Texas Tech blows second-half lead, falls to Kansas State 25-24

Red Raider Nation

Texas Tech’s Colin Schooler (17) celebrates after breaking up a Stephen F. Austin pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech squandered a prime chance at bowl eligibility Saturday, blowing a 14-point second half lead in a 25-24 loss to Kansas State. 

The Red Raiders had plenty of opportunities to put the game away, but did not score in the second half and committed costly mistakes to let Kansas State back in the game.

Texas Tech led 24-10 going into the second half but immediately surrendered two points. Myles Price did not field a punt, allowing it to bounce to the 4-yard line. SaRodorick Thompson was tackled in the end zone on the next play for a safety. Kansas State scored a touchdown on the next possession, making the score 24-19. 

The Wildcats were driving with a chance to go ahead late in the third quarter when Colin Schooler punched the ball out of Nick Lenners’ hands and recovered it, giving the Red Raiders an opportunity to extend their lead. However, their next drive fizzled out when Henry Colombi could not connect with Erik Ezukanma on fourth down.

On the next drive, another one of Texas Tech’s defensive studs — Tyree Wilson this time — came up big. He sacked KSU quarterback Skylar Thompson on back-to-back plays, setting up a 3rd-and-34. The Red Raiders were not able to capitalize on that opportunity either. Devin Drew committed a hands-to-the-face penalty, giving the drive new life. Kansas State converted it into six points to take its first lead of the game, 25-24. 

Only needing a field goal, Texas Tech had a chance for a game-winning drive but Colombi was sacked on third and fourth down, putting the nail in TTU’s coffin.

While the Red Raiders were dominated in the second half, the first half was a different story. 

The team had been plagued by slow starts in many of its games, falling behind quickly in losses to TCU and Texas. Saturday, it exploded out of the gates. The offense needed just two plays and 30 seconds to march 75 yards down the field for an opening-drive touchdown. 

Sonny Cumbie continued to use the creative playcalling he featured against Kansas. The first play of the game was a 30-yard orbit screen to Kaylon Geiger, the second was a jet sweep that Erik Ezukanma took 45 yards into the end zone. 

The Red Raiders made another big play on the ensuing kickoff. Special teamer Tyrique Matthews ripped the ball out of Wildcat return man Malik Knowles’ hands and Red Raider wide receiver McLane Mannix fell on the ball, setting up a SaRodorick Thompson touchdown. 

The Red Raiders caught a tough break in the second quarter when Kansas State appeared to jump offside, but the referees did not call it. Seeing a flag, Henry Colombi threw the ball into traffic and it was intercepted. However the flag was on Texas Tech, allowing the interception to stand. Matt Wells said after the game that Colombi thought he had a free play. 

Cumbie kept the ball out of Colombi’s hands for most of the game. He threw just 17 passes on the day compared to 39 running plays. He hit on deep passes down the field to Myles Price and Travis Koontz to set up scores in the first half, but he completed just four passes in the second half. Ezukanma finished the day with just one catch for three yards. 

A victory would have made the Red Raiders bowl-eligible for the first time since 2017 and bumped their record to an impressive 6-2. But Texas Tech has struggled to put together a complete game all season and Saturday was no exception.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

News Highlights

Don't Miss

Big 12 Scoreboard (Scorestream)

Event Calendar