Texas Tech rallies to dump Stephen F. Austin
Texas Tech went back to the basics Saturday night against Stephen F. Austin to fuel a come-from-behind victory in Lubbock.
The Red Raiders erased a surprising halftime deficit with two third-quarter touchdowns, both fueled by a power running game, to claw past the Lumberjacks 28-22.
Texas Tech had to withstand a final potential game-winning drive by the Lumberjacks (1-1). Red Raiders’ defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings came up huge with a tackle for loss, a sack and a quarterback pressure on consecutive plays after Stephen F. Austin got as deep as the 8-yard-line.
Tech’s Tahj Boyd scored both third-quarter touchdowns, jolting the Lumberjacks with a 67-yard dash on the Red Raiders’ first series of the third quarter to put them ahead.
After a punt pinned Texas Tech (2-0) at its own 3-yard-line, Boyd and Xavier White alternated carries on an all-run, nine-play scoring march. White supplied the biggest play with a 52-yard burst on an inside read play.
Those two drives featured 12 rushes for 177 yards, which eclipsed the Red Raiders’ offensive output in the first half.
Stephen F. Austin caught a break when a fourth-down sack and fumble cost Texas Tech 39 yards and put the Lumberjacks 26 yards away from the end zone as the third period ended.
Three plays into the fourth, Trae Self hit Ja’Bray Young on a dumpdown pass at the goal line, and the back powered in to close the gap to 21-19. On the two-point try, Texas Tech linebacker Jacob Morgenstern knifed through to drop the receiver for a loss.
The Red Raiders answered with White’s 4-yard touchdown run, which was set up by a Tyler Shough-to-Erik Ezukanma pass that ate up 55 yards.
Texas Tech slogged through an uninspiring first half and trailed 13-7, with the defense allowing two long drives and the offense moving very little after a quick-strike touchdown to begin the game.
The Red Raiders took an immediate lead when Shough drilled a pass to Ezukanma downfield, and the receiver split a pair of defenders and raced for a 75-yard touchdown.
As promising as that start was, the Red Raiders sputtered and coughed offensively most of the rest of the first half, and Stephen F. Austin contributed by eating up chunks of time when it had the ball.
The Lumberjacks generated drives of 18 and 13 plays, both covering 65 yards, and had the ball in their hands for 20:57 of the initial 30 minutes. But those two long drives yielded only three points.
The Lumberjacks’ other first-half damage came on Willie Roberts’ 18-yard interception return for a touchdown and Chris Campos’ 23-yard field goal, which was a result of a Texas Tech muffed punt.
That was enough for a lead because following the long touchdown pass, the Red Raiders’ offensive drive chart read punt-interception (TD)-punt-punt-interception. Texas Tech ended the first half with only five first downs.
–Field Level Media