5 Reasons Why Texas Tech Lost to Kansas State
The Red Raiders not only couldn't recover from a bad first half, they had a worse second half. The Kansas State Wildcats won the game 44-38 after a late touchdown by Texas Tech.
Texas Tech got a shot at redemption after getting an onside kick, but were denied on any Hail Mary aspirations after Patrick Mahomes was sacked from behind.
There are two reasons why Texas Tech was still in this game at the end.
1. Patrick Mahomes' gutsy performance. He took some critically bad sacks and threw a bad duck. However, just one week after a shoulder injury he set a career high in pass attempts at 62. He had 504 yards passing and was responsible for five touchdowns.
2. The defense. Yes, the defense. They held the Kansas State offense to 335 yards of offense and just 30 points. Those totals will win most games and that's exactly what you want from the defense. They held the Wildcats scoreless in the 3rd quarter, and the only touchdown was on a short field after Kingsbury went for it on 4th and 6. One of Mahomes' critical sacks.
Those are the big positives. Here are the negatives.
First off, the refs made several terrible calls. That doesn't change the fact that this is a continual problem that hasn't been addressed.
The penalty problem is a fundamentals and discipline problem, and that falls on Kliff Kingsbury.
The first Kansas State drive was put into the red zone after a roughing the passer on 3rd down.
A Texas Tech touchdown was negated by offensive pass interference.
The defense was put in a bad situation because of an unsportsmanlike conduct after a touchdown.
This game came down to mistakes and penalties, and Texas Tech lost that battle.
(Foreshadowing: "That's on Kliff Kingsbury" shows up several more times in this article.)
There's 1:31 left in the half. Kansas State is known to have a slow offense. Tech is ahead 28-24.
The special teams allows a kickoff return.
Every kickoff return ever comes down to discipline and focus. This team lacks those things, and that's on Kliff Kingsbury.
The second half starts with a defensive hold. Drive stalls. It's 4th and 2 at the K State 3 down by 3. Tech goes for it. Doesn't get it. Wastes defensive stop.
Defense holds. Tech gets field goal. 31-31.
Defense holds again. Drive stalls at the K-State 41 after going under center after a timeout on 3rd down. Now, 4th and 6. Patrick takes a 12-yard sack back to the Texas Tech 47.
Tech ran 92 plays. In arguably the two most important plays of the night, Kingsbury goes under center. Why?
I have no answers and can't rationalize these decisions. Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but the first field goal Kingsbury decided not to take was pretty terrible in foresight to me.
I believe in Kliff Kingsbury, but tonight? Tonight's loss is on Kliff Kingsbury. His inexperience as a head coach really showed tonight. I hope he figures it out, and I hope he's still here when he does.
It's still just his fourth year of head coaching, ever, at any level.
P.S. I haven't seen the postgame presser yet, but I bet Kliff takes the blame just like he did after the 2015 Kansas game. And that's a dangerous game to play.
Mahomes played valiantly. His effort was not enough.
Several throws looked rough late in the second half and looked bad late.
He seemingly recovered on the last ditch drive to cut the lead to 44-38, but a duck on the previous drive looked like his shoulder was fatigued.
I admire Patrick for fighting through the pain he must have been in, but backup QB Nic Shimonek should have seen some time in the second half.
All of Texas Tech's problems, on all three sides of the ball, boil down to one thing:
This team seems to have none. Call it discipline. Call it whatever you want.
Penalties, bad timeouts, taking bad sacks. Those are focus problems.
And, everybody now: That's on Kliff Kingsbury.