Tech won a game where defense was primarily on display for both teams. Houston was favored to win by 6, so a Tech win is big, especially on the road.
- Defense improved. Through the first three weeks, I think we were all wanting to believe what we were seeing was improvement and I think after today’s performance, we can feel more confident that what we’re seeing is real. Tech was able to hold Houston to 10 points until essentially garbage time.
- Closing teams out. Speaking of garbage time, Tech was not able to convert drives late in the 4th quarter when they needed to put the game away. Tech’s last two drives were three-and-outs when a first down could have sealed the game and held the score 27-10. Tech had a 17-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter but allowed Houston to rally back, needing to recover an onside kick.
- Penalties. Goodness gracious this has to get cleaned up. We’ve been talking about this for years now, but Tech just cannot keep committing penalties the way they do and expect to even win the games they should. Tech committed 15 penalties today and won almost in spite of these mental errors.
- Turnovers. The Tech defense was able to force 5(!) turnovers today and were +4 on the day. You’re going to be able to overcome issues like the frustrated offense and ridiculous penalties when you turn the other team over. The unfortunate side of this stat is that Tech was only able to score 10 points off of those turnovers. You need to be converting those turnovers into points at a much higher rate.
- The offense was clunky today. The Houston defensive line was disruptive from the very beginning and had the offense off balance nearly the entire game. There were stretches where the offensive line looked like couldn’t handle the pressure. Then there were other times Shimonek was rattled, forcing throws, throwing too early on timing routes, and missing timing in general. When Tech was able to contain the UH DL, the rest of the defense was able to make tackles in space to limit the offensive production early. Later in the game, Tech was able to break off big plays and it looked like their tempo throughout the game was finally paying off.