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Big 12 football: Bowl vs. Arizona State gives Texas Tech chance to 'grow up'

by Berry Tramel Published: December 27, 2013

Texas Tech won its first seven games this season, the Red Raiders rose to No. 10 in the nation and rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury was hailed a savior.

But voters weren't paying attention. Tech's best wins were tight fits over TCU and Iowa State in Lubbock, and at West Virginia.

The good teams showed up on Tech's schedule, and the losses mounted: 38-30 at OU, 52-34 against OSU, 49-26 against Kansas State, 63-34 against Baylor, 41-16 at Texas.

Now comes the Monday night Holiday Bowl against Arizona State, which most certainly qualifies as a good team.

Is Tech in trouble?

“We had some young guys, and some young quarterbacks,” Kingsbury said. “You look at our turnover margin. We're second-to-last in the country.

“It's hard to be consistent and be a good team doing that, and penalties have plagued us all year. Those two areas slowed us down.

“I thought our effort was good the entire year on film. I just think we have to clean up in a lot of areas and grow up."

Kingsbury is telling the truth. Tech committed 31 turnovers this season, surpassed in the Big 12 by only West Virginia's 32. OSU, Baylor and OU had just 15 turnovers each.

And Tech had just 18 takeaways, last in the Big 12.

Also, the Red Raiders were penalized 76.5 yards per game. Only Baylor (83.2) had more.

Tech was using young quarterbacks, freshmen Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield, but Mayfield has left the team. So Tech will have Webb and now-healthy veteran Michael Brewer at QB against Arizona State.

But if Tech doesn't stop committing penalties and turnovers, Kingsbury's losing streak will reach six in his maiden season.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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