This will not make anyone feel any better, but Oklahoma is a really good football team that’s competing for a spot in the college football playoff and Texas Tech is not. That was the reality before the game and it was the reality after the game.
There’s obviously a handful of things to discuss, but these programs are really far apart. And with Texas Tech playing with a backup quarterback and you’ve just got what’s likely to be a really long day. I thought that 27 points might be close, but I definitely picked Oklahoma +24.5 and those 2.5 points didn’t matter at the end of the day.
2. The Offense
I do not know what made this staff think that Jackson Tyner would be a good starting quarterback and the fact that after two weeks of evaluation, this was seemingly the guy that was going to get the win against Oklahoma. I think that most fans who watched just the few plays that Tyner had in mop-up duty, I was pretty confident (like a lot of you) that Tyner wasn’t going to cut it. The fact that the coaching staff didn’t see this when it seemed painfully obviously is problematic for me. This was one of two things that were problematic for the game overall. This really bothers me and I’m not an expert, just a guy with a laptop.
Jett Duffey was better, but the offense overall was not good. there did not seem to be any discernible plan to topple Oklahoma, or I couldn’t tell what it was, not a ton of misdirection or any new wrinkle that I thought that the offense would maybe take advantage of in some manner. And the offense wasn’t particularly aggressive, opening up the second half with a third and one and punting with maybe 6 inches to go and down 34-10. At that point, there was nothing to lose, but it seemed clear that playing things safe this game was the key to the game. And the drive after the Douglas Coleman interception, the 3rd and 8 call to just run the ball up the gut is like running the draw play on 3rd and 11 in the NFL. It’s really just pointless and not much chance of it working.
Almost 200 yards rushing is a positive and SaRodorick Thompson looked good. So there’s that.
3. The Defense
I don’t know where to start, but the defense simply couldn’t tackle. I really thought that this team had turned a corner a bit and would at the very least be solid tacklers, but nope. Nope. Simply tackling players in open space would have reduced a significant number of yards after catch. There was a pretty significant regression here and I don’t know that I can explain it. Simply not tackling doesn’t really require much, if any, analysis.
4. The Special Teams
Fake punt was good. Jaylon Hutchings could probably take some carries at running back, but I don’t think that running back is the problem. All 3 field goals were made so good on Trey Wolff. Silver linings. Austin McNamara averaged nearly 49 yards a punt.
5. Offensive Notes
- I’m not sure where to go here. I usually like to talk about a handful of interesting or salient points, but I’m a bit hamstrung here.
- I don’t think that Jett Duffey was terrible, but he was definitely better than Jacksn Tyner. Duffey was 11 for 20 for 120 yards and Tyner was 1-5 and looked completely lost. Still don’t understand the decision to start Tyner. Just don’t get that at all. As noted below, Wells said that Tyner was getting the ball down the field better in practice and that Tyner and Duffey were essentially neck-and-neck, but I had not seen that in mop-up duty or any other time.
- I don’t know that there’s much to discuss with the receivers because the receiver who caught the most passes was a running back, Thompson with 4, and the actual receiver who had more than 2 catches was Dalton Rigdon who had 2 for 37 yards. I don’t understand how this happens, but here we are.
- The offensive line? Two chop blocks and there were some running lanes, but goodness not great work. I’m just sort of let down here.
- I think the coaching staff has not evaluated the receivers either. I don’t know that the tight end is ready to be a real threat and it’s not that I have a problem with Donta Thompson or Travis Koontz, but they’re not threats, and maybe that’s part of the reason why the offense isn’t really rolling. Making the defenses account for the tight end and for that player to be a blocker could be significant, but that’s not the case for this offense.
- I just don’t understand the offense past the 10 yards down the field.
- I think McLane Mannix should play more and I cannot figure out how Texas Tech can’t get some of these guys out in space.
- If the quarterback is going to be Jett Duffey, then get him to a point where he’s a real threat to run the ball and not just handing the ball off. Let him make decisions in the offense to force the defense to make decisions.
6. Defensive Notes
- Man, the tackling. The secondary was absolutely abysmal tackling and that lack of tackle by Dadrion Taylor, who I get is a true freshman, but that was embarrassing to see that tackle. He just got shoved off and left int he dust. Welcome to the Big 12. Oh, and Taylor was playing because Adrian Frye left with an injury.
- I know that the hit by Eli Howard is getting some play, but I didn’t see a ton of fault there, it was a bang-bang play and Eli Howard has never been a malicious player in any way shape or form.
- I think that Jordyn Brooks was supposed to shadow Jalen Hurts, but Hurts is just too good or a runner and player for Brooks. That’s a bad match-up for Brooks and most linebackers, which is why I thought that Rambo would have maybe been a better play for Hurts.
- The defense gave up 642 total yards and 10 yards a play.
I don’t like it when programs don’t put together the quotes like Texas Tech does.
So Wells said that Tyner got the ball down the field in practice and man, I don’t see that at all. Not even a little bit. Wells was asked what he told the team and said that this is a process and Texas Tech needs to look at themselves to see how they could be better and be better internally. Wells said that Texas Tech is not where they want to be at this point (not something difficult to admit after this game).
And I couldn’t hear the question, but maybe it was about how does he progress Texas Tech as a program (and something to do with the Oklahoma receivers) and Well said that he needs to recruit better, not have any attrition, develop guys, and just recruit. I still harbor some bitterness with Kingsbury saying that he didn’t put the effort into the recruiting that he could have. I know I’ve got to let things go, but better players = better teams and Wells isn’t wrong. I don’t think that Wells was making excuses with that answer, just stating the obvious.
Wasn’t sure with the question, but the answer was that Wells said that he was a very calculated aggressive play-caller when the time fits, but it is situation dependent.
Wells knows that he didn’t do what he needed to do to win the game. I didn’t hear any excuse-making, but I’m sure I wasn’t listening hard enough.
8. Stats and Things
- Texas Tech was 1 of 14 on third downs. That’s a bad. And the only conversion was the result of an Oklahoma penalty.
- The low number of penalties may not be a real thing because the offense had 8 for 65 yards. That’s not terrible, but it’s not good and Dawson Deaton had two penalties, one of which took away a touchdown by Mannix.
- Oklahoma averaged almost 11 yards gained on each third down, but they were only 3 of 9 overall. Third down for OU was like every other play because the Sooners averaged 10 yards a play.
- Oklahoma lost the time of possession game, 31:54 to 28:06, but scored 65 points. Don’t let anyone tell you how time of possession is that important. And actually, that’s not a true statement. For a team like Navy or Army, time of possession is very important, but not all things are made the same.
- The defense actually did a decent job of stopping the Oklahoma offense as they averaged 9 yards to go on third down, so when it happened there were opportunities to take advantage of it.
- The offense actually averaged 5 yards a rush, but it didn’t feel that way.
9. Looking Ahead
Oklahoma State comes to AT&T Stadium after beating Kanas State 26-13 at home. Get ready for your 11:00 a.m. kickoff.
10. The Final Word
Remember that Jim Mora commercial or comment? When asked about something to do about winning the game, he says, “You play to win the game.” So the question for me is, did Texas Tech play to win the game? I don’t know the answer to that and this doesn’t feel like the team was wholly ready. Not really ready at all. I’m not questioning anyone’s effort here, but I didn’t feel that the offensive game-plan was up to snuff after two weeks and I didn’t feel that the secondary really knew what to do. Given all of that, you pit a top 5 team against a team that’s in the 60’s or so and this is the result 99 of 100 times. But the team certainly didn’t look inspired.
I usually write a few thousand words here and I don’t think I’m anywhere near that this morning (technically, 1,660), but I don’t know what else to write. This program is a ways away from being where it wants to be and Wells seemingly admitted that.