Longhorns hit stride on offense and defense

Lauren Giudice

Why Texas won 
With the help of wide receiver Mike Davis and running back Johnathan Gray, the Texas offense accumulated 427 yards and kept the Tech defense on its heels. David Ash bounced back from being benched last week with three touchdowns.

While the offense was productive and only punted four times, the defense finally showed up to play. They held Seth Doege to one touchdown and the Red Raiders made it to the red zone five times. They scored touchdowns twice on those opportunities, but were forced to kick field goals on the other three. Carrington Byndom’s block of 23-yard field goal sealed the win for the Longhorns.

Quarter by Quarter
First: With the help of a 26-yard run from Gray, Texas scored on its first drive with Ash’s six-yard pass to Jaxon Shipley. Tech responded with a one-yard touchdown run from Kenny Williams. But the Longhorns finished the quarter with a 14-7 lead after Joe Bergeron scored his 16th rushing touchdown of the season.
Second: The Texas defense held the Red Raiders to two field goals. On Texas’ first drive of the quarter, Ash threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Davis. Anthony Fera hit a 42-yard field goal at the end of the half, widening the Longhorns’ lead to 24-13.
Third: The Red Raiders hit another field goal and Eric Stephens caught a 10-yard pass from Seth Doege to make the score 24-22 in favor of Texas. Fourth: Davis caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ash to increase the Longhorns’ lead to 31-22. The Red Raiders attempted a field goal from the Texas 23-yard line to make it a one score game but it was blocked.

By the numbers
5-for-6: The Red Raiders’ success rate in the red zone. But Texas held them to four field goal attempts and two touchdowns.
9: The number of penalties Texas Tech committed for a loss of 85 yards. Penalties killed the Red Raiders, including a touchdown that was called back with a holding call in the fourth quarter.
165: The number of receiving yards Davis had, a career-high. His two touchdown receptions were also a career-high.

Stock up-
Mike Davis: Davis proved to be inconsistent earlier this season with dropped passes on key plays. But he had no mistakes during the game and his two long touchdown receptions were turning points. He also had a 54-yard reception that put Texas on Tech’s two-yard line and led to Bergeron’s touchdown. The junior is now ninth on the Texas all-time receiving yards list.

Stock up-
Manny Diaz: Diaz’s defense finally showed up. The young corps stopped Doege, who sits in second in the Big 12 in total offense. The Longhorns have been waiting for the defense to click and while the Red Raiders accumulated 441 yards on offense, the defense held them in the red zone.
The Achilles’ heel of the defense has been the run. But Tech was held to 112 rushing yards, the second-lowest number of yards on the ground the Longhorns have allowed this season. Sophomore linebacker Steve Edmond had eight tackles.

What’s next?
The Longhorns will come home and take on Iowa State. The Cyclones are two and four in the Big 12 with losses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Tech. But, none of those losses were blowouts. If Texas, specifically the defense, plays like it did against Tech, the Cyclones shouldn’t be too much of a threat.

Printed on Monday, November 5, 2012 as: Once a weakness, Horns' D comes up big