Five days from now Patrick Mahomes will be playing in his third Super Bowl. He’s 27 years old. It’s hard to believe it’s been over six years since he was breaking records and putting up eye-popping numbers in Lubbock. Mahomes put up over 100 total touchdowns as a Red Raider, led two of the most explosive offenses in the country, and played in a number of entertaining, even if often heartbreaking games. Here are a few of the most memorable contests from Mahomes’ tenure at Texas Tech.
Louisiana Tech (2016)
A 59-45 victory for the Red Raiders where Mahomes put up over 500 total yards (on 13 yards per attempt and six touchdowns. Louisiana Tech was a sneaky good team in 2016, so Mahomes having one of his most efficient games in colleges was extremely impressive and almost put this game on the list.
At Arkansas (2015)
Mahomes made his second-ever road start in SEC country against an Arkansas team that was ranked entering the season. A strong second half from the Red Raiders and three touchdowns from Patrick led to a 35-24 victory. The only blemish on this performance was two interceptions, but still, this was a very impressive game in one of his first starts.
The Texas Bowl was a forgettable experience for the Red Raiders, but in some ways, it was a coming-out party for Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes concluded his sophomore year with 370 passing yards and four touchdowns in the 56-27 loss, but more impressively was able to produce absurd highlights despite facing pressure on 36 of his 67 dropbacks in that game. Tech briefly got it to within one, but even with Mahomes’ heroics, it just was not enough.
#5 Baylor 48 -Texas Tech 46 (2014)
Starting off the official list is Mahomes’ third-ever start against a top-five Baylor team. Mahomes started the game off slowly and trailed by 25 points at one point in the third quarter, but a furious rally led to the Red Raiders coming within a two-point conversion of tying a team that had beaten them by 29 points in the previous year. Mahomes threw for 598 yards and six touchdowns with only one interception and put together a sensational mix of deep balls to bring Tech back in the game. The 598 yards set a new freshman yardage record in both the Big 12 and Texas Tech record books, although Alan Bowman would break those records four years later. Still, the performance was sensational and provided Tech fans with a lot of hope heading into 2014.
#4 Texas Tech 54-Baylor 35 (2016)
If 2014’s Baylor game was Mahomes’ coming out party, then 2016 Baylor was Mahomes’ farewell gift to Texas Tech fans everywhere. The junior quarterback was surgical against a depleted Baylor team reeling after the departure of Art Briles, as he put up 586 yards and six touchdowns with no turnovers in the comfortable victory. At one point Tech had touchdowns on three consecutive offensive plays, and Mahomes hit on several deep balls. The only thing keeping this game from being even higher on the list was the lack of importance in it, as Tech’s season was already derailed and Mahomes was pretty clearly headed to the NFL regardless of the outcome. Still, it was nice for the star quarterback to have one last huge game before he eventually went on to Kansas City.
#3 TCU 55 -Texas Tech 52 (2015)
The stats won’t jump off the page in this one, as Mahomes only threw for 392 yards and completed 56% of his passes in a losing effort, but that doesn’t tell anywhere near the full story in the loss to the #3 team in the nation. Tech’s defense consistently got torched by Josh Doctson, Aaron Green, and Trevone Boykin on that day in Lubbock, yet Mahomes (with the help of DeAndre Washington putting together the best game of his career) was able to keep Tech in it with a chance to win it all the way down until the last snap. What makes this game more impressive was that Mahomes did it with a knee injury that he suffered towards the end of the first quarter that clearly limited his mobility in a major way. That effort, while injured against a top-notch team, should’ve been a sign of things to come in the future, but at the time all Tech fans could think about was the near-stop on 4th and goal that would have sealed the game.
#2 Texas Tech 48 – Texas 45 (2015)
Similar to the TCU game, the stats for Mahomes in this game were not great by his standards. He threw for 372 yards, ran for another 70, and had two total touchdowns in the 48-45 win. But that’s not what makes this one special. Texas Tech had not won in Austin since 1997 prior to this game, and even if the Longhorns were down, they still had a very talented roster. Additionally, periodic rain added to some of the issues with the offense, so the 400 yards of total offense came in conditions that were far from optimal. This game was far from Mahomes’ best at Tech and now in hindsight doesn’t look quite as memorable with Tech winning against a better Texas team two years later and again in Lubbock this year, but at the time it was a massive relief to finally get the elusive win in Austin and was a statement victory for both the quarterback and the program.
#1 Oklahoma 66 – Texas Tech 59
819 yards of total offense.
88 pass attempts.
734 passing yards.
This was the game where the legend of Patrick Mahomes was born. Against an Oklahoma team with an offense littered with NFL players, Mahomes dragged his Tech squad into a 60-minute fight where the Red Raiders matched the Sooners for yards and only needed one stop to possibly tie the game late. Unfortunately, that stop never happened, but it was still a night that has since gone down in college football history. There are so many parts of the performance that get overlooked but for me the fact that Mahomes was only sacked once despite being pressured 43!! times in one game is absolutely ridiculous. He had seven total touchdowns, threw for over 300 yards in both halves, had nearly 100 yards despite having a variety of injuries at that point in the season, and converted a combined 22 of 27 third and fourth down attempts. Insane.