Texas Tech couldn't recover from a series of bad breaks in the first quarter, and couldn't gather enough momentum for a comeback in the second half. As a result, Ole Miss claimed a 47-27 victory over the Red Raiders on Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Right from the start, Texas Tech got a gut punch as defensive back Kisean Allen fell down attempting to cover Rebels WR D.K. Metcalf, who turned the misstep into a 58-yard touchdown. It was the kind of play Red Raider fans have come to dread and it was an ominous beginning.
It got worse, though, as starting quarterback McLane Carter left the game with an apparent ankle injury and Desmon Smith was ejected for targeting.
And, oh yeah, Mississippi's Jaylon Jones answered Texas Tech's first TD with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
At the end of the first quarter, Ole Miss led 24-7 and the Red Raiders were down two key defensive backs (Smith and Jah'Shawn Johnson, who sat out with a shoulder injury).
A 20-point loss was not the way Texas Tech wanted to start the season, for sure. But there were some positives, believe it or not.
For one thing, freshman QB Alan Bowman completed 29 of 49 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions. That's a pretty good debut for a kid playing his first college game against an SEC opponent.
Additionally, the running back combo of Da'Leon Ward and Tre King ran hard and effectively.
And T.J. Vasher made a highlight reel catch.
We'll keep our ears and eyes open to see if Carter can make it back to the field soon. But the Red Raiders showed they can move the ball with Bowman.
It wasn't a good day for the Red Raiders, but it's way too early to panic.