The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2017.11.02

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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FanRag Sports’ Jon Rothstein has 20 under the radar breakout players and Norense Odiase makes the list:

Norense Odiase, Texas Tech: Injuries have stunted Odiase’s growth in each of the past two seasons, but if he’s healthy, then Chris Beard has a real force on the interior. After redshirting last season, this 6-9 big man is ready to give the Red Raiders another presence in the paint to go with Zach Smith and DePaul transfer Tommy Hamilton. Odiase averaged 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 18.5 minutes two years ago when Texas Tech reached the NCAA Tournament under Tubby Smith.

Texas Tech Football

Wichita Eagle’s Kellis Robinett writes about the uncertainty at the quarterback spot this week:

Early signs point toward Alex Delton starting his fourth straight game at quarterback for the Wildcats, but nothing is certain.

Delton, a sophomore from Hays, missed the second half of K-State’s 30-20 victory at Kansas after absorbing a hard hit to the helmet, making way for redshirt freshman Skylar Thompson to close out the game.

K-State coach Bill Snyder said Delton was feeling “fine” and “doing well” Monday morning. He also said senior Jesse Ertz was a candidate to return against Texas Tech after missing the past three games with a knee injury, refuting rumors that he might be out for the remainder of the season.

Wichita Eagle’s Kellis Robinett writes about the K-State defense bending, but not breaking and the problems they have had in the secondary:

Another possible change: top cornerback D.J. Reed could shadow Texas Tech receiver Keke Coutee. Reed was so displeased after the KU game that he offered to begin covering receivers on both sides of the field and in the slot to help prevent bad individual matchups.

“I was frustrated,” Reed said, “because we have so much potential in our secondary and just the whole defensive unit and we gave up (more than) 400 passing yards. Last week we gave up 400 passing yards. It’s just unacceptable. We have obviously got to watch film, get better and learn from the mistakes that are happening. We have to tighten up our coverage.”

Also from Robinett is how important this game is for both teams to become bowl eligible:

Beat Texas Tech, and all K-State has to do is split home games against West Virginia and Iowa State to become bowl eligible. Lose at Texas Tech, and K-State will have to win both home games or pull a major road upset against the Cowboys.

In other words, K-State’s bowl hopes may hinge on what happens Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.

“We are a top program,” McCrane said. “If we didn’t make a bowl game, we don’t deserve to be in the Big 12, I don’t think. With our status, we have got to make a bowl game. That’s why I have been so outspoken on that, because that is our goal. It’s tough to hear that we might not make that bowl. I think we have got a shot, but we have to start out with a win on Saturday.”

Winning in Lubbock, Texas won’t be easy. The Red Raiders and their pass-happy offense are a bad matchup for the Wildcats and their struggling secondary. Texas Tech will also be motivated to make a bowl. A postseason trip seemed like a given following a 4-1 start, but three straight losses have altered that outlook.

Miscellaneous . . . Heartland College Sports’ Pete Mundo has a preview of Texas Tech and Kansas State . . . A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. writes about senior linebacker Jayd Kirby . . .


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