July 15, 2007

The five best games of 2006/2007?


One great thing about being a fan of Texas Tech athletics is that you're never bored. The Red Raiders may not be a perennial contender for national championships, but they always provide thrills, spills and chills, and the previous season bears this out. Take a look, for instance, at the top five highlight moments from 2006-7.

#5 Tech/A&M Football Game: It was a typical Red Raider/Aggie battle royal in College Station on September 30. The Aggies entered the contest 4-0 and sporting the nation's #6 rated pass defense. Tech would put an end to all that before the day was done.

But in the meantime, it was a seesaw affair. Following a Darcel McBath interception, the Red Raiders jumped on top with a short Alex Trlica field goal. A&M then responded with a 99-yard Kerry Franks kickoff return for a touchdown. Robert Johnson later tallied a pair of touchdown receptions and Joel Filani another as the Red Raiders kept pace, only to fall behind 27-24 on an Aggie field goal with 2:12 left in the game. Johnson, however, saved the day with :26 left as he hauled in a perfect strike in the end zone, beating A&M cornerback Jordan Peterson for the winning score.

#4 Tech/A&M Basketball in Lubbock: Tech/A&M basketball games are almost as wild as the football games. The then #6 ranked Aggies came to Lubbock to face a Red Raider squad that had just bumped off #5 Kansas. A&M left the Hub City as Tech's second top-ten victim in a row as the Red Raiders prevailed 70-68.

Tech jumped out to a 26-17 lead early on as the Red Raiders hit eight of their first 10 shots. Tech went cold, however, and the Aggies knotted the score 34-34 at halftime. The second half was tight throughout, but Martin Zeno hit a free throw with 25 seconds remaining to put Tech up 68-67, and followed this with a steal and two free throws to clinch the victory.

#3 Tech/Kansas Basketball Game: If Daryl Dora had played every game against the Kansas Jayhawks he would have been a consensus All American. The tentative but sweet-shooting forward scored 19 points to lift Tech over the #5 Jayhawks, and in 2005 hit a three-pointer with 3.6 seconds left in double overtime to push the Red Raider past #2 Kansas.

But it looked as though Dora would never get a chance as Tech turned the ball over on its first three possessions and failed to score during the opening four minutes. The patient Red Raiders clawed their way back, however, took a 31-28 halftime lead, and iced the game with 35 seconds to play as diminutive Alan Voskuil scored on a tip-in to provide the winning margin.

#2 Tech/A&M Basketball in College Station: Same song, different verse. If Tech's earlier victory over #6 A&M in Lubbock was plausible, another victory over the still #6 Aggies in College Station was highly improbable. But that's exactly what happened as the gutty Red Raiders battled back from an 11-point second half deficit to rub out the Aggies by a 77-75 count. Senior guard and #2 all-time Tech scorer Jay Jackson hit a pull-up jumper from the left side of the key as time expired to give the Red Raiders the win and Aggie fans a serious case of gastritis.

#1 Insight Bowl Comeback: Nobody who saw it believed it, but none of us who witnessed it will ever forget. Trailing 38-7 with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter, the Red Raiders exploded for 37 points en route to a 44-41 overtime win over Minnesota to cap the biggest comeback in 1-A bowl history. Alex Trlica hit a career-long 52-yard field goal to send the game into overtime and Shannon Woods plunged in for a TD in overtime to seal the deal.


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