My previous blog was really just me airing out my feelings and giving some context as to why, personally, watching Tech beat OSU last Saturday was as much fun as I have had watching Tech football in a long time.
So now, lets dig into the actual game a little bit, then look ahead to a huge Top 25 matchup in Lubbock.
What a show this group put on against the Pokes last weekend. You know, as sports fans we have a lot of opinions about matters that we really aren’t qualified to have. I am guilty of this big time… After the Ole Miss loss, and even after the 77-0 win over Lamar, I wrote on here that I still thought we should give Jett Duffey a chance at QB. I still fully believe that Jett has tons of potential, but Alan Bowman has a firm grasp on this job for the next 4 yours (maybe 3). The kid is a gamer. His numbers weren’t amazing against OSU, and he made a big mistake when he threw his first interception of the season where he simply didn’t see the safety and lobbed right to him. But maybe the most impressive thing I have seen from Bowman so far came the very next series. On a similar route to the one that was intercepted, he saw the safety coming from up top, put a little more juice behind the ball, and dropped a dime to Seth Collins for a big 1st down. He was completely unfazed by the hostile environment and made big throw after big throw all night.
The receivers were solid once again. Antione Wesley, TJ Vasher, JaDeon High, Zach Austin, and Kesean Carter have been as consistent as it gets. But they’ve also proved they’re able to make some pretty great plays. One hand catches, diving catches, jet sweeps, holding onto the ball after a big hit, and phenomenal down field blocking. This group of unproven guys coming into the season have been a pleasant surprise.
At RB, it seems to be a new guy every week, but they stepped up again. This week, with DeLeon Ward and Tre King still out with injuries, it was DeMarcus Felton’s turn to have a career day. The 5th year senior nearly transferred, but decided to come back for his last season and had a career night against OSU. He rushed for 130 yards and 2 TDs. These two true freshman deserve some credit as well. TaZhawn Henry gained 65 yards on 11 carries, and SaRodorick Thompson had his best game of the season with 57 yards and a TD on 13 carries. Do the math, that comes out to 252 rushing yards against a defense that held Boise State to just 64 yards the week before. It will be fascinating to see how the staff handles this group moving forward once Ward and King return. At this point, there seems to 5 guys that can be trusted in big games, but there’s only so many carries to go around. I would not be surprised if one of the freshman end up redshirting this season. Either way, this run game is legit.
Which brings us to the big boys up front. It’s time to start giving these guys the credit they deserve. The were more physical than OSU, they constantly got to the second level on run plays, and they protected the young QB extremely well. There really isn’t a weak spot on this group, they’re solid across the board and they go about 7 deep. The offensive line, in my opinion, is the strongest position group on this team.
As I mentioned in previous posts, I thought this group as a whole was much better than the scoreboard showed against Houston. Of the 49 points they gave up against the Cougars, 21 of them really shouldn’t count against them. One TD came after a muffed punt near the red zone. One came after a completely illegal play that, had the refs thrown the flag, would have resulted in 3rd and 30-something in their own territory. And the other was on the final possession of the game when the outcome had already been decided. So with that in mind, the defense has been solid to say the least sense the week one no show against Ole Miss.
Pretty much every position group had some big plays against OSU. On the line, Eli Howard made a heck of a play to get a huge 3rd down sack. At LB, Jordyn Brooks and Dakota Allen were all over the field making plays. And in the secondary, we saw the impact that JaShawn Johnson has on the defense as the back end was much better. Adrian Frye continues to show up in big moments, grabbing his 3rd interception of the year. This is starting to look like a good defense, but they’ll have a huge test this weekend…
After a month of football, Texas Tech sits at 3-1. I think most would have taken that going into the season. However, seeing the way this team has played over the last 3 weeks, that Ole Miss loss is a little bit perplexing. I think if they were to get a “re-do” vs Ole Miss, that game would look pretty different. A blowout win over OSU is by far the most impressive win in Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure. Three weeks ago I was writing about how we need to keep an eye on North Texas and their HC Seth Litrell as a potential Kliff replacement… Now we’re talking about a Top 25 matchup in Lubbock with a chance at Big12 contention. That Top 25 matchup will not be an easy one, though.
West Virginia sits at 3-0 (wold likely be 4-0 if not for a game vs NC State being cancelled due to hurricane Florence). Their offense is at least as good as Techs. QB Will Grier is a legit Heisman contender, they have 2 or 3 studs at WR, a flurry of RBs that can do damage, and as always a very good offensive staff. Defensively, they’ve been solid so far despite some questions coming into the year. Last week vs KSU they only allowed 6 points. Obviously, KSU has not been good so far this season, but they are a Big12 team and holding them under 10 points is impressive. If you read my Playoff Prediction blog, you know that I am really high on this WVU team, so I expect this to be one of the best teams Tech will play this year. If Tech can win, we’re talking about a big time season in Lubbock. It will be interesting to see how they handle being ranked, but we all know how the Jones delivers for big games like this. Somewhat similar to Oklahoma State, West Virginia has had Tech’s number lately, winning the last 4 games… I have officially declared this season “The Kliff Kingsbury Revenge Tour.” We will see if he can get that revenge on WVU this Saturday. Remember, these two teams (for whatever reason) do not like each other. So this should be really fun! 11am @ The Jones!