Tech-TCU helps Big 12’s na­tional per­cep­tion

The Oklahoman - - COLLEGE KICKOFF -

Amer­ica tuned in to see a shootout Thurs­day night when Texas Tech played TCU on ESPN. In­stead, Amer­ica got a throw­back.

Tech up­set the Horned Frogs 17-14 in an old-fash­ioned foot­ball game.

When you think Texas Tech and a Big 12 game, vi­sions of 63-49 spring to mind. Tech played one of those games, against Hous­ton, ear­lier in the sea­son. But Thurs­day brought a game straight out of 1968.

ESPN’s Kirk Herb­streit was on hand to call the game and saluted the Red Raiders via twit­ter: “What an ef­fort by (head coach) Kliff Kings­bury, (de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor) David Gibbs and the Texas Tech foot­ball pro­gram on rein­vent­ing them­selves tonight of­fen­sively and play­ing lights out on de­fense. Huge win by the Red Raiders! Con­grats.”

This was as non-Big 12 as you could find. Tech had 17 first downs and 353 to­tal yards. TCU had 20 first downs and 411 to­tal yards. Each team punted seven times.

Four years ago in Fort Worth, TCU routed the Red Raiders 82-27. Tech two years ago played games of 68-55, 59-45, 44-38, 66-59, 45-37, 45-44 and 54-35.

“It was four years ago I walked off that field and they’d put 82 on us,” Kings­bury said Thurs­day night. “So to come back and have that type of per­for­mance, I’m re­ally proud of what that side (de­fense) of the foot­ball’s done — has fought and fought, and that was the con­sis­tency that we’re look­ing for from that group with all that vet­eran lead­er­ship.”

This was a game good for Big 12 PR. The na­tional per­cep­tion that the Big 12 plays arena-style foot­ball was laid to rest, for at least one night.

This was an old-fash­ioned field po­si­tion game. Each team started five pos­ses­sions in­side its own 20-yard line. TCU started from its 1- and 2-yard lines. Tech started from its 1-, 2and 3-yard lines.

Tech used its third start­ing quar­ter­back of the sea­son, sopho­more Jett Duffie, and he pro­duced both Tech touch­downs on big plays, a 62-yard pass to Ja’Deion High and a 38-yard run.

“There’s only one per­son to blame — that’s me,” de­fen­sive-minded coach Gary Pat­ter­son said. “I al­lowed two big plays. We had a week-and-a-half to get these guys ready and ob­vi­ously we did not on of­fense and we gave up two big plays on de­fense.”

That usu­ally won’t get you beat. But Thurs­day night, it did.

Coach on the hot seat

The 1989 Kansas State Wild­cats went 0-7 in the Big Eight Con­fer­ence. That was Bill Sny­der’s first sea­son in Man­hat­tan.

Now Sny­der is in his 27th sea­son as the K-State coach, and his next-worst con­fer­ence record was back-to-back 2-6 fin­ishes in 2004-05. Which prompted Sny­der to think his time was over. He re­signed, only to re­turn three years later.

Now it’s 2018, and K-State could be headed for an­other dis­as­trous Big 12 fin­ish. The Wild­cats are 0-3 and al­ready have lost to Bay­lor.

KSU hosts Ok­la­homa State on Satur­day, and a de­feat sends the ‘Cats to 0-4 in the Big 12.

There is no pres­sure on Sny­der con­cern­ing his job. He’s the made-est of men in Man­hat­tan. But Sny­der wants to even­tu­ally hand over the pro­gram to his son, Sean.

That will be dif­fi­cult to do if the Wild­cats aren’t thriv­ing. And it will be dif­fi­cult for Sny­der to stay if KSU con­tin­ues to plum­met.

Up­set spe­cial

Both West Vir­ginia and Iowa State had Septem­ber games can­celled by weather. South Dakota State at Iowa State and West Vir­ginia at North Carolina State.

So a likely Cy­clone vic­tory was wiped away, and what would be WVU’s tough­est to date was re­moved.

Which makes their game in Ames, Iowa, very in­ter­est­ing on Satur­day.

The Moun­taineers are 5-0, hav­ing beaten Ten­nessee, Youngstown State, Texas Tech and the Big 12’s two Kansas schools. N.C. State, also 5-0, is ranked 20th.

The Cy­clones are 2-3, de­spite shuf­fling through quar­ter­backs, hav­ing started three so far. ISU lost 13-3 at Iowa, 37-27 to Ok­la­homa and 17-14 at TCU. But the Cy­clones won 48-42 in Still­wa­ter last week with true fresh­man QB Brock Purdy play­ing all but the open­ing drive.

Iowa State is tested. West Vir­ginia, not so much. The Moun­taineers are 6 ½-point fa­vorites on the road, but let’s go with Iowa State in the up­set.

Rank­ing the games

1. West Vir­ginia at Iowa State, 6 p.m., Fox Sports 1: Cy­clones’ only vic­tory in the series came in 2013, 52-44 in Ames.

2. Texas Tech at TCU, played Thurs­day night: Red Raiders won 17-14, set­ting them­selves up for an up­per-divi­sion fin­ish in the Big 12 and the Horned Frogs per­haps for a lower-divi­sion fin­ish.

3. Ok­la­homa State at Kansas State, 11 a.m., ESPNU: Cow­boys might need this game for bowl el­i­gi­bil­ity — they’re 4-2 but still have OU, Texas and West Vir­ginia on the sched­ule.

4. Bay­lor at Texas, 2:30 p.m., ESPN: Can the Longhorns sur­vive the post-Dal­las let­down?


Texas Tech coach Kliff Kings­bury cel­e­brates a 17-14 vic­tory at TCU on Thurs­day.

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