It’s halftime at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Texas is leading Texas Tech 20-10.
The Longhorns are 10-point favorites tonight.
The Red Raiders are in desperate need of a win — to qualify for a bowl game in their final game of the regular season and, perhaps, to save head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s job. They’re hanging in there. Texas went up early, looking super sharp on the first drive of the game, then fell behind 10-7 for a time. There was a mid-half malaise on offense; at one point, the Longhorns punted on four straight drives on four straight three-and-outs.
But it was a Michael Dickson punt that actually turned things around; he rugby-styled a punt down to Tech’s 3, and a penalty on the play backed the Red Raiders back to inside the 2. Texas forced a punt and picked up a field goal to tie it, then took the lead thanks to a Kris Boyd interception that he returned down to inside the 10.
Texas Tech, which won the opening coin toss, will get the ball to start the second half.
What’s happened so far
1. Like last week, Texas is facing a dangerous passing offense. Like last week, the Longhorns are getting the backup quarterback. Nic Shimonek, the fifth-year senior who’s thrown for 3,451 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, was benched. It was explained as a coach’s decision. In his place, McLane Carter has gone 12 of 25 for 185 yards.
So far, Carter — a sophomore left-hander — has had his moments. He found Keke Coutee for 41 yards, then T.J. Vasher for 51. But he’s also thrown two picks that have resulted in 10 Texas points.
2. High points for the Horns?
- Michael Dickson may not have the Ray Guy Award on his mind, but we’re betting the Ray Guy Award voters have Dickson on their mind tonight. Tom Herman called the junior punter a weapon earlier this week. Dickson’s backing that up tonight. Consider his five punts so far:
60 yards, to the 10-yard line
64 yards, returned to the 12
54 yards, downed at the 12
53 yards, downed at the 3
29 yards, downed at the 8
- Kris Boyd picked off a pass over the middle and returned it 44 yards down to Texas Tech’s 9. It set up a Daniel Young touchdown run on the very next play. Boyd also prevented a touchdown with a goal-line tackle and broke up a third-down pass in the second quarter, forcing a punt.
- Gary Johnson came out of nowhere to drop Carter for a 4-yard loss on Tech’s opening drive, forcing a third-and-10; Tech threw incomplete on third down and had to punt. Later, Johnson forced Carter into a hurried pass that went incomplete.
- Lil’Jordan Humphrey has been active. He lofted a 27-yard touch pass to Sam Ehlinger on the opening touchdown drive. He later took a reverse play 7 yards down to Tech’s 3. And he converted a third-and-8 play late in the half with a 21-yard catch and run.
- Taquan Graham had a sack. Davante Davis picked off a pass in the final minute of the half and returned it 14 yards to Tech’s 20.
- Chris Warren III continues to make plays in his new position. He had a 19-yard catch-and-run down to the 1 with 30 seconds left.
3. And the low points?
- On second-and-goal from the 3, it looked like Kyle Porter would run left, where Connor Williams and Chris Warren III were in front, blocking. But he instead pitched it to John Burt on a reverse; Burt ran around the right side perhaps on a run/throw option — and opted not to pass it to a wide-open Ehlinger in the end zone. Instead, Burt looked like he thought about running it in, then changed his mind and threw it. The pass was out of bounds. The Longhorns ended up settling for a field goal.
- That field goal was a bit of a downer, though it was kicked by Joshua Rowland, which was significant; Rowland, who’s now 8 of 15 on the season, was benched last week in favor of Mitchell Becker. But the field goal was a disappointing way to close the series that saw the Longhorns run FIVE plays from inside the 3-yard line — a Kyle Porter run for no gain, an Ehlinger run for 2, a 2-yard loss for Ehlinger, Burt’s incomplete trick-play pass to Ehlinger, and an incomplete pass to Reggie Hemphill-Mapps.
Tom Herman, who said earlier this season that he hates 20-yard field goals, settled for a 20-yard field goal.
- The exact same thing happened at the very end of the half. Texas reached first-and-goal at the 1 — and couldn’t get it in. There was a Daniel Young run for up the middle for no gain. Then a Young carry over right guard for a 1-yard loss. Then, on third-and-goal, Ehlinger threw a pass to Warren into the turf.
This time, Herman settled for a 19-yarder.
Texas: Armanti Foreman 27-yard pass from Sam Ehlinger (Joshua Rowland kick, 13:29)
Texas Tech: Antoine Wesley 1-yard pass from McLane Carter (Clayton Hatfield kick, 3:37)
Texas Tech: Hatfield 32-yard field goal (14:49)
Texas: Rowland 20-yard field goal (8:07)
Texas: Daniel Young 9-yard run (Rowland kick, 6:41)
Texas: Rowland 19-yard field goal (:09)
Texas has had nine drives, all but one quarterbacked by Ehlinger. Shane Buechele came in for the Horns’ third series. Here’s how the drives have played out:
Ehlinger: 4 plays, 75 yards, 1:31 (touchdown)
Ehlinger: 3 plays, 3 yards, 1:23 (punt)
Buechele: 3 plays, minus-1 yard, 2:03 (punt)
Ehlinger: 3 plays, 9 yards 1:23 (punt)
Ehlinger: 3 plays, 7 yards, 1:27 (punt)
Ehlinger: 14 plays, 37 yards, 4:36 (field goal)
Ehlinger: 1 play, 9 yards, :06 (touchdown)
Ehlinger: 9 plays, 36 yards, 2:37 (punt)
Ehlinger: 5 plays, 18 yards, :39 (field goal)
The post It’s halftime, and Texas is leading Texas Tech 20-10 appeared first on Hook ‘Em.
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