Texas Tech vs. SMU Game Recap | Chris Schisler
Texas Tech was able to start its season with an impressive win on the road. The game was won by the team that took advantage of more opportunities. With sacks and penalties and even a missed field goal SMU left a lot of points on the field. Texas Tech struggled to score touchdowns early in the game but the offense would turn red hot. The score maybe lopsided but it was a tightly contested game. SMU had a bevy of opportunities and failed to convert enough of these opportunities into point.
The Red Raiders offense marched down the field led by freshman walk on quarterback Baker Mayfield but only came away with 3 points on their first drive. Both teams struggled in the red zone in the first half. Texas Tech would correct their offensive problems, SMU could not.This is partly because these teams depend on the short passing game and use it as their running game. Inside the 20 this becomes much harder. Texas Tech had a bootleg touchdown on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line called back due to a ticky tack holding penalty by receiver Eric Ward. The Red zone struggles for the SMU Mustangs were due to 5th year senior QB Garrett Gilbert’s inability to throw the football in the intended timing. He was sacked multiple times in the red zone. On one drive he was sacked twice in the red zone after completing a beautiful bomb to get them there.
The difference in the first half was the amazing first touchdown pass of Mayfield’s collegiate career at Texas Tech. Mayfield who struggled at times especially throwing the ball downfield took a shot. He stepped into his throw and found Jordan Davis across the middle of the field. Davis made one heck of a run after the catch for the only touchdown scored of the first half. Watching Jordan Davis I could not help but be impressed. The junior receiver played well and his skill sets reminds me of Erick Decker’s. Davis has a long way to go but he definitely caught my eye in this game.
This was an amazing first game of Baker Mayfield’s time as Texas Tech’s starting quarterback. Mayfield seemed comfortable early on. The short passing game was very efficient early on and as the game continued he became more aggressive. It was very important that he took advantage of his deeper passes when they were available. This kept the defense honest and allowed the short passing game to tear it apart. The walk on freshman’s second touchdown gave the Red Raiders a 20-9 lead about half way into the third quarter. While there were certainly times that Mayfield showed his inexperience he ran the offense efficiently. Mayfield has a lot of potential and it will be interesting to track his progress as his collegiate career continues.
The Mustangs were now facing a critical moment in the game. If Garrett Gilbert could not produce a touchdown on the subsequent drive the game could have snowballed on SMU. Gilbert delivered. He ended the drive with a 23 yard touchdown run. The play before the touchdown he ran for 19 yards. Both Gilbert runs were right up the middle of the defense. The touchdown completely changed the momentum of the game. Earlier in the game Gilbert was holding the ball to long, he remained a passer to get sacked. This may be why Texas Tech had no QB spy on those costly quarterback keepers. The momentum did not last long for SMU offensively. After forcing a Texas Tech punt the SMU offense went three and out. The drive ended on the 5th sack recorded by the Red Raider defense.
Texas Tech found its stride once again with a great touchdown drive. Words cannot tell you how impressed I was with Mayflower’s performance. A running touchdown extended the lead to 27-16. The touchdown drive that ended with 10:05 left in the fourth quarter was the defining moment of the game. It may not have been the dagger but it felt like it. As efficient as Texas Tech’s offense had been time became a big factor in SMU’s comeback aspirations. To make matters worse the Mustangs were forced to punt the ball on their next drive.
The Red Raiders had no intention of running out the clock. They took the field with 8:08 and they stayed in their fast tempo. Baker Mayflower completed two big passes to senior wide receiver Eric Ward that set up their next touchdown. The quick strike touchdown o Jakeem Grant put Tech ahead 34-16 with 5:40 left in the game. Mayflower completed 40/56 for 362 yards for 3 touchdowns. A star may have been born tonight. Baker Mayflower played a sensational game.
Texas Tech proved to have playmakers all over the offense and it was too much for the SMU Mustangs. Tech ran away with the game in the fourth quarter. Gilbert and SMU had chances to keep up with Tech, but found ways to screw it up. Whether it was a dropped pass, a penalty or a sack the offense seemed to shoot itself in the foot on a regular basis. Baker Mayflower had a sensational debut at Texas Tech and the Red Raiders were very impressive.