You’ll always have Thanksgiving night of 2015, Chris Warren.
This season has been all D’Onta Foreman. And Saturday certainly was all Foreman, too.
It’s all over in Lubbock, and Texas has beaten Texas Tech for the seventh time in eight years, a 45-37 victory that was fueled by yet another record-breaking performance by D’Onta Foreman, who continues to build his 2016 resume with, and this is saying something, his best game of the season.
Foreman had 33 carries for 341 yards and three touchdowns, eclipsing the UT freshman-record performance from Warren last Thanksgiving, when Warren scorched Tech for 276 yards in his first-ever UT start.
Still, the win Saturday wasn’t settled until the final minute of the game, when Kris Boyd picked off a Patrick Mahomes pass into the end zone. It was a big day for the defense, which had to stop the nation’s leading passer directing the No. 1-rated offense in the country.
Why the Longhorns (5-4, 2-3) won: Strange to say, but the defense showed up in Lubbock. The final numbers say otherwise, but Texas’ ability to force occasional punts, apply pressure to Mahomes in the second half and come up with a timely big tackle, pressure, tipped pass or turnover was enough to overcome offensive mistakes and, toward the end, questionable play-calling. Foreman, as expected, was huge. Is there any doubt he’ll tie Earl Campbell’s 39-year-old record of consecutive 100-yard games next week?
Why the Red Raiders (4-5, 2-4) lost: OK, let’s go ahead and say Tech received two questionable spots on its final drive, including the game-deciding gain of no yards on Mahomes’ fourth-and-inches keeper in the final minute. But Tech’s inability to finish drives, and its accompanying problems converting third downs, is what doomed the Raiders. Tech had been converting nearly 60 percent of its third-down chances, but was only 7 of 19 on Saturday. The Red Raiders were outgained, 658 yards to 482.
Shane Buechele was 20 of 40 for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Foreman (33-341-3) averaged 10.3 yards per carry and produced Texas’ longest touchdown run of the season (74) and the first, second and fourth longest runs of the season (74, 55, 38). Armanti Foreman had six catches for 65 yards, while Collin Johnson had four for 47 and the first two touchdowns of his career.
Mahomes was 36 of 59 for 367 yards and three touchdowns, plus the costly interception at the end of the game. Da’Leon Ward was a bright spot, rushing for 93 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Dylan Cantrell had eight catches for 89 yards, while Jonathan Giles and Cameron Batson added touchdown catches.
The teams combined for 1,140 yards, 82 points,
60 first downs and 190 total plays.
Foreman. What a season he’s having.
Buechele. Solid again. Made good choices.
Johnson. At 6-6, he was a matchup problem for Tech.
John Bonney. Forced a big fumble that took away a scoring opportunity for Tech, and later broke up a touchdown pass in the end zone.
Michael Dickson. His 40-yard punt pinned Tech back at its own 5 with 7:04 left to play, trailing by eight.
Jerrod Heard. Dropped a big, big pass late in the first quarter that would’ve gone for a lot of yards. And he couldn’t corral a pass to him in the end zone later.
Kent Perkins, Zach Shackelford. Their chop block penalty in the second quarter took away a Tyrone Swoopes touchdown pass to Caleb Bluiett out of the 18-Wheeler package. That ended up leading to Tech’s big 100-yard fumble return touchdown after stripping Foreman of the ball at the goal line.
Malcolm Roach. Two bad penalties — a 15-yard horsecollar on Mahomes early in the third quarter, and a late hit penalty in the fourth.
Breckyn Hager. After the early-week comments that made waves on social media and culminated in a pair of same-day apology statements, the sophomore defensive end finished with only two tackles. A quiet day after a loud week.
The 18-Wheeler — and Sterlin Gilbert’s late-game play-calling. Why Texas opted to have Foreman — all 341 yards of him — on the sideline for a pair of critical third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 tries in the final minutes of the game, we can’t figure out. Swoopes was stuffed for no gain on both plays, and it gave Tech its one, final last-minute chance to tie the game.
How they scored:
Texas Tech: Cameron Bratson 3-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes (Clayton Hatfield kick), 11:37
The drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:23
The key play: On third-and-inches at the 8, Texas was flagged for offsides, turning a potential hold to a field goal into a first-and-goal at the 3.
Texas: D’Onta Foreman 4-yard run (Trent Domingue kick), 10:43
The drive: 4-69-:54
The key play: On Texas’ first play, Jake Oliver’s 52-yard catch and run down to Tech’s 20-yard line set it all up.
Texas Tech: Hatfield 42-yard field goal, 7:02
The drive: 9-51-3:41
The key play: On third-and-12, Malik Jefferson pressured Mahomes into a quick pass that went for 11 yards, thanks to P.J. Locke III’s tackle of Dylan Cantrell one yard short of the first down. Today, a field goal translates into a defensive victory.
Texas: Collin Johnson 16-yard pass from Shane Buechele (Domingue kick), 4:30
The drive: 9-75-2:32
The key play: Facing a third-and-6 at Tech’s 16-yard line, the Red Raiders called timeout. Did that give Sterlin Gilbert the time to call the touchdown play?
Texas Tech: Jonathan Giles 6-yard pass from Mahomes (kick blocked), 1:23
The drive: 8-87-3:07
The key play: The blocked extra point, perhaps. And it came from Poona Ford, who was shaken up for a bit on Tech’s second drive earlier.
Texas Tech: Douglas Coleman 100-yard fumble return (Hatfield kick)
The key play: Three plays before Coleman stripped D’Onta Foreman of the ball inches before the goal line, a Texas touchdown was wiped away when Kent Perkins and Zach Shackelford were called for a chop block on a play when Tyrone Swoopes found Caleb Bluiett for an easy scoring pass out of the 18-Wheeler set.
Texas: Johnson 9-yard pass from Buechele (Domingue kick), 3:01
The drive: 9-75-2:32
The key play: Kyle Porter, playing this drive in place of D’Onta Foreman, broke a 30-yard run down to Texas Tech’s 8-yard line. Porter had 51 yards on the drive.
Texas: Domingue 29-yard field goal, :26
The drive: 11-48-1:28
The key play: On third-and-10, Buechele found Jake Oliver for 14 yards over the middle, to Tech’s 29.
Texas: Tyrone Swoopes 4-yard run (Domingue kick), 11:57
The drive: 11-75-3:03
The key play: On an 11-play drive that didn’t have a single third-down test, D’Onta Foreman’s 16-yard run down to Tech’s 9-yard line brought in the 18-Wheeler.
Texas Tech: Batson 7-yard pass from Mahomes (Hatfield kick), 7:33
The drive: 13-75-4:24
The key play: It would have been a gutsy fake punt run of 25 yards from Tech’s own 27-yard line — until Malcolm Roach was later flagged 15 yards for a horsecollar penalty that moved Tech to UT’s 20.
Texas: Foreman 38-yard run (Domingue kick), 6:15
The drive: 5-75-1:18
The key play: That was it, really, though Foreman did have a pair of 12-yard gains. He had 65 yards on the drive.
Texas: Foreman 74-yard run (Domingue kick), 14:49
The drive: 3-81-:42
The key play: That was it. It also put Foreman over the 300-yard mark for the game.
Texas Tech: Da’Leon Ward 9-yard run (Hatfield kick), 10:50
The drive: 3-37-:49
The key play: Really, it was Kyle Porter’s fumble that made it all possible; Tech started its drive at Texas’ 37.
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