Texas Tech Football Notebook: Stockton’s Skills; A Better Iowa State Defense

RB coach Mike Jinks talks about Justin Stockton’s skills and thoughts on a very much improved Iowa State defense.

Ed. Note: I’m going to be away during the day and early evening on Saturday. Saturday is Fitsum’s “Gotcha Day” and it’s the day that Fitsum physically became our son. We try to celebrate this day like a birthday so I won’t be around. I am going to schedule a post-game thread for you all to discuss the game at 6:30 pm.

Outside the Huddle. Definitely worth the watch.

Stockton’s Skills. LAJ’s Don Williams writes that RB Justin Stockton’s skills and RB coach Mike Jinks said that he thinks Stockton is ready for an increased load:

“I think last year, we tried to force-feed some stuff early on — probably about the Arkansas game last year — and he took steps back instead of continuing to improve,” Jinks said. “He wasn’t ready to do that.

“He’s at that point now, so he’s able to do everything on offense, so you’re probably going to see his play count increase dramatically.”

A Better Iowa State Defense. LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes that the Iowa State defense is much improved and DE Dale Pierson says that the Cyclones swarm to the ball:

According to Pierson, this is the fastest the Iowa State defense has been. That speed translates to Cyclones being where they should be.

“Every time I watch film of us, I’m surprised by how well we swarm to the ball,” he said. “What I mean by that is if one person gets a tackle, there’s going to be three or four guys over the top of them running to the ball.”

Prediction. DMN’s Michael DuPont has his prediction for the game:

Texas Tech must avoid dropping to 0-3 in Big 12 play at all costs. The Red Raiders take the field for homecoming on Saturday with an added sense of determination and desperation coming off back-to-back losses against AP Top-25 opponents, eager to prove they are not regressing back to last season’s 4-8 team.

Keys for Iowa State. Des Moines Register’s Randy Peterson (beware auto-play video) has some keys for Iowa State to win:

The Red Raiders thrive on having sprinter receivers turn medium-range passes into long gains with their shiftiness and their where-are-they-now elusiveness.

The same is true against quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who can turn a bad play or two into something big.

In the past, this has been the Cyclones’ bugaboo; tackling hasn’t always been the defense’s strong suit. But with guys like Jay Jones and Demond Tucker and more experienced players in the secondary, that aspect of the game might be better on this occasion.

Miscellaneous. The official site has the homecoming schedule for the weekend . . . some dude named Seth asked a question for the Land Grant Gauntlet mailbag as to if Texas Tech can get back on track against Iowa State . . . speaking of LGG, they have their preview of Iowa State vs. Texas Tech . . . the Big 12 Blog Bros pick this week’s games . . . the college football side of SI talks to opposing coaches who talk about the lack of talent and sense of entitlement in Austin (some of this has already been debunked and Thayer Evans and Pete Thamel are the authors and I always take what they write with a grain of salt) . . . one of our blogging friends, Grant Thome, is now podcasting with Land Grant Gauntlet (as an aside, I’m happy that Grant’s found a place to ply his craft) . . . Football Study Hall’s Bill Connelly has his weekly picks, including a Texas Tech win . . . Campus Insiders’ Pete Fiutak previews the game and picks the final score . . .


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