Texas Tech is 3-0 and looking forward to hosting an Oklahoma State team that faltered at home against TCU. This was far from a perfect game, but we’re starting to see potential of certain aspects of this team.
– 5 –
The Texas Tech defense was able to force 5 turnovers. While the offense was only able to turn those into 10 points, those turnovers were huge. They helped Tech maintain or flip momentum. Of those five turnovers, 3 of them were fumbles (where Tech recovered all 3), and two were interceptions. The Dakota Allen interception the the third play of the game helped set the defensive tone (this was the second game where Tech was able to turn the opponent over on their first possession).
– 278 –
The defense held the Houston offense to 278 total yards and 10 points (before Houston switched QBs and the defense went into full on prevent and failed). The Houston offense was contained all day long and forced into multiple turnovers. Before the QB switch, Houston just could not sustain a drive, especially one that didn’t end in a turnover. Look at these Houston drives: 3 plays, 12 yards, interception; 4 plays, 19 yards, punt; 3 plays, -7 yards, fumble; 5 plays, 21 yards, punt; 7 plays, 26 yards, field goal; 6 plays, 24 yards, fumble; 2 plays, 19 yards, touchdown; 5 plays, 17 yards, fumble; 10 plays, 59 yards, interception; 7 plays, 42 yards, punt; 6 plays, 28 yards, punt; 3 plays, 3 yards, punt; and 5 plays, 18 yards, punt. Obviously, Tech was able to stall out the Houston offense for the vast majority of the day, and if they were able to force Houston to drive the length of the field with better field position (for the Tech defense), they might have also been able to hold the score lower as well. The two scoring drives combined for 45 yards. The Tech offense had 3 plays longer than 45 yards.
– 110 –
the Tech defense only gave up a total of 110 rushing yards, including the two final drives for Houston. On those two drives, Houston was able to run for 54 yards. The defense essentially held Houston to 56 rushing yards for 3 and a half quarters. 110 yards is impressive on its own, but before the QB switch and defensive meltdown, they were able to hold them to 56 yards. That’s simply ridiculous for a team that would give up 110 rushing yards in the blink of an eye in 2016.
– 2 of 4 –
Seth mentioned this in his 10 Things post, but it deserves mentioning again. Tech was only able to convert 2 of the 4 field goals attempted on the day. Special teams in general were just rough. Tech gave up a long return, nearly muffed and lost a punt, Panazzolo stepped out of the end zone on a punt attempt that was luckily saved by a defensive pre-snap penalty. This may be more of an anomaly this week, but this will need to be addressed and cleaned up. We know just how much special teams gaffes can swing games from years past.
– 15-117 –
Unsurprisingly, Tech committed an obscene amount of penalties in this game. Seth said he didn’t really feel it impacting the game or noticied it in the middle of the game. I disagree. In our group chat, I was railing on the officials for a good stretch there in the game following the fumble recovery and return inside the 5, that was called back on a phantom holding call. Then Shimonek threw the interception and there was an egregious hold on a Houston WR as they scored that went uncalled. Those calls were maybe a minute or two apart and were called/not called by the officials on the Houston sideline (maybe even the same official). Playing a little revisionist history here, had those calls been made how I would have expected, Tech would have gone up 20-3 – a very similar 14 point swing we witnessed from the Nisby fumble into the end zone last week.