Seth: On Tuesday, I posted a Staking The Plains original, Hivemind, where I asked the group what they would do to help the defense. From reading some of your post-game comments, I think you’re in the boat that there’s some talented players on the defense, some of them are really young and learning, but this whole thing is going to take time to fix.
Aside from the idea that Texas Tech has rotated defensive coordinators for so many years, why does it take teams so much time to be competent on defense, while the offense can seemingly flip a switch and be good to great?
Travis: I honestly have no idea why there is such a discrepancy in the lag time between going from bad to serviceable to good to great on the defensive side of the ball. I do think there is some truth to the idea that Kingsbury isn’t helping the defense out by continuing to try and press which results in 3 and outs, etc. It’s a natural side effect to the air raid in that you can’t really expect to field a top ten defense.
So I think what we can hope for is some consistency in the coaching staff, ala Ruffin McNeil, which will lead to a top 30 ranking or so in a few years, which I’d be thrilled with.
On the drive home from Lubbock a few weeks ago I heard Level on his radio show talking about OSU and how they may be a paper tiger. He compared them to the Tech team in 2013 that started 7-0 but faded at the end. Do you think he’s onto something?
Seth: After looking at the stats for Oklahoma State, they’re really good defensively. Granted, their schedule is a bit back-loaded, but they’re pretty good. And they’ve won some close games, but they’ve won all of the close games. The thing that’s maybe not as good as expected, is the offense for OSU, but I know a certain defense that tends to cure those sorts of ills. Overall, I tend to think that Oklahoma State is probably not as good as their record, but this is where they are.
And to jump onto your point about the defense needing some consistence, recruiting, coaching and otherwise, that’s essentially Oklahoma State. They don’t have to be lights out on defense in order for them to be very good. That defense is carrying them and they seem to have a lot of pieces to the puzzle and two monster defensive ends that create serious issues.
Since Halloween is on Saturday, I was curious as to your favorite memory or costume from your childhood for Halloween. I think mine is that my brother, who is a year older than me, went as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. My mom made our costumes. I was Han Solo. I had the shirt and the black vest and the pants and I was ready to go. I even had a gun like Han Solo with the holster and the leather strap that went around his leg. I don’t remember where I got the holster, but I sure as heck remember having one.
Travis: We’re about the same age so we grew up in an era where our Halloween costumes were often homemade. There weren’t all these Halloween shops to go in and get a nice Ninja Turtle outfit from. Probably my most memorable costume was the time I dressed up like Mr. T. I had a vest and some of my mom’s necklaces to wear. We took a pair of panty hose and glued some cotton balls (painted black) to it and arranged them into a Mohawk, and stretched it over my head. Then we painted a beard and mustache on my face and it was on. I got all the candy.
If you could only pick one, which would you pick- being able to fly or being able to be invisible?
Seth: Well, this is easy because I would much rather just fade into the background, which probably says something about my mental state than anything else. The idea of being able to disappear at times would be terrific. If I had the power to fly, I would use it only once, go find my son, pick him up and bring him home and I’d be done. I wouldn’t want to leave.
Top five and bottom five candy. Go.
Travis: I’m actually not a big candy guy. I’ll eat goobers with the kids sometimes and like some good laffy taffy but that’s about it. I don’t do a lot of sweets overall, except for a piece of pie at Thanksgiving. And it’s not that I’m some sort of health nut. I eat (and drink) plenty of bad stuff, just never had a real sweet tooth.
So, do you think Tech can pull out a win on Saturday?
Seth: I’m actually a lot like you when it comes to candy. I’m good with the bite-sized Snickers or maybe some M&M’s but other than that, I’m good with beer after dinner.
So, yes, I do think that there’s a better than zero chance that Texas Tech wins on Saturday, which seems completely implausible given what’s happened over the past two weeks. I really shouldn’t be remotely confident, but Oklahoma State hasn’t been able to run very much, Patrick Mahomes is terrific at home, and of all things, Oklahoma State has somewhat morphed into a one or two tight end team, which means that Texas Tech might actually play 3 linebackers for a game.
Are you feeling confident heading into Saturday?
Travis: I am, actually. Not sure why really, but I feel like Tech has a really good shot at a win. I think playing at home could be the boost they need. And it will be awesome if anyone dresses like a panda.
Seth: One last thing. Does anything freak you out? I’ll go first. Fake hair freaks me the flip-out. Like on a girl’s doll or a wig. I don’t even want to touch the stuff.
Boo! /tumbles on the snow and falls down/
Travis: So I should never send you a doll?
I don’t like snakes and I can’t stand the napkins at the restaurant Cheddars
Seth: I would take faint-hearted swing at you and run for my life.