The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2022.09.29

Only a few links, but some good ones.


CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone thinks that Texas Tech is a tournament team last year that won’t make the NCAA Tournament this year:

Anyway, given that success, I’m obviously going out on a ledge here. Texas Tech has consistently been one of the best programs in the Big 12 over the last few years, and Adams has the program on an upward trajectory. However, there’s also a changing landscape within the league that should be accounted for. Kansas will again be a force. Baylor will be Baylor. Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State TCU and West Virginia should all have tourney-caliber teams. The Big 12 is laughably loaded.

With Texas Tech losing Bryson Williams, Terrence Shannon and do-it-all guard Kevin McCullar — the team’s top three scorers — the road ahead for Tech is much tougher than people may be willing to admit. There’s enough talent on this roster to make this prediction look foolish, and I’m queasy even at the thought of fading Adams, but there are a lot of new pieces that will have to fit together well. The process of fitting it together, as we saw last year at Texas with Beard, is a unique challenge that will be a battle Adams has not yet faced as a head coach.


AP’s Schuyler Dixon writes about the addition of Zach Kittley to the football program with Wes in the track program:

Dad is thrilled now because he shares a lunch room in the athletic complex with his youngest son and gets to check out football practice whenever he wants.

“It’s just a dream come true for me and his mother, and his brothers,” Wes Kittley said. “Zach is beloved in this town. We kind of say this in the Kittley family, ‘We’ll die for you if we know you’re for us.’”

There has been a Kittley coaching at Texas Tech since 1999, when 8-year-old Zach was watching Kliff Kingsbury play quarterback for the Red Raiders.

When Kingsbury was hired as coach a decade ago, the younger Kittley remembers where he was when he heard the news — and what that Texas Tech student told his dad, sitting next to him in a restaurant.

“I told him, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to go work for this guy and learn from this guy,’” said Zach Kittley, who was helping his dad with the track program at the time. “He said, ‘This is your deal and you’ve got to go approach it and attack it.’”

Dallas Morning News’ Ryan Mainville with 5 things to know about Kansas State:

Both Texas Tech and Kansas State are off to strong starts in 2022. The Red Raiders have opened their season with two wins over ranked opponents, including knocking off No. 22 Texas last Saturday. Kansas State is coming off a huge win over No. 6 Oklahoma in Norman. The Wildcats are currently ranked as the No. 25 team in the country, while Texas Tech is receiving votes. This matchup provides an opportunity for either side to pick up a pivotal win early into conference play.

The Athletic’s Sam Kahn ($) on Joey McGuire’s 4th down philosophy:

The “Game Book” is a binder filled with color-coded charts providing statistically optimal recommendations for that week. On the fourth-down charts, green means “go for it,” yellow is for field goals and red means punt. The charts are broken down by distance from the goal and from a first down.
At Texas Tech, defensive graduate assistant Kirby Ennis has the book. He sits in the press box on game day and when the Red Raiders get the ball, he’ll give offensive coordinator Zach Kittley the “magic number” over the headset.
If the magic number is “two” that means the Red Raiders will go for it if they reach fourth-and-2. As the drive progresses, that magic number can change based on where the ball is on the field or time left on the clock.
Throughout the drive, McGuire consults with defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter and associate head coach Kenny Perry on what the book says and how they’re feeling. Kittley is not involved in that discussion, because McGuire doesn’t want to interfere with his play calling. If it looks like the Red Raiders may go for it on their own side of the field, McGuire will give DeRuyter a heads up. Ultimately, McGuire makes the call.


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