AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Tech survived a wild Thanksgiving night melee and escaped with a 48-45 road victory over Texas to finish the regular season at 7-5. Here's what we learned:
What the win means for Texas Tech: A happy ending to the regular season. Winning a road game in poor weather on a night when Patrick Mahomes wasn't as sharp as usual is a great accomplishment heading into the team's bowl game. The Red Raiders still racked up 665 total yards on their way to their first win over Texas since the 2008 stunner and first win in Austin since 1997. This game devolved into a true back-and-forth shootout, including a combined 66 points in the second half, and the Red Raiders never backed down. You could tell by Kliff Kingsbury's celebrations late that this one really meant something to this staff and this team.
What the loss means for Texas: The Longhorns, now 4-7, are assured to finish with just their third losing season in 22 years and probably killed their hopes of reaching a bowl game. Even if a few 5-7 teams reach bowls, Texas' odds of being one of them are mighty slim, with a road trip to Baylor still left on the schedule. This team looks way too beat up to give the Bears a fight. A grand total of 10 players, all of them starters or major contributors, were sidelined with injuries Thursday night. Running back Chris Warren was a revelation, rushing for a Texas freshman record 276 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start. The Horns lost quarterback Jerrod Heard in the first half to a possible head injury, a big concern going forward. They still hung in there and almost pulled this one off.
Top play: Too many to choose from, but you'll be seeing this one on SportsCenter. Patrick Mahomes sailed a pass that Texas cornerback Holton Hill intercepted near the Texas 37-yard line. Well, he thought he did. Tech receiver Devin Lauderdale hammered Hill, forcing the ball to pop out and right into Jakeem Grant's hands. Grant, who broke the Tech career receiving record Thursday, dashed away for a 65-yard touchdown.
Top play, part two: Kingsbury called it "Little People, Big World,” and he called on it late in the fourth quarter. On a night full of trick plays, this one was a doozy. With 2:51 left, Tech's offense took the field up 41-38 after its defense got a crucial fourth-down stop. The Red Raiders appeared to be lining up in victory formation, but in fact they were sneaking a handoff to Grant, who ran around the left corner and juked a pair of defenders for a 40-yard score.