PROVO, Utah – Texas Tech outgained BYU but couldn’t overcome five turnovers in a 27-14 loss in the Red Raiders’ first trip to LaVell Edwards Stadium.
True freshman quarterback Jake Strong made his first career start for the injured Behren Morton, who made the trip but did not suit up for Saturday’s game.
It’s the third straight season Texas Tech has had to start three different quarterbacks in a season.
Before Strong even took the field, the Red Raiders were in a 7-0 hole after the Cougars marched 75 yards on seven plays and capped the drive with a Kedon Slovis touchdown pass to Chase Roberts. BYU entered the contest averaging 67 rushing yards per game, but on the second play of the game, L.J. Martin broke a season-long 55-yard run to get the Cougars into the red zone. They finished with a season-high 150 rushing yards.
Texas Tech ran the ball on its first seven plays, but the drive ended when Strong fumbled the ball on 4th and one on the BYU four-yard line to turn the ball over on downs.
On Texas Tech’s next possession, Strong had trouble with the exchange with Tahj Brooks, and the Cougars recovered the fumble in the endzone to jump in front 14-0 with 2:10 remaining in the first quarter.
The Red Raiders would get on the board in the second quarter when Strong connected with Xavier White on a 72-yard touchdown to pull within a score at 14-7.
BYU would respond with a seven-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a Slovis 4-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Lassiter to give the Cougars a 21-7 lead.
Strong would throw his fourth interception of the season on the next drive. The pass deflected off Cam’Ron Valdez’s hands was picked off by Eddie Heckard and returned 38 yards into Texas Tech territory.
The turnover would lead to a Will Ferrin 35-yard field goal to give the Cougars a 24-7 lead.
The first half would end with Strong’s second interception of the game and fifth of the season.
Both defenses forced a total of four punts to start the third quarter. Texas Tech finally went for it on 4th and three on their third possession, but Strong’s pass attempt to Jordan Brown was incomplete forcing the turnover on downs.
Texas Tech’s defense would force another Cougars punt, but Myles Price would fumble the ball on the return, and BYU would recover. It would lead to another Ferrin field goal and a 27-7 lead.
After seven possessions without points, the Red Raiders would finally get on the board again on a one-yard Tahj Brooks touchdown run. The 14-play, 87-yard drive made it a two-score game at 27-14.
Strong completed 19-of-37 passes for 236 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions in the loss.
The Red Raiders (3-5, 2-3 Big 12) have an open week then return to action against TCU at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 at Jones Stadium.