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Texas Tech Takeover: The Rise of the Red Raiders and QB Donovan Smith

If there's one thing that Texas Tech QB Donovan Smith and the Red Raiders love, it's overtime football.

"Everything runs through Lubbock!" Red Raiders head coach Joey McGuire's exclamation is still ringing in Texas this morning after an overtime thriller with the Longhorns at AT&T Jones Stadium. The Red Raiders came out on top, 37-34, in their intrastate battle with Texas and now they've got their sights set on a Big 12 title run. 

All things considered, the McGuire era is off to as good of a start as anyone in Lubbock could have hoped for. 

McGuire and his squad have had one of the tougher schedules in college football so far, facing three consecutive ranked teams. They've knocked off two of the three now, and gave North Carolina State a run for their money in the second half of that loss. 

Next up, they'll face Kansas State, who just took down No. 6 Oklahoma on the road, in a battle for conference supremacy.

Both of Tech's ranked wins, Houston and Texas, have come in overtime games, and that's usually when big players make big plays. For the Red Raiders, that player is sophomore quarterback Donovan Smith, who played his best game of the season on Saturday against the Longhorns. 

He finished the game with 331 yards through the air, 42 more on the ground, three total touchdowns (2 pass, 1 rush), and no turnovers. 

Tech's modified air raid offense was on full display as Smith completed 38 of his 56 passes and nine Red Raiders finished with multiple receptions. Receiver Myles Price led that unit with 13 catches for 98 yards. 

Smith is maturing into quite the quarterback right before our very eyes. The sophomore signal caller led Tech back from down 14 points and orchestrated three scoring drives in the fourth quarter and overtime to seal the victory. 

It was a performance reminiscent of a pre-Heisman Vince Young and exactly the bounce back that McGuire was looking for from his field general after last week's loss to NC State.

While he's ranked in the top 30 for both passing yards and touchdowns, Smith is still a very young player. He threw five interceptions in the two games prior to their contest with Texas and struggled with letting it fly a little too often, perhaps. 

But it's better to have a quarterback with an excess of confidence than one with an absence of it, and once Smith reins in those tendencies, he's going to be very dangerous.

Whether you're aboard the Donovan Smith hype train or not, it's not hard to see Texas Tech making a run for the conference title game. The trophy may be a stretch this season, but the Red Raiders are certainly on the right track. 

At both head coach and quarterback, it looks like Texas Tech has the right man for the job. 

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