Monday Morning Quarterback : UTEP

As we start to focus on the upcoming game with the Arkansas Razorbacks, Michael_LSRR, Brian DonCarlos and I break down a few key stats and how they played out in the game. This week, we look at the rushing yards of both teams, the penalties committed by Texas Tech and if/how this team displayed the killer instinct the coaching staff talked about last week.

Rushing Yards

Michael_LSRR – I know I’m not the only Tech fan who was sad to see Aaron Jones go out of the game on Saturday. He is such a talented player, and our Red Raiders had trouble bringing him down. I think the game would’ve been a bit closer had he been able to continue to play, but Tech’s offense was clicking so well that it wouldn’t have affected the outcome. Aside from the 91 yard hiccup, the defense only allowed him 48 yards on 16 attempts. I can live with that.

DeAndre Washington had a fantastic day! I so wish he could have gotten in the end zone on that drive where he marched down the field on his own. Between him and Stockton, Tech has a couple of backs who can really break free and make defenses pay.

Brian DonCarlos – It took me until a good way through the 3rd quarter for that typical rush D induced sinking feeling to start to go away. Aside from that 91 yard Jones run, the front 7 performed admirably against the run, with the LB’s in particular standing out to me. I still worry about how the interior line would get tied up in blocks and kicked out even on some of the more pedestrian UTEP blocking schemes early on in the game, but there was noticeable improvement from the first game, so I’ll take it. It would have been nice to see how the defense would have stood up to Jones for an entire game to give us a better indicator about the Arkansas game.

As for Tech’s rushing, it was nice to see Kliff feed Washington more and have him pay off on those play calls. Tech is going to need to have that balance on offense come Saturday to help keep our defense off the field. Last season against Arkansas, everybody was just gassed come half way through the third, which is when the Hogs really started to sit on us. With an effective offense now back in the fold, I feel it will be a little harder for opposing teams to be able to pull away as easy. At least I hope that’s the case.
MeestahRogers – I was initially surprised to see that Tech outperformed UTEP on the ground in this game. I was down in the first half of the game when Aaron Jones was running through the Tech defense and breaking ridiculous amounts of tackles. But when I saw the stat that Seth shared in the 10 Things post that Tech held UTEP to only 136 rushing yards and under 3 yards per carry, if you take out the 91 yard run. It only takes 1 or 2 key breakdowns to provide for a run like that to happen and I think you can still learn when you exclude a play. And true, Aaron Jones got hurt and didn’t play in the second half, but their rushing production fell without him, saying to me that their success was more the talent of Jones than lack of talent on the Tech defensive line.

Texas Tech Penalties

Michael_LSRR – It was a tale of two “halves”. The first quarter saw a few false start penalties and a touchdown taken away from a chop block. The remaining three quarters, I believe, only had one yellow flag on the home team. It was as if someone just flipped a switch. I loved it. At this time last year, we were looking at a total of 25 penalties for 204 yards. So far in 2015, we’re at 14 for 107.

Brian DonCarlos – Much like with the rushing defense, it took me awhile to realize that the penalty problem really isn’t as bad as I initially thought. Granted they were mostly dumb mental errors early on, Tech settled down and started playing the way that Kliff has always said he wanted to see. We’re two games in to season 3, but if the turnovers/penalty issues are actually starting to be resolved, we’re going to be in much more games than we initially suspected. Here’s to hoping it’s real.

MeestahRogers – Texas Tech committed a total of 6 penalties, one of which after the second team came in essentially garbage time. Tech played a much more disciplined game. There were still two penalties I would wish to have back (Johnson hitting the UTEP QB out of bounds, and the chop block that wiped away a TD). However, this is certainly progress even from a week ago and I’m encouraged that the team is headed in the right direction.

Killer Instinct

Michael_LSRR – When I think of Killer Instinct, I think of the SNES game from the mid-90s. If that makes anyone else feel old, just remember that Mario turned 30 over the weekend. Tuesday’s gone with the wind…

Tech did appear to maintain their focus, even when the second teams started to come in during the fourth quarter. Webb’s first offensive drive was less than ideal, but they managed to regroup and get a couple more trips in the end zone. I think that is exactly what Kingsbury is looking for.

Brian DonCarlos – So, what do you do when you’re trying to make a point about putting teams away when you’re supposed to? You keep your first team in through most of the 3rd quarter, even when the game could long since be considered over. It feels like it’s been a long time, probably the 2013 season, since Tech dropped a beating on a team like that, but it was a welcome sight to see. I haven’t felt this good about our offense in years, but knowing that we do what we’re supposed to do against competition like that makes me feel much better about our chances going forward. This week will be a huge litmus test, but if we leave Fayetteville with a win against an Arkansas team that should be mad from that Toledo loss. . .

MeestahRogers – We heard following the game last week that this team was lacking the killer instinct required to put away quality opponents. Texas Tech took a decent lead into halftime and could have coasted coming out in the third quarter, but they didn’t Tech went on to outscore UTEP 31-3 in the second half, including a 17-0 third quarter. Again, I’m encouraged by this progress after only one week of work. The team will need to continue this with the heart of the schedule coming up.


The Latest

To Top