Let me preface this by saying I am HUGE Tech fan and I love Michael Crabtree. But after analyzing the entire Texas Tech v Texas game the other day I came to this realization. Also, I did not photo-shop myself into the picture to the right, it was actually taken at the stadium.
Say what?!?! Tech didn't need Crabtree to beat Texas?
You're literally crazy!!
Perhaps, but I am also right...let me explain why.
Michael Crabtree, the fabulous receiver out of Texas Tech almost cost Tech the game.
He fumbled the ball on a screen route—Albeit an excellent play by him until the ball was stripped.
This gave the ball back to Texas about 30 yards away from the in-zone. The Longhorns had to settle for a field goal.
Crabtree also committed a huge penalty near the end of the game.
He was called for offensive pass interference when Tech was inside the 10 yard line, poised to go up by two scores. The Red Raiders ended up not scoring on that drive, and this set up the amazing drive by McCoy that brought the Longhorns to a lead with 1:29 left on the clock.
For the most part Crabtree was not very productive on the night, his lone touchdown coming with one second left in the game. He converted a few third downs, but only one ended up leading to points. Plus on that conversion, Eric Morris was wide open on an out-route, and Baron Batch was relatively open on a curl over the middle.
My point is, every play Crabtree made could have been made by another member of that team.
Yes, this includes the famous tip toeing of the sideline which was more a breakdown in coverage than an excellent play by No. 5...The safety did not even try to push Crabs out of bounds.
Plus he was dangerously close to stepping out of bounds with no time left on the clock, which would have ended the game with a Texas win.
The ironic thing is, if Crabtree had not committed offensive pass interference on Tech's last drive, odds are he wouldn't have had to make the winning play in the first place.
Now for the juicy part...what would have happened if Crabtree was not in the game on that play?
Graham Harrell received the snap in the shotgun and makes a read. Six seconds to go. A sloppy but accurate throw to the right slot man, Detron Lewis, who is wide open on the 10 yard curl route.
Four seconds left.
No. 17 catches the ball and quickly gets down. The clocks momentarily stop for the chains. Two seconds left. Timeout Graham Harrell. Matt Williams steps onto the field to kick a 29 yard field goal. Mack Brown calls a timeout.
The teams line up, the ball is snapped cleanly by Hamby, good hold by Potts, smooth kick by Williams and the ball is in the air. Two...One...ball through the uprights narrowly missing the left goal post.
Game over. 35-33 Texas Tech and no penalties for the crowd! Matt Williams for play of the year!!
It's not as sexy as an acrobatic catch but it is exactly what would have happened. Not that it would even need to happen because Crabtree literally cost Tech two scores earlier in the game.
This being said, we won the game either way.
I attended this game but didn't watch the actual broadcast until a later day. To be honest I never realized how many mistakes both sides made during that game until I watched the broadcast.
There were literally three or four interceptions dropped by Tech, not to mention the two mistakes by Crabtree I mentioned earlier.
Several dropped passes, several inopportune penalties; including a blatant block in the back not called on Shipley's punt return for a TD.
The Longhorns can whine all day about how lucky we got but luck is simply a residue of skill.
Let me stop going off on a tangent here...both teams could have executed better.
Love ya Crabs, but I gotta call it like it is. Thank you for reading, Wreck 'Em Tech!!