5 Things We Learned About Texas Tech in Stillwater
Texas Tech football lost to Oklahoma State 41-31 on Saturday, October 9th, but I don't think the Red Raiders left Stillwater without some lessons learned. Not all positive, but certainly not all negative either. For the third time on the road, Texas Tech was a heavy road underdog. For the third time, Texas Tech lost on the road.
Here are 5 takeaways from the loss to Oklahoma State:
Behren Morton is the future QB of Texas Tech.
When Tyler Shough got the nod at the beginning of the season, I didn't like the decision. Not because I don't like Shough or feel that somebody else should have won the job. I just wanted whomever the Red Raiders thought was going to start next season to get as many reps as possible this season.
Now that we've seen both Donovan Smith and Behren Morton in extended action, it's fairly obvious that Behren Morton is the guy in 2023. Because of that, Morton should start the rest of the games even if Shough is healthy enough to take over.
Morton proved he's got the skill to play against the best in the conference and he should be able to get as much experience as possible to take into 2023 as a veteran as opposed to starting fresh in 2023 as an inexperienced sophomore.
Morton threw the ball 62 times for more than 370 yards and had three total touchdowns. He also had several plays that just looked different.
Shough and Smith have obvious advantages over Morton in experience and size, but neither of them is the future. To me, it's much more important to start the future now than to delay the inevitable to later this year or into 2023.
Texas Tech's defense has work to do.
I think Texas Tech's defense is improved in 2022, but giving up 41 points is not good. Sure, Oklahoma State might have the best offense in the conference, but Texas Tech needs to be better in the final six games of the season if they want to finish strong. TCU and Kansas have both shown strong offenses, but Texas Tech will be able to shine defensively against West Virginia, Iowa State, and Oklahoma.
The jury is out on Baylor's offense...for now.
The Red Raiders can play with anyone in the conference.
With that said about Texas Tech's defense and the performance in Stillwater, I still think they competed. The defense forced four punts and held the Cowboys in the red zone four times, but they'd convert on four of four field goals. Offensively, it took Morton getting banged up to slow down the offense.
Texas Tech led by eight points in the 3rd quarter before Oklahoma State put the Red Raiders away, scoring the final 14 points of the game on three separate possessions.
That's back-to-back games that feel like the home team escaped with wins against Texas Tech with big 4th quarters.
Texas Tech's culture is close to breaking through.
A lot of that sentiment is because of the culture of Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Both Klieman and Gundy have a head start on McGuire, but soon Texas Tech will have the culture of finishing games.
You can see it in stretches. Texas Tech took an early lead in Stillwater before being counter-punched by OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders. Then, in the second half, they fought back to take the lead again. Then they just ran out of steam. In Manhattan, Kansas State took a big lead, but Donovan Smith and the Red Raiders fought back. Late in the game, Texas Tech ran out of steam.
Joey McGuire won't back down.
In the Kansas State game, Texas Tech Head Coach Joey McGuire went for it late and the Red Raiders didn't convert. In the Oklahoma State game, it happened again and Texas Tech didn't convert. Both times it was a negative outcome to a positive decision.
It worked against Texas. It worked against Houston.
If we've learned anything about McGuire in his first season as the head coach of Texas Tech, it's that he's not backing down from anybody. Not even the best team in the Big 12 on the road in Stillwater.