LUBBOCK (AP) – Will the real Texas Tech please stand up?
First the Red Raiders knock off No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman, snapping the nation’s longest home winning streak in the process. Then, riding high on that victory and returning to the national rankings, Texas Tech shows up flat and gets drubbed at home by Iowa State, one of the worst teams in the Big 12.
Tommy Tuberville’s predecessor, Mike Leach, might have called his players out for being complacent, but Tuberville’s looking beyond this season, saying his program will get a big boost in recruiting from the Oklahoma win despite the 41-7 loss to the Cyclones.
Given a choice to win one of the last two games, the second-year coach said he’d take ending the Sooners’ 39 game home-win streak. He acknowledged it was a “one-game flash,” but the news went everywhere.
“It got us on the map,” he said. “I would have loved to have won them both, but the situation that we’re in and where we want to get to, we need a selling point, and that was a huge selling point.”
Texas Tech (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) accomplished a rare feat with its dramatic swing, becoming only the second team since The Associated Press expanded to a Top 25 in 1989 to receive no votes in the rankings one week, be ranked (19th) the next week, then receive no votes the following week.
The Red Raiders cratered offensively last week, going from 572 yards of total offense in the 41-38 win at Oklahoma to just 290 in the Iowa State loss. Twelve of Texas Tech’s 15 possessions ended in punts or interceptions, while the defense gave up 512 total yards to the Cyclones, who hadn’t won a conference game yet this season and had a redshirt freshman quarterback making his first start on the road.
Tuberville said the truest accounting of where the Red Raiders are lies “somewhere in the middle” of how they played in the last two games. The defense isn’t fast enough, quick enough or big enough to shut down offenses, he said, and the offense is too inexperienced when teams like the Cyclones jump ahead 21-0 in the first 13 minutes.
“Your offense is going to have a bad day. They did,” Tuberville said. “Our defense has kind of lived off the offense all year long. You’ve got to have a complete football team, and not half of a football team.”
Texas Tech junior quarterback Seth Doege was adamant that the win over the Sooners was not a fluke.
“We’re exactly the same team,” he said. “We just played totally opposite of the way we played against Oklahoma. When we’re not ready to play and we go out there and lay a dud, we’re going to get embarrassed.”
The Red Raiders will play in Austin on Saturday — neither team is ranked, which hasn’t happened since 2001. Texas Tech has never beaten OU and Texas (5-2, 2-2) in the same season.
Texas coach Mack Brown, whose team last year fell 28-21 to Iowa State in Austin, knows it’ll be an energized Texas Tech team on the field Saturday.
“They’ll come into Austin mad because I’m sure they weren’t pleased with the way they came out against Iowa State,” he said. “Iowa State is one of those teams that when they get you like they did us last year, they relish that opportunity.”
Tuberville sees no problem getting his team motivated this week. It’s Texas, one of the Red Raiders’ biggest rivals, a matchup that he thinks will only get more intense with the departure of Texas A&M from the Big 12 next year.
“It’s a lot easier to get over a disappointment when you have a big rival game like this,” Tuberville said. “I think this should be a very good one.”
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