I think I’m going to put up a separate post on my thoughts on Kingsbury and some criticism I’ve been getting for my stance. For now, let’s look at the five key stats from this week’s disappointing loss at home to the Cyclones.
For the first time this season, Texas Tech was negative in the turnover margin. We knew Iowa State didn’t turn the ball over much heading into the game, but the interception on the first series of the game provided hope that our turnover-creating defense may still feast. It didn’t happen. The pass coverage is still feast or famine and we may just have to live with that. We are finding out the weaknesses in the junior college transfers right now is their pass coverage. On top of ISU throwing at JUCO transfers seemingly all day, the pass defense was fairly soft with lots of room between the receivers and defenders. The Cyclones were still only able to manage 6.o yards per attempt, meaning Texas Tech didn’t get beat deep. What they did though, was stack receivers and play to the weakness of the called defense, which limited the possibilities and opportunities for interceptions.
The Tech running game coughed up back-to-back fumbles that were back breaking. Nisby’s known flaw is ball security. Shimonek also had a mental mistake in his interception as Kingsbury mentioned after the game that without the blockers picking up that linebacker, the ball should have been thrown away (not solely a Shimonek error).
Being negative in the turnover margin happens and it’s difficult to overcome that without big plays either on offense of special teams and Tech didn’t get either.
Texas Tech was only 1-for-3 on converting field goal or extra point opportunities into points (missing a chip shot FG and an XP). Tech missed all of their FG attempts last week, and at least one more from the week prior. Kingsbury has mentioned that he hasn’t seen these struggles in practice, so he isn’t sure what’s happening in the game. These kicking misses have been fairly big momentum swings as the team isn’t converting on points when they really should be. It might not have made a difference in this game, but it certainly did last week and it might going forward.
After last week’s fifteen-penalty performance, they bounced back and were only called for three. This is a major improvement. Iowa State was not called for a single one. Limiting penalties is great, but it doesn’t help much if the other team is still more disciplined.
The Tech defense gave up 5.8 yards per carry. This has been one of their worst rush defense outings this season by a wide margin. David Montgomery is good, but he won’t be the best this team faces.
The Tech offense was able to gain nearly 130 yards on the ground, but only at 3.1 yards per carry. Tech was facing light boxes all day and the run calls were probably the right call. When the opposing defense is only committing 4 or 5 players in the box, you need to be able to run on that all day with your minimum of five blockers on the offensive line.