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Red Raiders Lose QB Behren Morton, Collapse in 4th Quarter; Fall 34-24 to No. 7 TCU

The Red Raiders fell to the No. 7 TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday in Fort Worth in the West Texas Championship, while losing their starting quarterback in the process.
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The Texas Tech Red Raiders fell to the Horned Frogs 34-24 Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth as TCU kept its perfect record intact in winning the West Texas Championship.

The loss was a costly one for Tech as quarterback Behren Morton was lost in the second quarter to injury and did not return.

While the Red Raiders' defense kept TCU quarterback Max Duggan scrambling all day, the Tech offense started slowly, going three-and-out in its first possession to start the game. Complicating the slow start was an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown by TCU's Derius Davis afterward.

Morton and the offense found a rhythm, however, with a 47-yard touchdown pass to Jerand Bradley to tie the game.

The teams exchanged field goals for a 10-10 tie before the injury to Morton occurred.

Early in the second quarter, Morton scrambled for four yards to the left side trying to convert a 3rd and 11 from the Tech 35. He winced in pain during the tackle as a defensive lineman fell on his legs. Teammates helped Morton up and aided him to the sideline.

Morton was helped by trainers on the sideline before being helped to the locker room to be examined further and has been ruled out for the second half.

Oregon transfer Tyler Shough entered the game on the Red Raiders' next two drives before halftime - both short drives resulting in punts - before the Horned Frogs took a 13-10 lead on a 30-yard Griffin Kell field goal.

Shough eventually found his own rhythm with a 33-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Sparkman, who made a spectacular circus catch in the end zone.

TCU reclaimed the lead and found the end zone again after a defensive penalty-riddled drive. 

Linebacker Tyree Wilson was guilty of a facemask that nullified a sack, Dadrion Taylor-Demerson was called for a horse-collar tackle that tacked 15 yards onto a TCU run, and Rayshad Williams committed defensive pass interference in the end zone that gave the Horned Frogs a 1st and Goal.

On the next play, Kendre Miller carried the ball into the end zone for a TCU touchdown and a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter.

On Tech's next drive, the Horned Frogs' defense held on a 4th and 2 attempt, giving the TCU offense a short field from the Tech 34.

That's when things started getting out of hand for Texas Tech as the fourth quarter turned to disaster for the Red Raiders as TCU scored 21 unanswered points.

It took TCU three plays to score on a Duggan-to-Davis 23-yard pass into the end zone that gave the Horned Frogs a 10-point advantage at 27-17.

On the ensuing possession, the Red Raiders' offense went up-tempo with quick, short passes toward the sidelines. But the Horned Frogs' defense was up to the task as Tech turned the ball over on downs in its own territory for the second straight possession.

And just like the last TCU drive, this one resulted in a Horned Frogs touchdown as Duggan found Emari Demercado in the end zone from 16 yards out for a 34-17 lead.

Then things got worse as Shough was intercepted after his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage on 4th and 18 at the Tech 33. The Tech defense held this time with a stop on 4th and 1 at its own four yard line.

Tech took that turnover on downs and went 96 yards in seven plays in 1:48 to make it a 10-point game at 34-24.

That made the final score look somewhat respectable, but the story of the game was the fourth quarter collapse, aided by two failed fourth down attempts by coach Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders in their own territory.

Stay with for updates on the status of Behren Morton as details become available.

Next up for the Red Raiders is a home game against Kansas on Nov. 12 at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Follow Timm Hamm on Twitter at @IndyCarTim

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