1. Ready? Stretch your legs and enjoy the idea that you got to watch football and that your team actually played. This isn’t intended to be some sort of “in your face” to other teams, but I did enjoy watching my team play. That’s me being selfish and has nothing to do with anyone else. As you all know, I have been without internet at home for 2 weeks (supposed to be fixed on Monday) and I was set to watch the game at my local Starbucks, but then remembered that I had an office that had WiFi, my own restroom, and a coffee-maker, so up to work did I go. In the grand scheme of things, It wasn’t perfect, but as I stated above, I enjoyed watching my team. It’s been months since I’ve been on the edge of my seat and nervous about the outcome of a play. This is what I enjoy. And as you might expect, I’m having to write this while at work and have scheduled to publish before leaving work. There’s normally a lot more quotes and things like, but given that I can’t edit things when I get home, this is what I get. So when you read this, know that I’m having to write as the game is happening and I’m doing my best.
2. Don’t Let Anyone Tell You This Game Doesn’t Mean Anything. When these games happen, games against much lesser opponents, a lot of times we like to say that these games don’t mean anything and not to pay too close attention to the final result. But all of the flaws that you see with this team will most likely be the same flaws that you see with this team throughout the year. That’s usually not a very fun possibility to consider since it’s just one game, but after having done this for so many years, it’s one of the truer things that I think can give indication as to how the season will play out.
The pass defense looks pretty terrible. I don’t know if there’s much improvement there at all and that’s disappointing. The defense didn’t really have an answer for Zappe and Zappe really did a nice job of picking and choosing when he’d go deep and didn’t make a ton of mistakes. That’s a pretty good blueprint for facing this defense. Is there room for improvement? Yeah, sure, but don’t let your heart deceive your eyes. I’d also add that I don’t know that the offense looked particularly sharp against an FBS opponent. I would have liked to have seen a more dominant performance from Bowman. That’s awfully critical, but I don’t think that’s unfair. I think there’s room for improvement for Bowman.
3. Key Turnovers and Stops. I’d tell you that the most fortuitous situation for the defense was that they were able to get a turnover in the end zone, a terrible offensive call, a half-back pass that shouldn’t have happened considering how well HBU was moving the ball, and then the 4th down stop to basically end the first half. Those were huge stops and if HBU had kicked and made field goals, we’re talking about a 21-16 score to end the half.
4. Faster Than Me. You want a hot sports opinion? Our secondary is not fast. They are all faster than me so this isn’t some sort of comparison because I’m not fast. I’m slow. Every player on the football team is faster than me. With that being said, I think that a big part of Texas Tech’s defensive problems. I think this has been true since Gibbs was picking defensive players and I’ve always been a fan of the bigger defensive backs because of the way that receivers are trending, but maybe that’s not the recipe for success. Maybe this is a situation where the cornerbacks do need to be smaller so that they can keep pace with faster receivers. I sort of wish this was a deeper more well thought out idea, but I think that’s pretty simplistic. Texas Tech needs more speed in the secondary.
5. Bowman is the Guy? I like Alan Bowman the person and he seems like a superb teammate and a terrific Red Raider. The overthrows to Dalton Rigdon and KeSean Carter were indicative of maybe what Bowman lacks, which is touch and finding a way to see the open players. The short stuff and the stuff that’s easy isn’t a problem and Bowman has almost always been able to play well against non-conference opponents, but Bowman has to make plays. Before the HBU game, offensive coordinator David Yost said that Bowman was performing at a high level and the other quarterback contenders really weren’t close. If that’s true, then whatever Bowman has given you is maybe the best that there is. What I really want is for Bowman to rise to the occasion, but he’s just got to be better.
6. A Terrible Third Quarter. The third quarter was an absolute disaster. HBU out-scored Texas Tech 10-7. The Husky offense was superb and they figured out to get out of a 1st and 15 and a 1st and 20 in 2 plays. A 17 or so yard catch and then a touchdown. I don’t know that Texas Tech really figured out how to stop HBU, just hope for the best it seemed. Defensively, HBU loaded up the middle of the field with 4 big bodies and took away SaRodorick Thompson runs. Yost was too slow to figure out that Dalton Ridgon screens were open and that’s what resulted in a touchdown and more open areas for Thompson to run. The coaches need to react quicker.
7. Things that I Like. It’s not in my nature to be totally down (totally). So here are some things that I like.
* SaRodorick Thompson and Tahj Brooks are really good running backs. They’re a joy to watch and I expect great things from them. Chadarius Townsend is definitely a change of pace and hits the line much quicker. Thompson and Brooks are interchangeable in a way (they’re not really, but hopefully you get what I’m saying).
* I absolutely loved Dalton Rigdon and KeSean Carter at the inside receiver spots. Their play changed the game for sure.
* I do like the linebackers and I think that there’s not a ton of depth, but I think they play well. HBU isn’t a running team, so don’t put a ton of stock in the fact that they didn’t run for huge yards, but I’ll take it.
* Same thing about the defensive line. I wish they could be more productive from a pass-rushing standpoint, but these are supposed to be things that I like.
* Extra points.
8. Things that I Don’t Like.
* I think there has to be a better option at safety that Thomas Leggett.
* Adam Beck has to tackle better I think.
* Penalties on the offensive line.
* Vasher reaching for the end zone when he knows he shouldn’t.
* Penalties in general.
* There was no way that Texas Tech didn’t get a yard on the 4th and 1 at the 3 (or wherever we were at).
9. Defensive Third Downs and Huge Plays. One of the biggest problems with the Texas Tech defense last year was that the defense allowed way too many third down conversions. Houston Baptist was 7 of 15 at the time of me writing this, which was with about 8:45 left in the game. And also at that time, HBU was averaging 10.5 yards per pass. That’s really terrible.
10. What’s Next? There’s no game this weekend, so feel free to enjoy yourself and maybe a nice cocktail. Get crazy. After this weekend, Texas Tech will host Texas in Lubbock.
People use the word “humble” incorrectly more times that I can recall. You should never say that you’re humbled to receive an honor. That’s not what humbled means. Humbled means that you’ve been lowered in dignity.
Texas Tech football has been humbled.