STILLWATER, Okla — Texas Tech Big 12 conference opener was nothing less than electrifying of offense as a crowd of 37,850 witnessed an aerial assault with more than 1200 total yards on both sides of the ball! Graham Harrell’s performance (46/67 C/ATT, 646 yards, 5 td) on Saturday resulted in the fourth best passing game in college football history ranking with past great performances from ex Tech quarterbacks B.J. Symons and Cody Hodges.
OSU’s quarterback Zach Robinson pass completion to tight end Brandon Pettigrew led to a 50 yard touchdown scramble with 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter putting the Cowboys up 49-45. The Red Raiders immediately went to work with three pass completions to Crabtree which placed Tech on OSU’s 15 yard line. Unfortunately this recording setting game ended on a last second incompletion to Michael Crabtree in the end zone as the Red Raiders fell to 0-1 in conference play and overall 3-1. Senior wide receiver Danny Amendola finished the game with 14 receptions, 233 yards, and 1 touchdown. The sensational freshman Michael Crabtree finished with 14 receptions, 237 yards, and 3 touchdowns bringing his season totals to 52 receptions and 11 touchdowns.
With the Tech Air Raid in full swing a loss leaves the Raider nation in a state of confusion asking the question “How can you lose a game with that much offense?” The defense ended the game with a staggering 33 missed tackles allowing for three different players to rush for over a 100 yards each. It appears that the defensive philosophy has been stagnant for years and in order for the Raiders to be a legitimate Big 12 contender it requires a dramatic shift in defensive direction. This disappointing loss led to the resignation of defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich Sunday morning. Mike Leach stated “We appreciate Lyle and the work he did for our program. We wish him and his family the best”.
Linebackers coach Ruffin McNeill was named the new interim defensive coordinator and has made an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball. In a phone interview conducted by Tech Talk, Coach McNeill stated his first tasks are to build team trust, commitment, and caring and getting back to the basic fundamentals. The Tech defense has three consecutive homes games with the first coming against Northwestern State followed by Iowa State. The real test will be if Coach McNeill can prepare his defense when the Texas A&M Aggies come to town Oct. 13 bringing perhaps one of the most talented backfields in the conference.