|37 tackles; 7.40 tackles per game; 3 TFL; 2 forced fumbles
By all accounts, Johnson wouldn’t be playing safety because he’s just not big enough, but I’ve been really impressed with his willingness make plays and make tackles. You really don’t want a safety leading your team in tackles (this is an old cliche, but I suppose that it is true), but Johnson is 3rd at Texas Tech and 6th in the Big 12. With the relative size of the Iowa State receivers, Johnson being undersized is going to be key to bringing those guys down and making sure that he stays clean to make plays on the Iowa State running back.
Point 2: Uniform Tracker
|Sam Houston State
Point 3: Keys to the Game
Since I was referring to this so much, I decided to make a nice littel table so you could compare stats and get a better idea as to how the teams match up and where the weaknesses are. Links to the full profiles (which are great and if you enjoy this, I recommend clicking on over) are here: Texas Tech’s profile and Iowa State’s profile.
|TTU O Rank
|ISU D Rank
Offensively, Iowa State isn’t great, but the Texas Tech defense is significantly worse.
|TTU D Rank
|ISU O Rank
The key to the game for Texas Tech. Keep the pedal to the metal and don’t let up, not even for a second.
Point 4: Texas Tech Offense vs. Iowa State Defense
Even with more traditional numbers, it’s still a match up problem for Iowa State. If Texas Tech can continue to convert on third downs and extend drives (which can be problematic if the young receivers don’t catch the passes) then there’s a significant advantage here.
Point 5: Texas Tech Defense vs. Iowa State Offense
Until proven otherwise, I think Texas Tech is at a disadvantage with just about any offense despite ISU not exactly being prolific. They’re certainly competent and that’s the problem.
Point 6: A Look at the Iowa State Offense
A pretty simplistic looking play as Iowa State has the ball in great position and it’s first down. A little bit of movement from the receiver running behind the play so we know if Kansas is in man or zone and here we go.
Because Kansas is so focused on the tailback, they have completely forgotten that Sam B. Richardson has actual legs in which to run the ball when he has 15 yards with not a defender in sight. Texas Tech needs to be aware that Richardson can actually do this.
With four receivers wide, the two inside receivers are running off the coverage deep so that the two wide receivers can feel out the coverage. Lazard is just hanging out at the bottom of the screen.
With the defensive back running off of the play, it’s a real easy play for ISU to complete, and it was 3rd and 10. Big plays are killer plays for this defense.
Iowa State will pretty much run the ball out of your normal spread and this is a pretty simplistic play. Something Texas Tech would run.
Watch how the line has caved in the Kansas line to the right side of the field and the only player left is a linebacker, who is terrible at making open field tackles (at least on this play, where he never touches the running back).
Point 7: A Look at the Iowa State Defense
Notice the alignment. Three down linemen and two linebackers here with two deep safeties.
This may be a coverage sack, although it happens very quickly and Iowa State is able to rush three and get the sack.
Just because Iowa State runs a 3-3-5 doesn’t mean that they won’t go heavy with 3 down linemen and stand up linebackers looking to make the offensive line nervous.
ISU ends up rushing five and as you can see, the Kansas quarterback doesn’t really stand a chance here as he needs to get rid of the ball now and all of the players are still headed out on their route.
Another 3-3-5 alignment, but the stand up linebacker is rushing at the top of the screen.
The linebackers here do a really good job of fighting off the right blocks and despite this being a reverse, ISU has done a good job of staying at home and making the play 12 yards down the line of scrimmage.