After everything Eric Stephens has been through in his Texas Tech career from the highs of scoring touchdown after touchdown to the lows of being carted off the field last season during the Texas A&M loss with a season-ending knee injury, it is almost fitting that the senior played a key role in the Red Raiders double overtime win on Saturday, on senior day, at Jones AT&T Stadium.
"I'm proud for him what he's gone through and had to adjust to all the injuries and have some success here right before the end of the season on the field," Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "He's played the games and done a lot of good things. We're proud of him."
In the first overtime period, after the Jayhawks had already taken the 34-27 lead on a Micha Cummings touchdown pass to James Sims, Stephens took the ball into the end zone to push the game to a second overtime.
"I trust that guy a lot," Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown said about Stephens. "I have a lot of appreciation for what he's been through."
The Red Raiders started with the ball in the second overtime and used a little trickeration to catch the Jayhawks off-guard and Tech turned to Stephens once again, but not in the way many would expect.
Usually the wildcat play ends with the running back taking the direct snap and running for the end zone or first yard line, whatever the situation may be, but not on this occasion.
Stephens took off out of the wildcat formation looking as if he was going to head for the end zone before stopping, jumping up and throwing a touchdown pass to Darrin Moore, to give the Red Raiders the lead and eventual win in double overtime.
"I think Eric's one of those guys when you call on his number, he's going to get the job done regardless," Doege said. "So I was putting the ball in his hands. It was a really good move by Coach Brown, because he's a great player, and they did it perfect. They ran the play perfect, they executed, and that was a huge touchdown for us."