Texas Tech's 31-22 loss to Texas on Saturday, in the grand scheme of things, meant one thing: Its chances at keeping pace with the Big 12 Conference's frontrunners had likely diminished.
That alone may be tough enough to cope with. Internally, some Red Raiders left Jones AT&T Stadium realizing they would never get to play a football game against the Longhorns again.
Tech's seniors, specifically, will end their careers without a win against Texas.
"Seniors don't have an opportunity again to play against their in-state rival," Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. "That was it. Hopefully we can play better for them the next three games and get into a good bowl game. It's just hard to play so well at times
and then play so poorly at times and have inopportune penalties. It absolutely took us out of it."
The Red Raiders (6-3, 3-3 in Big 12 play) committed nine penalties totaling 85 yards, some of which stripped Tech of key scoring opportunities. The most critical may have been a holding call that denied running back Kenny Williams of a 2-yard score late in
the fourth quarter.
Williams' would-be touchdown instead became a field-goal attempt, one that was blocked by Texas cornerback Carrington Byndom. The loss placed Tech in a tie for fifth place with TCU with three games left to play.
Tech's seniors suit up for that last time at Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday when they host Kansas at 11 a.m.
The last time Tech defeated Texas, as most remember, was in 2008 — the program's big upset of then-No. 1 Texas. Adding even more to that memory was former-Tech receiver Michael Crabtree, who was in attendance and had led the Red Raiders during the team's pre-game
"Raider Walk" just a few hours earlier.
And while the team's odds of finishing in the top half of the Big 12 standings are still in its favor (Kansas and Baylor, teams with losing records, are two of Tech's final opponents), the sting left by the Longhorns could be one that sticks with the team longer
“I feel really bad for them,” junior linebacker Will Smith said, “because they’ve been here four years and haven’t beaten them once. So that touches me deep, too, because I was in the locker room and got pretty emotional about this loss, too. I understand how
By Jose Rodriguez — Special to the Star-Telegram