AthlonSports does this annually and is always one of my favorite posts to do during the year, as opposing Big 12 coaches dish on their Big 12 opponents. Again, the entire thing is worth your read, not to just read the Texas Tech portion, but all of the Big 12 teams. I think this is maybe multiple or a couple of coaches, not just one, but I don’t know that for sure. Let’s go.
The critique starts with some thoughts about how things played out in Kliff Kingsbury’s last year and that the team was close, just not there:
“Of the four schools in the conference changing staffs, this is definitely the best situation to step into. There’s talent on the roster, and they were close last year. I think the message and the relationship with the team Kliff (Kingsbury) had faded out a little bit. If Alan Bowman stays healthy he can be a pretty good quarterback, although he may not fit exactly what (Matt) Wells and (offensive coordinator David) Yost are looking for at the position.”
And this was towards the end of their blurb on Texas Tech, but since we were talking about Kingsbury, I pulled it up here. It’s that Kingsbury maybe never filled out the roster, maybe the offense in particular. It was one or two great guys, but not a team of them.
“Honestly this program is defined by offense but they never really recruited to that standard. They could hit on one or two superstars during Kliff’s time but they didn’t fill out the roster. They really don’t have the depth on offense you think. It was more than just games won and lost that got him fired.”
And then the coach dishes on the idea that the offense will be similar in output, eventually, but have a different look:
“They’re going to score just as many points after a while, but you’ll see them do a lot more with the run game. More creative stuff, but that will take a while. Matt’s smart, he’s not going to force his scheme.”
Defensively, he thinks that David Gibbs defense was fine, but just had to defend on so many opportunities, which is something that Kingsbury always embraced, while the coach expects that to change just a bit:
“They’re going to be fine on defense this year, believe it or not. Statistically they beat up on (former DC) David Gibbs and those guys, but there’s not much you can do when you’re seeing that many possessions. They’re going to coach offense in a friendlier way for that defense, but that defense wasn’t awful. They have two really good linebackers, Jordyn Brooks and Riko Jeffers, and a good returning line.”
And here’s your ender:
“I think they can be successful this year if they can find a way to balance out their offense closer to what Matt did at Utah State. That’s gonna be hard for a team that liked to hit around 100 rushing a game for years, so they’re gonna need to get creative until they can reshape their recruiting.”
Overall, I think there is a lot of truth here, especially in terms of Kingsbury. The team was close, probably with a healthy Alan Bowman, things are possibly different . . . if’s and but’s . . . The roster really never was filled out overall, there were talented parts for sure and I think that’s the struggle of a mid-tier team, which is having all-conference performers at each spot is easier said than done.
As far as what Matt Wells brings, I think that there’s still a lot to be written and it wouldn’t surprise me if the defense was “better” from a traditional statistical standpoint (like total yards) because the defense is having to defend less opportunities with an offense that runs the ball a bit more.