Preview: Texas Tech vs. Iowa State

Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-2, 0-2)
Iowa State Cyclones (2-1, 2-0)
October 10th @ 2:30 p.m.
Jack Trice Stadium – Ames, Iowa
Iowa State -12.5
Sunny, 80-53.

5 Players to Scheme Around

1. QB Brock Purdy (6-2/212, Jr.): Purdy does it all other than catch the ball. He averages about 203 yards passing a game, 7.4 yards an attempt, 2 touchowns, and 1 interception on the year, while Purdy will run the ball, 6 times a game, and although the numbers aren’t great, just 2 yards per rush, he’ll run and hurt you.

2. LB Mike Rose (6-4/245, Jr.): Rose does everything, in the worst possible way for an opposing offense. He averages 9 tackles a game, 2.5 tackles for a loss, half a sack, a quarterback hurry, and an interception. He’s all over the field and he’s big and he’s fast.

3. DL JaQuan Bailey (6-2/261, Sr.): Bailey is going to wreck a tackle. Bailey averages 6 tackles a game, has 6 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, a pass broken up, a quarterback hurry, and a forced fumble. Yes, Bailey will wreck a tackle.

4. RB Breece Hall (6-1/215, So.): It is Hall or Purdy running the ball, mainly Hall, averaging 22 carries a day, 6 yards a carry, and 6 touchdowns thus far. That works out to 132 yards a game running the ball, and hall will catch 1 or 2 out of the backfield and averages about 10 yards a catch.

5. WR Xavier Hutchinson (6-3/207, Jr.): Hutchinson is the main pass-catching threat, 11 catches for 152 yards, 1 touchdown. Hutchinson is the most consistent threat of the pass catchers and he’ll catch 3 or 4 on Saturday.

Thoughts Based on Some YouTube Video

The Oklahoma receivers were getting deep, but that’s Oklahoma . . . beware the ides of tight ends . . . rush 3 and drop 8, wondering if that’s going to be a problem . . . that’s also simplistic, ISU will bring the house as well . . . the ISU defense was worked over early and they found their footing late, Rattler was able to use his legs to make ISU guess quite a bit . . . Hall will break tackles, is elusive, and is powerful . . . also ,the ISU offense will utilize all sorts of formations on offense and their tight ends will block their asses off as well as catch the ball . . . the slant route and getting the ISU receivers in one-on-one coverage is absolutely key to the ISU offense and how they generate big plays . . . the return game for Iowa State is incredibly strong, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise and that’s what turned the game for the Cyclones late against Oklahoma . . . Oklahoma didn’t lose the game because of Rambo, but they did lose the game because Rattler throws into double-coverage (and ISU made plays) . . .


TeamRankings joins us again.

  • Iowa State is allowing just .434 points per play and Texas Tech is allowing .603 points per play. That should tell you more than you want to know. Both are allowing about 5.5 yards a play and both defenses are on the field about 31:30 minutes per game.
  • The biggest difference is that ISU is only allowing 3.1 yards per rush, while Texas Tech is allowing 4.6. ISU is also flipped a bit in that they are allowing 8.8 yards per completion, while Texas Tech is allowing 7.4.
  • Iowa State is averaging a sack 10% of the time which is insane. Texas Tech is averaging 4.55%
  • Opposing teams are running the ball 50.68% of the time and passing 49.32% of the time, but ISU is allowing 67% completion rate. Texas Tech opponents are running 58% of the time and passing 42% of the time.
  • Iowa State is allowing teams to convert on 3rd downs at a 42% rate compared to 39% for Texas Tech and Iowa State only allows opponents to score 80% of the time in the red zone, compared to 100% for Texas Tech.
  • Offensively, Texas Tech is running 80 plays a game, to 60 for Iowa State, but both teams are averaging .48 points per play, which means that ISU is scoring significantly more efficiently on much fewer plays and yards.
  • ISU is running 52% of the time and passing 48% of the time, compared to 36% running for Texas Tech and passing 64% of the time. A bad stat for Texas Tech? Texas Tech is averaging an interception 4% of the time compared to 1.2% for Iowa State.
  • Texas Tech is averaging .319 first downs per play compared to .302 for Iowa State.
  • Iowa State is only converting 43% of third downs, compared to 50% for Texas Tech. In the red zone Iowa State is lethal, scoring at a 100% rate and Texas Tech’s red zone scoring rate is 64%. That’s not good enough.
  • Texas Tech is averaging 5.9 yards per attempt, compared to 7.7 for Iowa State and the Cyclones are averaging 5.3 yards a rush, compared to 5.5 for Texas Tech, but ISU is averaging 6.3 yards per play compared to 5.7 for Texas Tech.

General Thoughts and Prediction On the Game

Part of me imagines that Iowa State basketball fans feel the same way about Chris Beard and the success of the Texas Tech basketball program as I feel about the Iowa State football program. There’s part of me that is extremely envious of what they’ve built and although there are a lot of Texas Tech fans that are upset at the Matt Wells hire, I think there’s still more time to figure this out, just as much as Steve Prohm might figure it out. Granted, Prohm has had much more success than Wells. Prohm did finish 2nd in the conference in his second year, with Fred Hoiberg’s players, and then finished 10th, 5th, and last year finished 9th in a shortened season. Prohm is starting his 7th year at Iowa State and is sub-.500 in his Big 12 conference wins, yet still has a job. And I know that you don’t need me to tell you that there is no Chris Beard without Kirby Hocutt, the same AD that hired Campbell, also hired Prohm. AD’s don’t get it right 100% of the time, sometimes they definitely get it wrong.

I would make a similar comparison to baseball, but Iowa State doesn’t play baseball. They wrestle, but they don’t play baseball.

I take a full week off, not necessarily to gain any sort of perspective, but to unplug a bit. I think that’s healthy. Particularly from work and particularly from blogging. Taking time off to not write, to just sit outside in the slightly cooler fall weather, drink coffee while everyone is sleeping, and waiting for the sun to come up is good.

As to Iowa State, I’d tell you that the offense and the defense is the type of thing that I want Texas Tech to have. Unique enough to be different and multiple on both sides of the ball. The defense doesn’t give up big huge plays and they are traditionally terrific up front and play really sound football. Offensively, the Cyclones are multiple, but they almost always run out a tight end, one that can catch and block, and that makes for a killer running game and receivers that can sometimes make huge plays.

So far I’ve been completely wrong about every game this year. I have absolutely zero handle on how to predict this team and maybe that’s part of the problem, which is that this team isn’t consistent enough to say, “this is the thing that they do so well” and that we can count on that one thing each and every game. I would say passing, but I don’t know that with the spread offense, that’s the thing that you can say that you do well if everyone does it well.

More than anything, I want Texas Tech to start to say, “this is what we do and we do it well each and every game”.

Again, I hope you are betting the opposite of my predictions because I’ve been wrong each and every game, but I’m taking Iowa State and the points against the spread, and Iowa State straight up. I don’t know if I have a reason why I think this way. I have no idea who is starting at quarterback for Texas Tech, I still have more confidence in Alan Bowman than I do Henry Columbi, but maybe I shouldn’t. With uncertainty at the most important position, I don’t know that I can take Texas Tech here even though it’s almost a 2 touchdown spread.

The Iowa State defense is ridiculously tough to play and when a team drops 8 players into coverage, it can absolutely destroy a quarterback that hasn’t seen it (see last week against Oklahoma where it caught up to the Sooners and Rattler). I don’t know that this will be a blowout because Iowa State usually doesn’t rev up their offense to the point of going fast, but they will run on you and they will make it difficult to stop.


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