Texas Tech Football Notebook: Recapping the UTEP Win; Look to Arkansas

It’s Monday and You Know What That Means. LAJ’s Nicholas Talbot recaps the game against UTEP:

After Texas Tech’s lackluster 59-45 win over FCS power Sam Houston State, Kingsbury hardly had anything positive to say about the win.

He wasn’t happy.

And he let the media, the fans and the Red Raiders know it.

He wanted more effort.

He wanted them to tear apart the Bearkats when they had the chance.

They hadn’t.

And he vowed change.

He got it Saturday.

Soak it up. Soak it all up.

It’s About to Get Real. LAJ’s Don Williams knows that these wins are nice, but it’s about to get incredibly real with Arkansas, TCU and Baylor coming up:

As for the defense, we’re still not sure what to make of it. UTEP managed 163 yards and three points after halftime, but that was with a carousel of QBs and no real threat after legit running back Aaron Jones messed up his ankle before halftime. Before Jones was reduced to crutches and a protective boot, he broke one 91 yards for a touchdown. The Miners caught Tech with the box loaded and a single safety high, so Jones had to break only one tackle to be home free.

The Red Raiders aren’t going to beat Arkansas, much less TCU or Baylor, with breakdowns like that.

We’re about to find out how prepared they are for that stretch.

“I feel like we’ve gotten better,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “That’s really all you can ask for at this point, so we need to make that next stride from week two to week three. Those are three tremendous teams and we’ll prepare for Arkansas and see if we can continue to improve.”

What the Win Means. ESPN’s Jake Trotter recaps the game and answers what the win means:

Behind quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Texas Tech offense is off to an awesome start with 17 touchdowns through two games. Next weekend at Arkansas, however, will determine whether this Red Raider offense is for real, and whether Tech can be a factor once Big 12 play begins. After a shaky performance in Week 1, the defense showed improvement against UTEP, which is a good sign.

Notebook: Robertson Returns. LAJ’s Don Williams has his game notebook and there aren’t a ton of things that you probably already know, like Pete Robertson returning, excellent coverage in special teams, some different offensive line combinations, the fact that Jakeem Grant didn’t get a catch in the second half, and Davis Webb getting some playing time . . . .

Five Thoughts. DMN’s Michael DuPont has five thoughts on Texas Tech’s win (plus a new beta website):

Texas Tech may have started a little slower than they would’ve liked but Pat Mahomes was able to keep this game from ever being competitive by keeping the Red Raiders focused on coming away with points. In their first three drives of the game, Tech scored 17 points. But after a punt, the Red Raiders offensive arsenal rattled off four straight touchdowns, helping Tech pull ahead to a 45-17 lead in the third quarter. Mahomes accounted for six touchdowns in the win. Grant and Lauderdale were there for Mahomes almost every time he needed them to be.

Time for Texas Tech to Step Up. DMN’s Chuck Carlton writes that it is time for Texas Tech (and Texas) to step up their play as Oklahoma beat Tennessee this past weekend:

Coupled with Tennessee’s loss and Auburn’s narrow overtime escape against FCS member Jacksonville State, the SEC is looking vulnerable. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema became a popular social media piñata following his recent comments about the weakness of Ohio State’s schedule.

After two wins over Sam Houston State and UTEP, Texas Tech will now discover how much progress it has made. Arkansas pushed Tech all around Jones AT&T Stadium with 438 yards rushing last season and exposed weaknesses that opponents would exploit throughout the season.

Miscellaneous. ESPN is predicting that Texas Tech goes to the Cactus Bowl after week 2, which is now the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona . . . in the DMN’s best in Texas, they’ve got Texas Tech at 4th in the state . . . the DMN names Patrick Mahomes the Big 12 Offensive Player of the week . . .

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