September 9, 2007

Consider it a nightmare averted

Consider it a nightmare averted. Because the Texas Tech Red Raiders roared back to defeat the UTEP Miners by a solid 45-31 margin, many people will forget the peril surrounding Mike Leach's squad in the first half. But that does not make that peril any less real.

In short, a terrible scenario was developing for the Red Raiders in the first half. A scenario that was much larger than the game itself. It was a sorry situation with implications for the entire season.

Heading into the UTEP contest, nobody, and I do mean nobody, was predicting a Tech loss. Indeed, few people were even suggesting a close game. Certainly not the oddsmakers and the public who had installed Tech as a 24-point favorite by game-time.

The Red Raiders were coming off an impressive 40-point road whipping of an SMU team that closely resembles the Miners in terms of talent. Tech had taken UTEP's "best shot" on the road in 2006 and still emerged victorious. And the Red Raiders were playing a home opener, which they have never lost under Leach, and were doing so in front of a near-record home-opening crowd of 52,400 souls.

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