Seth Doege led Texas Tech into the red zone numerous times against Texas on Saturday.
Problem was the No. 20 Red Raiders didn't get much out of those visits, and Doege had a simple explanation after the Longhorns' 31-22 victory.
"Penalties," said the senior quarterback, who got just one touchdown against the Longhorns. "I don't think I have to explain much of it. Every time that we didn't get points, the majority of the time it was penalties that kept us from it."
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said the timing of those penalties didn't work in the Red Raiders' favor.
"It absolutely took us out of it," he said. "Hopefully we can play better for the next three games and get into a good bowl game. It's just hard to play so well at times and then play so poorly at times and have inopportune penalties. It absolutely took us out of it."
David Ash threw for three touchdowns and 264 yards to lead Texas and freshman Johnathan Gray got his second straight 100-yard rushing game with 106 yards on 20 carries.
Mike Davis had a career-high 165 yards and a career-best two touchdowns on four catches, one a 75-yarder from Ash in the second quarter for the Longhorns (7-2, 4-2 Big 12). It was the third straight win for Texas, which remains alive in the Big 12 race.
Doege completed 26 of 44 passes for 329 yards for Texas Tech (6-3, 3-3).
Penalties hurt Texas Tech, including a touchdown being called back in the fourth quarter for holding.
Once in the red zone, the Red Raiders had trouble getting touchdowns and settled for field goals four times.
Ash found Davis twice for big gains in the first half, once on a deep post route for a 54-yard gain to the Red Raiders 2. Joe Bergeron scored on the next play from 2 yards out to put the Longhorns up 14-7.
On the first play of Texas' next possession, Ash hit Davis again on a deep route over the middle and he ran it in for a 75-yard touchdown to put the Longhorns up 21-10.
Texas Tech was down three defensive backs to injuries — Cornelius Douglas, Tre' Porter and Jarvis Phillips — and Ash didn't let up on their backups. He completed 11 of 19 passes.
Ash had better numbers than Doege going into halftime. He was averaging 22. 7 yards per pass attempt. It was a huge improvement from his numbers in the Longhorns' 21-17 comeback win at Kansas last week. His per-attempt average then was 3.9 yards.
Down 31-22, the Red Raiders looked as though they scored a touchdown when Kenny Williams ran it in from the 2. But offensive lineman Deveric Gallington was called for holding and the score didn't count.
The Longhorns kept Texas Tech from getting a first down and Carrington Byndom blocked Ryan Bustin's 23-yard field goal try to seal the win for Texas.
Texas Tech scored late in the third quarter to make it 24-22 after going for it on fourth-and-1 from UT's 32. Eric Stephens took the snap in the wildcat and ran toward the near side of the field and handed the ball off to SaDale Foster, who went around end on the other side of the line, picking up 15 yards to the Texas 17.
The Red Raiders went for 2 but Byndom broke up Doege's fade pass to the corner of the end zone intended for Marcus Kennard.
The Red Raiders sputtered in the red zone throughout the game. On their first possession of the second half they got the ball down to UT's 15-yard line but came away with a field goal to pull within 24-16.
Twice in the first half they had to settle for field goals after moving the ball inside the Texas 20. Before Ryan Bustin hit a 41-yard field goal in the second to pull the Red Raiders within 14-10 they would have had a second-and-1 from near the 5. Instead, Le'Raven Clark got called for an illegal block and Texas Tech faced a first-and-30 from UT's 35.