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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Overtime's the charm for Red Raiders

By David Ubben

Only three Big 12 games have gone into overtime this season. All three have gone to multiple overtimes, but Texas Tech's emerged as the winner in two of those three games.

The latest came at home against Kansas, with the defense forcing a game-winning stop for a 41-34 win in the final home game of the season for the Red Raiders.

"I don't know what it is about overtime games and this football team, but it almost seems like we relax even more.  I know for me, personally, it's like I'm in my element," quarterback Seth Doege told reporters this week. "Especially that last drive, I just felt comfortable.  Maybe it's because we trust each other and like each other as a football team that we know we can get it done."

The win sent Texas Tech to 7-3, snapped a two-game losing streak, avoided an embarrassing loss to Big 12 cellar-dweller Kansas and kept the Red Raiders in the BCS Top 25, all at once. Running back Eric Stephens tossed the game-winning score on a jump pass to Darrin Moore after getting the ball on a toss play to the right sideline.

"Everybody was excited for him," Doege said. "Eric's one of our leaders and a likeable guy and has a lot of guys that respect him on this football team.  It was one of those things that we knew once the play call was called, if it's in Eric's hands, it's going to get done."

Stephens also scored on a dive in the first overtime.

In a triple-overtime win on the road against TCU, Doege played the hero, finding Alex Torres for the game-winning score. Three of Doege's seven touchdown passes on the day came in the extra three periods.

"The will to win. It's that simple, man," safety D.J. Johnson told reporters this week. "We have that passion and desire to win. We knew what our goal was coming into this game and coming into this season. Though we may not achieve it, we're still going to fight for it and fight for each other."

Texas Tech heads to Stillwater this weekend to face an Oklahoma State team that beat it 66-6 in Lubbock last season, and the Red Raiders haven't beaten Oklahoma State on its home field since 2001.

"Wish we started in overtime. We play looser for some reason," coach Tommy Tuberville told reporters, adding that his team hadn't been penalized in overtime this season. "I think we've got more confidence in each other, for some reason. Offense and defense we feel like we can play looser. I think we focus better. ... If you look back at it, this is red zone all the way.  Our offense, for some reason, we scored six points in three quarters Saturday against a team that hadn't played very good defense and we get the ball in the red zone two times in overtime and score very quickly.  I think there is a common denominator there that we've got to focus better and rely on each other more and play, and play a little looser."