This is pretty much what we thought about both teams, although the Texas Tech defense has made some strides, albeit minor, from last week to this week. And the offense hasn’t really dropped off at all, it was relatively steady despite the injury to Patrick Mahomes. You would have expected a regression last week, but that didn’t happen.
The key for Texas Tech with Nic Shimonek at the helm will be if he can maintain the third down conversion rate. That’s been the key for Mahomes all year and this offense, extending drives despite the mistakes and penalties (particularly from the offensive line).
Kansas State what I expected, although I honestly thought that they would be a bit better passing the ball. Still, this is a typical K-State team in that they run for good average, they are in the positive side of the ledger in turnovers and they complete a pretty good number of third down conversions as well. Plus, that red zone success is better than Texas Tech’s, which is a bit scary.
The defense has been nothing short of fantastic. The fact that K-State limits opponents running the ball is problematic and perhaps will make Texas Tech incredibly one-dimensional on Saturday. I’m guessing that Kingsbury will figure out a way around that, but it sure would be nice to have a running back that could compliment Shimonek (assuming he plays). The points per play for K-State is off-the-charts great and notice the third down conversion defense, which is just fantastic as well as limiting opponents in the red zone.
The advanced stats for Texas Tech match the traditional ones in that there wasn’t a huge drop-off offensively and the defense made some incremental improvements. The two stats that don’t bode well for Texas Tech have been problems all year, which is field position and splash running plays.
The fear for me is that Kansas State is not a team that has a ton of explosive plays running the ball, which means they are going to grind the heck out of the ball and that’s all they’re going to do. On the flip side, Kansas State has not been able to show a propensity for passing the ball and maybe you Texas Tech just sells out to stop the run.
Defensively, there’s a lot of numbers in the 100’s and that’s never a good sign. Kansas State’s defense is legitimately good, but I’d guess that they are helped a bit by the fact that they have played Florida Atlantic, Missouri State and West Virginia. And this isn’t to say that WVU is a bad opponent, but that they haven’t been big on offense thus far this year. Regardless, you have to love the points per game as well as how K-State has flat-out stopped any rushing attack.