Time to pay up… Let’s talk 2005

For those that were unaware, there was a friendly wager between our two bloggers, myself and @ozziedaniel, going into last weekends Lone Star match up between my Red Raiders and the Texas Longhorns… I was confident in Tech, I don’t know why but I was. So I approached Ozzie with an idea… If Tech wins, he would write a blog about the 2008 Tech Vs UT game, aka the Crabtree game. If UT wins, I would write about the 2005 Tech Vs UT game. Welp, you all watched the game, Tech somehow came out in complete control of the game, then gave it away, then got it back, then choked the game away… It was a whirlwind of emotions watching that game, but more on that later this week. For now, it’s time to pay up…

2005… What a time it was for young Josh. At 12 years old, I was just starting to really become a sports fan. I started playing organized basketball at 5 years old, and as I grew up I witnessed my Dad being a die-hard Houston sports and Texas Tech football fan. But other than that, I wasn’t paying much attention to college football up to this point. But the previous year gave me my first real “fan” experiences. In 2004 I watched the Houston Astros get to a game 7 against the hated St. Louis Cardinals, watching the Killer B’s make that run was exhilarating. That same year, the Rockets followed up a promising season by trading for my favorite player at the time, Tracy McGrady. I was starting to think about sports all the time, not just playing, but watching. And watching as much as I possibly could.

As I already mentioned, my Dad has been a Texas Tech fan as long as I can remember. I was too young to remember this, but when we lived in Lubbock in the mid-90’s, we would go stand on the outside of the field and watch the games from afar. So as long as I can remember, I have considered myself a Tech “fan.” But it wasn’t until 2005 that I really started being a fan. Tech had an impressive Holiday Bowl victory in 2004 over the Aaron Rodgers lead Cal Golden Bears, and I caught the excitement going into the 2005 season.

This team was stacked too! When most college football fans think of 2005, they likely think of guys like Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Vince Young, and Brady Quinn. While I don’t deny that those guys are some of the greatest CFB players ever, they aren’t the guys that I think of… Well, except Vince Young maybe. I think of that stacked Red Raider offense lead by Senior QB Cody Hodges. I think of think of WR’s Joel Filani, Robert Johnson, and Danny Amendola. I think of perhaps the most underrated RB in Big12 history, Taurean Henderson. And I think of the hardest hitting safety I have ever seen, Dwayne Slay. Do yourself a favor and watch this throwback video of Slay basically murdering Allen Everidge.

Here’s some more highlights from that season.

This team was really, really good. In my opinion, the 2005 Red Raiders are second only to the 2008 Red Raiders as far as the best teams we’ve seen in Lubbock. They were sitting at 6-0 and ranked 7th in the nation as they made the trip, along with College Gameday, to Austin to face the 6-0, #2 ranked Longhorns. I was feeling pretty confident going into the game. UT had breezed through their schedule up to that point, but so had Tech. They had but up huge numbers against almost every team on the schedule, I saw no reason to believe that wouldn’t continue… I was wrong!

Tech ran into a juggernaut on that Saturday. When you look at the stats from this game, their a little miss leading. Vince Young casually lead his offense to 52 points against a pretty good Tech defense, but UT’s stud RB’s Jamaal Charles and Chris Ogbonnaya were held to less than 100 yards total. Young threw for 239 yards on just 12/22. WR Billy Pittman had the most impressive stat line 2 TD’s and 138 yards on just 3 catches. What that tells you, unfortunately, is that the eventual National Champions didn’t even have to try that hard. If they needed a VY to have one of his signature 200 yard rushing games, he would have. On the other side of the ball, it was more casual domination. To this day, I’d be surprised to see a better defensive backfield in college football than what UT had in 2005. Aaron Ross and the Griffin brothers controlled Tech’s big play WR’s. Hodges threw for a lot of yards, but the game was never in doubt. UT took the W 52-17.

It was the first of many painful losses I would go on to suffer through as a Red Raider fan. Tech went on to a 9-3 record that year, losing in controversial fashion to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. I thought this team could win it all that year, and I had to wait 3 years for Tech to have a team worthy of the same expectations, and that season was defined by a painful loss as well… So the struggle continues.

Although the 2005 UT team broke my heart on that day 13 years ago(!) now, I can’t deny that they were one of the most dominant teams of all time. So there was really no shame in losing to that team. I probably enjoyed watching this team as much as I have enjoyed any non-Texas Tech team over the years. I even cheered them on during the National Title game against USC. I remember watching from my living room floor, as Vince Young casually strides in for the game winning TD, I leaped up and started jumping around, celebrating with my brother, who is a huge UT fan.

Ok, cool. Hook ’em🤘🏻

Okay, glad that’s over! Congrats UT on beating our backup QB… Alan Bowman and I both look forward to 2019!

 

GunsUp!

-Josh-

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