1. Game Links:
2. If you have 3. then you probably have none. Maybe that’s the old saying or something like that. I mentioned before the game in the preview that it made no sense to discuss and hammer how all 3 quarterbacks would play and we’re seeing that this is maybe the wrong approach. I think I get the idea that Joey McGuire wants to keep all of them around, but we all know how this works, which is that some of the players are going to transfer. That’s the reality and that’s okay. Regardless, I think you can’t keep thinking that you need to play all 3. That’s not a requirement and the quarterback position works differently than any other position. And I would have replaced Morton at halftime, but I would also make a terrible coach.
I don’t think I need to drive this point home any more than how I think you all feel that way. And even after the game, McGuire said that there’s not going to be a rotation and that the reason that Shough played was to keep everyone healthy and Smith played because he is useful as threat running the ball. McGuire didn’t want to tip his hand that it will likely be Morton who starts on Saturday, but he did say that he didn’t want to start a rotation. I don’t know if tipping your hand has any benefit, but Baylor was certainly ready for Morton. It’s clear who the starter is.
And it is a bit ironic (I never know if I’m using this correctly) that the greatest quarterback that’s played at Texas Tech was inducted into the Hall of Fame while the quarterbacks on the field played one of the worst games I can recall.
3. Gassed Defense. Despite everything, I thought the defense played well. The 5 turnovers are a killer, there’s nothing to say about that and I don’t at all blame the defense for this loss. That was not the problem for me and the yards are gaudy. And the stats do look bad, but Baylor averaged 3.9 yards per carry and Shapen only threw for 211 yards, so he wasn’t completely airing it out. But 40 minutes for time of possession for Baylor and just 20 minutes for Texas Tech AND the turnovers.
4. Quarterback Play. Morton was horrible in the first half, I don’t think there’s much question about that and he was much better in the second half. A freshman like that is going to have rough patches and it was clear that when the first read was taken away, which is what Baylor apparently did a great job of doing, he struggled. And you can probably blame the sacks and other things on that as well. I’m happy to live through the growing pains and it stinks that it was this particular game, but you don’t get to chose and Dave Aranda is an absolutely incredible defensive coach, so I’m not going to be shocked when Morton struggles. I think now the onus is on the Texas Tech coaching staff to try to accelerate that progression for Morton as quickly as possible.
5. Defensive Issues. I’m not going to tell you that the defense played perfectly. The wide zone run that Baylor ran over and over was clearly something that Texas Tech could not figure out and if you want to maybe know what’s keeping Tyree Wilson from being great, it’s that he does get sucked into the line of scrimmage and the announcer was 100% correct when he kept pointing out that Texas Tech was simply not setting the edge. That’s alignment, positioning, and refusal to be moved by the offensive line. It’s not always going to work out, but that’s obviously the one area that DeRuyter can figure out with the line and linebackers. Baylor’s offensive line is good, so credit where credit is due, but I think that’s correctible and you can 100% guarantee that you’ll see that again, maybe as soon as next week, so things probably need to be figured out sooner than later.
6. Some Stats. Shockingly, Texas Tech was 8 of 15 on third downs. I would have guessed it was in the 20% range . . . Texas Tech only had 51 yards after catch and that’s pretty rare I think, Baylor did a really good job of containment and not allowing the receivers to gain extra yardage after a catch . . . the downside to 3rd downs is that Baylor was 12 of 20, that’s another big area of concern, to allow Baylor to convert 60% of third downs isn’t good and they generally had a short distance to go, only 5.4 yards . . . on 1st downs for Texas Tech, the passing game was 4 of 17 for 39 yards but when choosing to run the ball, Texas Tech had 14 carries for 88 yards and 6.3 yards per carry. It seems weird, but I think we’re all scratching our heads wondering why it took so long to figure this out, into the second half. And generally speaking, passing on 1st down is the way to go, but not last night . . .
7. Separation and Getting Open. Without question, as a viewer we are limited to what we see on our television and that’s oftentimes focused on the quarterback and nothing down the field. The announcer mentioned and at halftime I think that McGuire mentioned to the reporter that the receivers were simply not getting hope and not getting separation, so to blame the rough 1st half passing game solely on him isn’t probably accurate. I think that Jerand Bradley was the only wide receiver (not inside receiver, but wide receiver) who caught a pass with Loic Fouonji dropping the pass and J.J. Sparkman having the touchdown taken from him (I think that Brady Boyd plays inside, but if he doesn’t, then he had a catch for 12 yards). That’s an issue right there and they simply need to be better. The entire receiver group, but particularly the wide receivers.
8. Idle Thoughts. To have the band spell Patrick Mahomes’ name is absolutely badass and if you need a pallette cleanser, this is it.
9. Coach Comments.
Head Coach Joey McGuire opening statement:
“Tough game, I told the guys, we’ve lost some games this year, but they’ve all really fought their tails off to where they’ve been close in the end. I was proud of them getting the game to 24-17 and then we were not able to get any closer than that. It’s tough. You turn the ball over five times, and I think we had six sacks—it’s hard to win a game that way. Usually when that happens, kind of like last week for us the score ends up being what it was, and so we have got to figure it out. I told the guys you know, it’s my fault. We got to figure out what went wrong tonight and not point fingers at each other but make sure we look in the mirror and take ownership and not blame anybody else and get ready for the team that is leading the conference and is undefeated. We will. The guys come back tomorrow, and they will be ready to go and we will be better.”
Q: On what was most frustrating about this game
“You asked about what was most frustrating—I am probably most frustrated that we had an incredible crowd and a night game here in Lubbock, and I did not do a good enough job at getting these guys ready to play better in front of our crowd. It frustrates me because it was a great atmosphere, and we missed the moment right there to be better.”
10. Tortilla Tossin’ Players of the Game.
Tony Bradford would have been a bigger story given other circumstances, 5 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, which includes the lone sack of the day for the defense.
SaRodorick Thompson and Tahj Brooks share these two tortillas, I don’t know where the offense would have been without them. I though that Thompson was great and we’re really going to miss him when he’s gone, 10 carries for 66 yards while Brooks had 16 for 98.
Krison Merriweather and Kosi Eldridge each had 12 tackles, Merriweather had 8 solo while Eldridge had 12 solo. I think this goes against the grain of swarming to the ball, but I don’t know where this defense is without the two of them.