Saturday was a disappointing afternoon for a record crowd at
Jones AT&T Stadium, to say the least. The most beatable Texas team that
Texas Tech has played in over a decade came in and attacked the Red Raiders
with the play action game against a wounded secondary while the offense made
mistakes at critical times.
Crowd: The record crowd of over 60,000 was loud when the
team gave them something to be loud about. I thought the 3 and out to start the
game with the subsequent Texas TD on their first drive subdued the crown for
the rest of the first half.
Stadium Operations and sound booth: Whoever is responsible
for playing “Jump Around” before kickoff is an idiot. It’s not ours. It’s not
original. It’s not funny. It needs to stop. If it doesn’t, I will make it my
personal mission to find the party responsible and bring them to justice.
Game Ball: I thought Eric Ward and Darrin Moore played
extremely well. Moore was singled up against Quandre
Diggs and Ward fought a lot of zone coverages
bracketed by Kenny Vaccaro and Carringotn
Byndum. Over half of Seth Doege’s
completions and 2/3 of the passing yards came from Moore and Ward.
Offense: Usually, I have to break it out running game and
passing game, but I think I have to do it by position groups here.
QB: Doege did what he could, but wasn’t able to overcome the
mistakes of others. Completion percentage was lower than usual. I thought he
also was smart on when to try and run and when to stay in the pocket. No INTs
for Doege also, which is what was needed in this performance.
RB: Kenny Williams ran hard and played well. Sadale Foster was second in carries and yards and I wonder
if this is the beginning of those two being the 1-2 on the depth chart.
Outside receivers: See above with regard to Moore and Ward.
Inside receivers: No receptions for Jakeem
Grant. The other time this happened was the OU game. Torres and Zouzalik caught one pass each. Torres had two early targets
that he could not come up with. Amaro’s absence plays a factor in the lack of production of
IRs, but this has to improve over the course of the end of the season.
Offensive Line: Worst performance of the season. Untimely
penalties, coupled with inconsistent run blocking really hurt this team. Waddle
and McDaniel having penalties on the same drive as Tech was attempting to tie
the game at 14 kept the offense from getting into a rhythm and while the
offense overcame those penalties from a downs standpoint, it certainly affected
the yardage standpoint.
Playcalling: There has been a lot
of talk about the playcalling in the red zone and the
decisions when to attempt a field goal, or go for it on fourth down. I think
when the offense went three and out to start the game coupled with Texas
driving for Touchdowns on their first two drives should have affected the
approach offensively and it didn’t. Kicking a field goal trailing 14-7 is a
mirror image of kicking a field goal against OU trailing 14-10, which after
that game Tuberville said deflated the team versus the Sooners. I’ve said
before and say again that the coaches calling plays are well compensated to do
so and are more qualified to make those decisions. What I do not understand, is
the decision process to run the ball on 3rd down and long if there
was not a plan to attempt to go for it on 4th down. The mid range
passing game was there all day, and when Tech did decide it was time to attack
on 4th down, it was probably too little too late.
Defense: Linebacker play is the biggest weakness on the
defense right now. Smith has been a little more sure
of himself in recent weeks, which has helped, but there is not much production
from the other two positions. Terrence Bullitt was pulled in the th quarter after getting turned
around on a Johnathan Gray run. Linebacker play may also be affecting the way
Cody Davis and D.J. Johnson are playing run first in most situations, which is
also part of why the Texas play action game was so successful.
Mike Davis beat Eugene Neboh and
then Derrick Mays throughout the game. Not a whole lot that can be said about
it. He make the plays. Ash threw the ball very well.
Special Teams: I’ve said what I’m going to say about the
field goal attempts, but it also has to be said that Ryan Bustin
has had field goals blocked in consecutive weeks. If this team is intent on
kicking field goals at the end of drives, then that needs to be fixed.
Officiating: There were some bad calls, but this one’s not
on the refs. Texas Tech didn’t do enough on either side of the football to
complain about the officiating.
In all, this game goes down as a missed opportunity. A 10
win regular season and Cotton Bowl is off the table, but there is still plenty
to play for as Kansas will be in town this Saturday.