You might think controversy and crazy events are new to Texas Tech football. You’d be wrong. From the first game, Texas Tech football fans have dealt with crazy stuff.
Here’s this week’s Tuesday Texas Tech History Lesson!
Game one of the Matadors history had it’s own crazy twists. Here’s how it was reported via the fine book: “The Red Raiders” by Ralph Sellmeyer and James Davidson.
“As it turned out, that first game would create a controversy that would not soon be forgotten by Matador fans and players. In fact, some of those early fans and players still like to talk about it. the game took place at the old fairgrounds and was the highlight of the Panhandle-South Plains Fair week.
From the opening kickoff Tech controlled the ball. A large crowd that has been estimated at anywhere from 4,500 to 10,000, although the over figure is probably the most accurate, crowded the stands and the sidelines as the Matadors raced the ball from one end of the field to the other. When it came to crossing the goal line, however, the Matadors were helpless. They gained 222 yards on the ground to their opponents’ 96 and threatened several times, but the Techsans could not score.
Then, with only seconds left on the clock, the Matadors lined up for a 20-yard field goal attempt. Elson Archibald was the kicker. Archibald had come to Tech from Indiana where he had been an outstanding high school athlete. As the two teams lined up for the final play of the game, the clock continued to tick down. The ball was snapped, or “hiked” as was the term in those days, and Archibald’s toe met the ball in a perfect drop kick. The ball soared high and true through the uprights, apparently giving the Matadors a 3-0 victory, because time had expired on the play.
Newly initiated Tech fans ran onto the field and lifted Archibald and other Tech players to their shoulders, thinking they had won the game. However, the referee ruled otherwise when the umpire informed him that the ball had not been snapped before the clock had run out and ended the game. Thus, the first game in Tech’s history would up a 0-0 tie.
According to P. C. Callaway who was a member of that first Tech team, the referee. who signaled that time had run out before the ball was snapped had months earlier tired to land the head coaching job at Tech. The job went to E. Y. Freeland, but many felt that the official’s motive in calling the ball dead was obviously one of revenge. Regardless, the 0-0 tie stood. “
And so it went. Texas Tech started the history of football in Lubbock, not with a win, not with a loss, but with a bad taste in everyones’ mouth.
Some would say, many years later, not much has changed in 2020. . .
See y’all next week for more Tuesday Texas Tech History. We hope y’all with share this with your friends and maybe ad a comment or two if you want. We’ll be back with y’all on radio Wednesday from 11-1 on Talk 1340 in Lubbock and ESPN 960 in San Angelo. If you don’t have it already, get the app for either station and listen where you live every day!