Some of the collateral from the freshman quarterback battle in Lubbock turned to be a season-killer for Texas Tech, ending the regular season with five consecutive losses. However, things looked very different in the Holiday Bowl, as Davis Webb matched some records on his way to hopefully becoming a great addition for years to come.
Texas Tech were too much for Arizona State right from the start, eventually winning 37-23. The Sun Devils couldn’t get into the endzone early, finding themselves scoring their first touchdown of the game at the end of the first half after the Red Raiders had already put 27 points on the board.
Webb threw for 403 yards and four touchdown passes; two of them going to Jakeem Grant, two more to Bradley Marquez and Rodney Hall. Webb tied the record set by BYU’s Jim McMahon in 1980 and matched by Kansas State’s Brian Kavanagh in 1995 and Texas’ Major Applewhite in 2001.
When Coach told me I was going to start, there was nothing but joy. I told myself that I was going to make sure that I was going to send the seniors out right. We came prepared. We leaned on each other and we showed that today. It’s pretty exhilarating right now. I’m so proud of this team
Webb didn’t play in the final two games of the regular season – road losses to Baylor and Texas Tech, as the team finished with five consecutive losses, erasing all the great work from the 7-0 start which had people thinking about Big 12 titles and BCS games. Texas Tech lost the final five games of the season by an average of 20.6 points, which made them quite big underdogs against an Arizona State team going in at 10-3 after losing in the Pac-12 championship game.
Well, their ability from that game against Stanford carried on with them to San Diego. Taylor Kelly was missing Marion Grice badly, completing 16-of-29 passes for 127 yards and an interception, while the running game with 135 yards from Kelly and 132 from D.J. Foster wasn’t enough to compensate for the team’s number one playmaker, especially with Texas Tech doing such a great job on the defensive end.
I’m very embarrassed for our program. As coaches we didn’t have our guys prepared to play. They came to play. We didn’t. Give them credit. I was embarrassed for the fans that showed up today. We didn’t have our players prepared. Zero excuses, but we didn’t have our players prepared to play. It was an ugly game offensively and defensively. We just didn’t play very well. They were the more passionate team today.
Even after the departure of Texas A&M and the slight decline of Oklahoma and Texas, the Red Raiders are still a tier below right now when there’s talk of conference championships and the really big games. Baylor and Oklahoma State have taken the next step, but maybe with Davis Webb things will look a bit brighter in the future.
To play that young in this type of arena, D-1, that’s very rare and I think he does a great job handling the pressure coming out here and making things happen. We didn’t get any respect all weekend long. It was all about Arizona State and their record and this, that and the other. So we used that to fuel the fire.