Short term and long term memories were relived last night in Lubbock.
This game was almost a mirror image of last week's game in Ames. Jump out early, let them back in, then run it down their throat in the 2nd half to put it away.
It was also a mirror image of the last 5 games of last season.
And through it all, we have discovered the opposite of what we have held to be true.....
J.W. Walsh is the passing QB.
Clint Chelf is the running QB...and Choo Choo is WAY more appropriate for someone who runs.
Think back. The heartbraking loss in Norman was due to two things...our defense not being able to get a stop, and Chelf's legs. If the D could've gotten off the field once or twice the Cowboys would've won. If not for Chelf's 63 yards, every one of them huge, OSU wouldn't have been in a position to win.
Just like last night in Lubbock, the legs of Choo Choo were way more valuable than his arm, and it was never more evident than on this play...
With the game still in the balance, this run by Chelf pretty much broke Tech's back. By the way, ANYTIME an OSU QB named Chelf or Walsh sees this defensive formation, they should check to this play.
After going 14-25 in the first half, with a TD and a pick 6, Chelf went 4-9 with an interception in the 2nd half, and only 1 attempt in the 4th quarter. The interception should have been another pick 6 if not for Chelf's saving tackle (didn't matter, as Tech drove for a TD anyway). Take away the trick play flea flicker to Seales for 44 yards, and the Cowboys averaged just 5 ypa and 9 ypc throwing the ball. Chelf was on target with the majority of his throws early in the game, but he's going to toss in several head scratchers, including the 2 picks and another "shoulda been a pick" that were absolutely AWFUL decisions. Walsh doesn't make those throws.
But for some reason teams respect Chelf's arm, and could care less about his legs.
In the last two games, he has 17 rushing attempts for 173 yards (10.2 avg) and 2 TD's.
All hail Choo Choo.
Interestingly enough, Texas Tech outgained the Cowboys, ran more plays, had way more first downs, and had fewer penalties. Tech averaged 5.7 ypp (OSU 5.5 ypp), and the TOP was an exact push. But, minus the pick 6, the Cowboys' D allowed 27 points, none more important than the 2 FG's. If those turn into TD's, Tech is at 42 points and things would have felt a LOT different.
The difference in this game...big plays.
Tech had 2...
- the pick 6
- Ward's 38 yd TD on a WR screen where Justin Gilbert completely whiffed on a tackle.
The Cowboys, however, logged 5 big plays...
- the flea flicker to Seales that put the ball on the Tech 1 yard line
- Derek Branson's blocked punt that set up a short field TD
- Josh Stewart's long punt return that set up another short field TD (and another big thanks to a huge block by Branson)
- Chelf's aforementioned 67 yd TD run
- Shaun Lewis' interception at the goal line that stopped a 13 play, potential scoring drive for Tech
I like that Spencer went 1-on-1 with Amaro for most of the night and didn't compromise the D.— Mark Travis (@Mark_Travis) November 3, 2013
Spencer called a pretty good game, and Amaro's production was almost expected, although he did contribute a fumble and didn't seem to be as much of a factor in the 2nd half. OSU still struggles to get pressure on the QB, and that will be a REAL problem against Baylor. With Peterson out, Patmon did a pretty good job. I also agree with this assessment...
Wanna talk about how much OSU will miss these two next season? I didn't think so.
Now for the running game.
The same as the offense seems more productive with Chelf at QB (although it still feels like a bit of mystery to me), there is no question that Desmond Roland and Rennie Childs should be the 1-2 punch out of the backfield. The offensive line is obviously enjoying its third consecutive game with the same unit, although Koenig struggled at times on the left side in pass protection.
But the vision of Roland and Childs is remarkable to watch vs Jeremy Smith. I've mentioned this before, but their ability to get past first contact, and their burst (yes, I'm saying that about Roland) when they get the slightest of gaps, is fun to watch. I know Smith is a senior, but the production is unmistakable. Smith had his most productive game since Mississippi State, and it seemed like an afterthought. It's odd to say this, but Roland and Childs seem to be better "physical" runners than Smith. Almost every time Roland carried the ball he moved the pile forward. Jerry Clower told a great story about playing college football against a running back who was ALWAYS pointed towards the goal line he was trying to cross when you finished tackling him. Roland and Childs both have that quality. And how about lining Josh Stewart up in the backfield? Now if we could just get some of the diamond formation....
So here we are, with OSU firmly in the middle of the Big 12 race, dispatching the Red Raiders for the THIRD time in a row in Lubbock, getting ready to face Kansas in Stillwater.
Then Austin awaits.