Texas Tech Edges Texas In Overtime

By Terrance Turner

Sept. 24, 2022

LUBBOCK, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 24: Trey Wolff #36 and Jackson Knotts #30 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders react following a a field goal kick from Wolff in the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT&T Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images)

Two Texas teams faced off today as the Texas Tech Red Raiders hosted the Texas Longhorns in Lubbock. Both teams were 2-1; both had fans represented in the sellout crowd inside Jones At&T Stadium. And in a dramatic game that came down to the final seconds — then went to overtime! — Texas Tech got its first win against Texas in Lubbock since 2008.

Texas Longhorns quarterback Hudson Card got the scoring started, throwing to running back Keilan Robinson for a 35-yard touchdown. The Red Raiders answered when their quarterback Donovan Smith rushed to the end zone for a four-yard touchdown.

Then Texas mounted a 10-play, 43-yard drive that stalled when Card got sacked by Tony Bradford Jr. and Tyree Wilson for a loss of six yards. But the Longhorns went up 10-7, thanks to a field goal by kicker Bert Auburn. Texas Tech soon took the lead after its drive, which culminated in Smith throwing to running back Tahj Brooks for a 17-yard touchdown.

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The Longhorns took over. Card threw a deep pass to the left sideline; Red Raiders safety Reggie Pearson intercepted it. Pearson returned the pick 15 yards, and Texas Tech started from its own 45-yard line. But Tech only managed -2 yards in three plays, and Smith got sacked by D’Shawn Jamison. So the Red Raiders had to punt.

The Texas Longhorns took back possession. Card stepped up and threw to wide receiver Xavier Worthy for a TD. It was Worthy’s first touchdown this season (and the first for any Texas receiver so far). It put the Longhorns back on top, 17-14, with 6:18 left in the half.

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And Texas scored again before halftime. Hudson Card led a four-minute drive, completing passes to WR Jordan Whittington (for 15 yards) and RB Roschon Johnson (23 yards). Then, inside the red zone, running back Bijan Robinson took off for an 8-yard rushing touchdown to make it 24-14. With just 24 seconds left in the half, Texas Tech wasn’t able to score. So they left the field down by 10 at the half.

Both teams turned the ball over on downs to start the third quarter. But later on, Texas Tech kicker Trey Wolff made it a one-score game with a 27-yard field goal. When Texas got the ball back, Robinson ran 40 yards down the sideline into the end zone. That TD gave Texas a 31-17 lead.

Then Tech’s offense caught fire. On 4th and 1, with three minutes left in the third quarter, Smith kept the ball and drove forward to get the first down. Then he threw to 6’9″ tight end Mason Tharp for first and goal. Running back SaRodorick Thompson scored a one-yard TD. It was 31-24, with 1:55 left in the third.

Texas’ next drive ended with a punt; Tech’s drive took five minutes and took them to the end of the third quarter. Early in the fourth, the Red Raiders reached the red zone. The Texas defense jumped offsides. Thus Smith had a free play and threw the ball 35 yards to Trey Cleveland (who somehow made the catch despite double coverage). Cleveland’s stellar catch took Tech to 1st and goal. Smith ran to the four-yard line, then to the two. The Red Raiders went for it on 4th and goal. But the Longhorns defense held firm, keeping them out of the end zone.

Texas’s goal-line stand hurt them offensively. They started the drive backed up in their own end zone and never got out of it. They went three-and-out and had to punt. And after their fifth third-down conversion, Texas Tech scored when Smith hurled a pass to tight end Baylor Cupp for a 19-yard TD. An extra point kick tied the game at 31 with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter. 

The clock continued to run. Wolff kicked a field goal from 45 yards out, giving Tech a three-point lead. But with 21 seconds left, the Longhorns managed to get within field goal range. (One major factor was Tarique Milton’s incredible one-handed grab.) Kicker Bert Auburn sent the ball through the uprights, with no time remaining. Auburn’s 48-yard field goal tied the game and sent it to overtime.

After the opening coin toss, the Longhorns took the field on offense. The Red Raiders played defense. In a move that shocked viewers and dismayed Longhorns fans, Bijan Robinson fumbled the ball. Texas Tech recovered it and moved quickly into the red zone. They didn’t score a touchdown; Smith slipped as he ran towards the end zone. But Trey Wolff sealed the game with a 20-yard field goal.

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Texas Tech won in overtime, 37-34. Fans flooded the field in celebration, turning the turf into a sea of red.

“I was asked at the end what it means to us,” said first-year Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire, a lifelong Texan. “It means we’re 1-0 in the Big 12. I’m fired up to beat Texas. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m more fired up to be 1-0.”

The win is especially poignant because this might be the last time these two teams meet on this field. Texas is set to join the SEC (Southeastern Conference) in 2024, if not before. That means there may not be any more games between these two teams. There are currently discussions as to whether this 60-year-old Texas rivalry will continue.

But McGuire thinks it should. “There’s a reason they don’t want to, and it happened today,” McGuire said. “But we should. It should be in every sport. Let’s just talk about revenue and sellouts.”

In front of a sellout crowd, Texas Tech shined. Smith threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns. (And zero interceptions.) He also rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown. Myles Price caught a career-high 13 passes for 98 yards, including a 5-yarder on fourth down. And Trey Wolff was perfect on all seven of his kicks: 4-for-4 on extra-point kicks, 3-for-3 on field goals — including the game-winner.

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