Texas' Chris Warren III scores a touchdown against Texas Tech during their NCAA college football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium Saturday, Nov. 26, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Football

Texas-Texas Tech: Our four pregame questions — answered

Posted November 27th, 2015

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On Thursday morning, we asked four questions about the Texas-Texas Tech matchup.

Here’s how they played out:

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DID CHRIS WARREN RUSH FOR 100 YARDS?

Yes. And then some. Warren, a freshman, had the best rushing performance ever for a Texas freshman, eclipsing Cedric Benson. He had 276 yards and four touchdowns, on 25 carries. That is not a typo. He entered the game with only 18 carries all season and hadn’t rushed for more than 26 yards in any single game. But D’Onta Foreman (finger surgery) and Johnathan Gray (turf toe) spent Thursday night watching from the sideline, and Texas Tech’s defense was the perfect opportunity for Warren to break out. The Red Raiders rank among the nation’s worst defenses in points and yards allowed.

DID TEXAS’ DEFENSE GET OFF THE FIELD ON THIRD DOWNS?

Yes. The season-long stats on third downs for both teams didn’t bode well for Texas — the Red Raiders lead the nation in third down conversions with a 53-percent success rate, while the Longhorns rank 120th in third-down defense. But Tech was only 4 of 13 on third downs. The Longhorns, however, couldn’t take full advantage of it.

DID TEXAS CONTINUE TO COMMIT TURNOVERS?

Yes. Texas committed two of them, a Tyrone Swoopes interception and a Caleb Bluiett fumble, but only one of those led to Texas Tech points. Contrast that with Texas’ last game, when the Longhorns gave away the ball five times at West Virginia. This was Texas’ third multi-turnover game of the season.

WHICH SENIOR IMPRESSED IN HIS FINAL HOME GAME?

Daje Johnson. And good for him, after the up-and-down career he’s had that has had more downs than ups. Johnson produced 197 all-purpose yards, almost all of them coming on punt and kickoff returns (194). His big 42-yard kick return in the fourth quarter helped Texas cut the lead to 48-45 with 2 minutes left. As for the other seniors, there was little to be happy about — Gray missed his final home game altogether, as did defensive tackle Desmond Jackson (illness), and linebacker Peter Jinkens was injured in the first half and never returned.

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