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Notebook: Red Raiders Triumph Over Iowa State in Defensive Battle

Texas Tech was locked in a defensive scrap with Iowa State, but came out on top in the end.

Texas Tech entered Week 12 without a single road win in 2022, but all that would change by the end of the night. The Red Raiders battled Iowa State in a defensive cage match that saw Tech ultimately overcome the Cyclones, 14-10. This win means a little more to the Red Raiders as Tech is now bowl eligible after securing its sixth win of the year. 

Joey McGuire will reach a bowl game in his first season as a head coach and Tech will have a chance to end this season on a win streak. The Red Raiders' victory over Iowa State came about as tough as it could have, but they prevailed through grit and determination. The defense stood tall for the full four quarters and the Texas Tech offense delivered in crunch time to bring home the win.

Red Raiders Own Red Zone

Texas Tech's defense did the heavy lifting in this conference clash, coming up big in the red zone on several occasions. In Iowa State's five trips to the red zone, the Cyclones were held to just one score. Twice, the Cyclones were stopped short on fourth down inside the Tech five yard line. The Red Raiders dominated the red zone on both ends, scoring on both of their own offensive trips. 

The Red Raiders also held Iowa State to just a 1-for-3 conversion rate on their fourth down tries for the game. It was a "bend, but don't break" performance from Tech as the Cyclones racked up 422 yards but were kept off the scoreboard at almost every turn.

Tech Offensive Line Has Issues

Despite the win, Tech has some glaring issues still, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Red Raiders offensive line looked overmatched at times, and Texas Tech saw more than a few drives end in three-and-outs. Iowa State's defense finished with three sacks and six tackles for loss in the game, beating Tech in the trenches for much of the game.

It's been evident for most of the year that Tech has problems up front, it cost the Red Raiders a couple of games earlier this year, and it almost cost them this one. Not only is it detrimental to their record, it's dangerous to their quarterbacks. Every Tech snap taker suffered some kind of injury this season as a result of the porous front five. This will be the most important area for McGuire and his staff to address this offseason.

Shough Leads Late Game Winning Drive

Tech's offense didn't do much in this one, but the Red Raiders stepped up when the chips were down. Senior quarterback Tyler Shough engineered a 13 play, 77-yard drive and capped it off with a four yard touchdown pass to tight end Baylor Cupp. That play gave Tech a lead that it wouldn't relinquish.

When the Red Raiders needed a score, late in the fourth quarter, Shough answered the call. The veteran looked poised in that scoring drive and it bodes well for Tech's last couple of games. With Shough at the helm the Red Raiders have a real chance to win out as they close the season. 

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