error. That has been evident all season long and was proven to be true again in Saturday’s 37-34 loss at Kansas.
Some teams can overwhelm teams with so much talent that even if an odd bounce of the ball or a controversial call goes against them, they can overcome their bad luck and still win the game. That’s not been the case for the Red Raiders for quite a long time and 2019 has been no exception.
Each week, it feels like Tech not only has to play close to its best game, Matt Wells’ team has to have some breaks go its way if it comes out on top. Thus far, Tech has not beaten a Power 5 team in a game in which everything did not go according to plan.
In fact, in the team’s only win to date over a major conference team, the October 5th 45-35 triumph over Oklahoma State, Tech not only played its most complete game of the year, but it also benefitted from the charity of its opponent.
Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders turned the ball over five times that afternoon in Lubbock. Three of those were interceptions while two were fumbles.
Though the Red Raiders certainly deserve credit for making life tough for the redshirt freshman QB with seven sacks and tons of pressure, his lack of care with the ball was a tremendous assist and gave Tech the extra boost it needed to take down OSU for the second-straight season.
But in other games, the breaks just haven’t gone Tech’s way and the Red Raiders have not been good enough to win without the help of lady luck. Of course, the injustice that occurred in Waco quickly comes to mind.
That afternoon, the Red Raiders had an opportunity for a much-needed win taken from them by the incompetence of the Big 12 officiating crew which incorrectly ruled a fumbled Baylor snap to have been an illegal snap thus erasing Tech’s fumble recovery in the first overtime period. But a better team would not have let that game get to OT.
Let’s not forget that the Red Raiders had six drives reach at least the BU 21-yard-line only to get 13 points. What’s more, Tech had the Bears pinned at their own 1-yard-line with just a minute to go but allowed them to drive the length of the field for the game-tying field goal. That game was winnable but because Tech’s margin for error was so slim, a botched call proved to be the difference.
Against Iowa State, the Red Raiders played poorly in the first half and lacked the firepower to fight back. Better teams can overcome slow starts but the Red Raiders aren’t capable of winning when they don’t play their best for all four quarters.
That’s why each game this year, other than the trip to Norman, has come down to a handful of moments that tipped the scale. The same was true Saturday in Lawrence when Tech showed that it couldn’t even top Kansas if everything did not fall its way.