The Texas Tech football team wasn’t supposed to be Oklahoma on Saturday but some key turning points turned the game into an embarrassment.
Any number of sayings would describe the Texas Tech football team’s experience in Norman on Saturday. Mess with the bull, you get the horns, some may say. While others might remind us that, Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug.
But however you want to put it, what we saw from the Red Raiders in this year’s Big 12 opener was abysmal. The 39-point loss was the largest defeat the program has ever suffered in a conference opener.
What’s more, it was Tech’s worst loss to Oklahoma since the nightmarish 44-point loss in 2008. And it was the fifth time in the last decade that the Sooners have scored at least a 20-point win over the Red Raiders in the last decade.
In recent years, blowout losses have become all-too-familiar to Red Raider fans. But the hope was that a new attitude and a new approach with Matt Wells in place would bring about an end to the public humiliations that Red Raider fans have had to endure with too much frequency.
But the reality of how far Tech is behind the best program in the conference was hammered home on Saturday. For an example, look no further than OU’s third-string RB.
In the 4th quarter, Rhamondre Stevenson scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to set the game’s final score. After that score, Texas Tech Sports Network sideline reporter Chris Level shared the note that Stevenson, the No. 2 JUCO RB in the class of 2019, was heavily recruited by Wells.
In fact, he was committed to Utah State and Wells out of high school but did not qualify. Level then said that Wells felt confident in his chances of landing Stevenson in the 2019 recruiting cycle until the Sooners offered at the last minute.
Let that sink in. Stevenson decided that he would rather go to Oklahoma and be the third-string running back than come to Tech where he would have been assured of carries (he would have taken the place of Armand Shyne in the RB rotation as Shyne was added after Stevenson shunned the Red Raiders) and likely would have started. That should be a sobering realization for Tech fans when it comes to how this program is viewed and how far there is for Wells to go before we can even think about competing with the Sooners.
We knew that Tech wasn’t going to win Saturday. So the fact that they didn’t was not all that disheartening. What was though was the lack of fight they showed in the process.
There were times that Tech had opportunities in the first half to make this game competitive and put some pressure on the home team. But because the Red Raiders failed to step up during these turning points, the so-called contest got out of hand in a hurry.