After a 7-0 start and an outside claim at the national title discussion, the Texas Tech Red Raiders have lost three straight games after hitting the heart of conference play. Saturday, they suffered their worst loss of the season, a 49-26 home defeat to Kansas State.
The Red Raiders took an early lead on Ryan Bustin's 23-yard field goal, but the Wildcats immediately responded with John Hubert's 63-yard touchdown run less than a minute later. Texas Tech scored next, as Davis Webb found Eric Ward for a two-yard score, but Kansas State finished out the quarter on Jake Waters's one-yard touchdown run, making it 14-10 Wildcats.
Kansas State really put the game away in the second quarter, when they scored three unanswered touchdowns to create a nearly insurmountable lead. Daniel Sams ran it in from five yards out, Waters had a 13-yard touchdown run and Waters completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Tramaine Thompson to make it 35-10 at halftime.
The Red Raiders came back a bit, scoring 16 points in the second half, but Kansas State scored 14 of their own to finish the game at 49-26.
The loss shows how far the Red Raiders have to go to make up the talent gap between them and the rest of the conference, writes Seth C of Viva the Matadors.
I do think there's some pretty decent talent on this team, but it's painfully thin. I suppose that's what happens when you lose two young defensive tackles, a linebacker that tackles well in space and a burner for a receiver because of the coaching transition.
Maybe talent isn't the right way to say it, but it sure does look that way when your team is beat every way. Maybe that's the best thing to write when you don't really want to talk about specific players not being able to do specific things. Maybe this is the right thing to write when you still have a coach that has to identify what's right and what's wrong with the team. Maybe this is the right thing to write because then it allows your coach to really evaluate the flaws with the team and attempt to address them with this recruiting class. There's a lot of work left to do.
For Kansas State, it's one of the first complete games of the year, and Derek Smith of Bring on the Cats said the Wildcats are stating to play their kind of football.
After this performance, there should no longer be a question of identity for the Wildcats. No, they're not the same national threat they were a year ago with Collin Klein andArthur Brown leading the way, but over the last four to five games, they have slowly come in to their own. They won't win any championships. They probably won't even sniff any post-season individual awards. But as they go about forcing turnovers, avoiding penalties and playing to the whistle on every down, they have proven that despite the early season mess, they still are Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats.