FORT WORTH -- It’s been almost four years since Texas Tech’s defensive struggles bottomed out in an 82-27 loss to TCU in 2014 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
So for the Red Raiders’ defense to play the starring role in front of a national TV audience on Thursday night, well, it had a lot of folks in red and black smiling long into the night.
Texas Tech (4-2) claimed a 17-14 victory as its defense came up with three big stops in the fourth quarter.
“It was four years ago that I walked off that field when they put 82 on us,” Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “So to come back and have that type of performance, I’m really proud of what that side of the football (the defense) has done.”
TCU (3-3) out-gained the Red Raiders in total offense, 411 yards to 353. But Texas Tech forced three turnovers and stopped the Horned Frogs on two of three fourth-down attempts.
And that made all the difference.
TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson scrambled like crazy to try to convert a fourth-and-1 on the Horned Frogs’ final offensive play. But Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks corralled him and cause Robinson to toss a weak forward pass that cornerback Adrian Frye intercepted.
And, oh by the way, the Red Raiders’ quarterback play ultimately did the job.
Texas Tech QB Jett Duffey broke loose on a designed run for a 38-yard game-winning touchdown with 7:02 left in the fourth quarter. Duffey completed 13 of 24 passes for 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and rushed for 83 yards.
Duffey wasn’t flawless passing, but he made the big throw he needed when he hit a wide-open Ja’Deion High for a 62-yard touchdown that swung the momentum to Texas Tech in the third quarter.
Linebacker Dakota Allen led the Red Raiders with 8 total tackles and 2 QB hurries. But the Red Raiders’ defense had superlatives all over the place in paving the way for the victory.