Five thoughts from the game: Texas 45, Texas Tech 48

Aaron Torres

Texas Tech defeated Texas, 48-45, on a rainy Thanksgiving evening at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.

The loss drops Texas to 4-7, 3-5 in the Big 12. Here are five thoughts on the game:

Injuries, injuries and more injuries:

The Longhorns entered the game down three starters: senior defensive tackle Desmond Jackson (stomach), sophomore running back D’Onta Foreman (toe) and senior running back Johnathan Gray (foot). Soon after the game kicked off, the Texas locker room and sideline became a de facto hospital wing. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard left the game with a head injury, senior linebacker Peter Jinkens injured his left knee, freshman running back Kirk Johnson was sidelined with an ankle injury and freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson suffered a game-ending ankle injury.

Swoopes returns:

Heard and junior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes split time at quarterback again early. But after Heard went down with a head injury, Swoopes took over. Swoopes finished 9-for-18 with 52 yards and one interception. The Longhorns seemingly abandoned the running game as soon as Swoopes came in, hoping Swoopes would find his rhythm. His first two pass attempts were deep throws down the field, but he overthrew his intended receiver both times. His second pass attempt hurt most. Sophomore wide receiver Lorenzo Joe was wide open down the right sideline, but Swoopes overthrew him by about 2 inches. Swoopes then overcompensated for the early overthrows with short throws.

Chris Warren arrives:

Hell of a performance by the freshman running back. 

Defense can’t maintain:

The Longhorn defense did its best to limit Texas Tech’s offense, the No. 2 scoring offense in the country. The injury-laden unit fell short. The Red Raiders scored 17 points in the first half, in part because of Texas’ pressure on Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech’s sophomore quarterback. The Texas defense made him scramble out of the pocket but didn’t maintain the pressure in the second half. The Red Raiders scored 10 points in the third quarter and another touchdown early in the fourth. Texas’ missed tackles boosted the Red Raider production.

Run Texas, run:

The Longhorns ran through, and sometimes over, the Red Raiders defense. Texas piled up 403 rushing yards, Warren alone accounting for 276 yards. He broke Texas’ freshman record for single-game rush yards, a mark previously held by former Texas running back Cedric Benson. In Warren’s best run, he broke five tackles and rumbled for a 91-yard touchdown. Swoopes added 98 yards on the ground to Warren’s breakout game. As Texas’ passing game faltered, the running game kept Texas’ chances alive.