10 Things: Texas Tech 43, Kansas 28

5 wins.

1. Game Links:

Game Recap

2. Something Was Done. Before the game, I wanted the offense to “do something” and yes, I think something was done. A lot of this is subjective (of course) but I think that you can place a large portion of the running game on Tyler Shough, who is given the keys to the offense and that’s one of the deals about this offense and what makes it difficult for inexperienced quarterbacks. I think if you were to ask Kittley and Shough, they would tell you that Shough saw a light box (not as many people within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage) and when that happens, the offensive line has the advantage, so you run the ball. And you run the ball until Kansas stops trying to stop the pass and they try to stop the run. And that’s what happened, 48 rushing attempts to just 34 pass attempts, 264 rushing yards and 5.5 yards per running attempt and you can thank Kittley and Shough because they did what they were supposed to do when the defense does what they do. And I don’t want to make this so much about Shough, but the way that he attacks defenses, particularly in the seams over the middle of the field is hugely important. Those are tough passes, but those are passes that have to be made and he’s really good at that when he’s on, and so he allowed the offense open that up by running the ball.

I’d bet a dollar that more than a handful of those running plays Shough could have optioned out of them and passed, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do, which is to run the ball when the defense dictates it. That one series where Valdez got the ball 4 or 5 straight times was absolutely about Shough and Kansas being in a bad personnel group and Shough taking advantage of it until Valdez was subbed out. That’s not to say Texas Tech didn’t impose their will, but Shough doing what he was supposed to do is probably a big deal.

3. Second Half Success. Both offenses didn’t perform great int he second half, but Texas Tech capitalized on some turnovers and points off of turnovers, but in the second half, after allowing 341 total yards in the first half against Kansas, the Texas Tech defense held Kansas to 184 yards in the second half and to dig deeper, Kansas only had 49 yards of offense in the 3rd quarter. Kansas ran for 191 yards in the 1st half, 92 in the 2nd and that’s still a lot, but that offense is a problem and not easy to stop. And this is a situation where both teams held the ball for 15 minutes. And maybe the biggest statistic is that Kansas only scored 1 touchdown in the second half. That will win some games.

4. So Many Opportunities. A lot like Stepbrothers there’s so much opportunity for activities, there’s so many more options with Cam’Ron Valdez and then you add in Tyler Shough who carried the load and the group of players that carried this offense was a ton of fun. Shough ran for 76 yards on 12 carries and that probably includes that sack. SaRodorick Thompson’s 36 yard touchdown run was terrific, 68 yards on 7 carries for 9.7 yards a touch. Valdez hammered that one drive early, his longest run was 18 yards, 11 carries for 66 yards and 6 yards a carry. Tajh Brooks had 16 carries for 51 yards, the workhorse last night, for 51 yards and a touchdown.

5. Numbers Game. Some numbers to consider. Texas Tech went 6 for 6 in the red zone. That’s great . . . 2 turnovers to 0 turnovers. Texas Tech is ahead in the turnover ledger and what the heck, wins the game? Funny how that works . . . Texas Tech converted 7 of 15 on 3rd downs for 47%. Of those, Texas Tech only averaged 6.9 yards per 3rd down attempt. The good guys converted 4 of 5 from 1-4 yards and (not surprisingly) was 0-3 from 9+ yards. Kansas completed 46% of their 3rd downs, which I think is down from their average, and struggled in those 3rd and short situations, 1-4 yards, converting only 4 of 7 . . . Texas Tech had 17 rushing 1st downs compared to just 11 for Kansas . . . Strange in that both of Kansas’ turnovers came on 1st down. That’s probably not a statistic you see often . . . Kansas out-gained Texas Tech 525 to 510.

6. 0:13. That end of half ended up not being huge in terms of the final score, but it sure did seem like a big deal. Kansas is sitting at 1st and 15 because of a false start at their own 49 yard line. A pass to the left sideline ended up being intercepted (questionable for sure) by Kosi Eldridge, who said after the game he hasn’t had an interception since his senior year of high school. The Texas Tech offense now has it on their own 32 yard line with 0:13 seconds remaining in the half and Shough completes a beaut to Trey Cleveland for 35 yards to get to the Kansas 33 yard line. with maybe 0:06 left. Texas Tech tries to give Trey Wolff a bit more room, but the pass falls incomplete. Wolfe hits a 51 yard field goal as the half expires.

Texas Tech went from possibly giving up points (although that’s debatable since there were 2 doinks off of the field goal poles for Kansas) to flipping the field and grabbing 3 points with 0:13 remaining. That’s pretty darned good.

7. Hard Plays.

  • Discussed above are the big yards yielded to Kansas, but should also mention that as a team, Texas Tech had 7 tackles for a loss, which adds to putting Kansas in difficult 3rd downs. And of those 7 TFL, there were 3 sacks, 2 of them by Jesiah Pierre, who said after the game he’s never played the rush end where he’s having so much success.
  • The huge hit for a loss by Dadrion Taylor-Demerson on the Kansas option play that forced a missed field goal in the 1st quarter and then Thompson would end up scoring.
  • Jaylon Hutchings can get credit for that end of half interception because he forced the Kansas quarterback to throw the pass.
  • The DTD tackle for a loss was a result of a Wilson pressure and Kansas threw a pass that probably shouldn’t have. And DTD also had 3 pass break-ups that were all big plays.
  • The hit by Rayshad Williams on a 3rd and 6 that flipped the Kansas receiver and lost yards was huge.
  • The hit by Pierre to force the fumble that Hutchings recovered was just a solid hit that’s exactly what you want. And then Brooks looked like he would be dropped for a loss before sidestepping in for a touchdown.

8. Idle Thoughts.

  • I hate that Tyree Wilson looked like he twisted an ankle and likely (hopefully) it is a high ankle sprain. I say hopefully because I don’t want Wilson to have a broken ankle heading into the NFL Draft process because I want hugh success for him. He likely won’t play the rest of the year, maybe for the bowl game if that happens, but he’s earned that NFL opportunity and to be drafted as high as possible. That roughing the passer probably wasn’t, I don’t know what he could have done differently, he was just playing hard.
  • Am I alone in that I really enjoy listening to Ryan Leaf? I don’t know why he’s just been subjected to ESPN+ games, but I think he’s really good and does a really nice job of explaining things.
  • Krishon Merriweather led the team with 9 tackles and he’s just a tackling machine.
  • Joseph Adedire subbed in for the injured Wilson and he’s going to be an absolute terror next year for opposing offenses.
  • Special teams kicked ass this week. Credit where credit is due. Texas Tech only allowed 18 yards a kickoff return (not counting the short kickoff that was the result of a penalty) and had not punt returns. Wolffe made all 3 field goal attempts. McNamara averaged 47 yards a punt.
  • Loic Fouonji probably is hugely talented, but he’s got to work on catching the ball. He had a touchdown that fell through his hands. I know it’s not easy for those outside guys, but he’ll be tough to stop if he can figure that out.
  • Loved the huge plays from Nehemiah Martinez, Myles Price and Xavier White. Price finished with 43 yards on 5 catches, while White had 70 on 4 and Martinez had 22 for 36. That’s a solid effort from your inside guys.
  • I’ve gone this far and talked very little about Shough’s passing but he did finish 20 of 33 for 246 and a touchdown. I thought he had 1 or 2 passes that were iffy and could have been picked, that pass to the sideline stands out, but the 133.2 quarterback rating is the best since the West Virginia game.

9. Coach Comments.

Texas Tech Head Coach Joey McGuire Opening statement

“I am fired up for my team. The last two weeks have been tough, playing at home against Baylor and not being able to finish the game and then going to TCU. I thought the guys fought their tails off and did a great job finishing the fourth quarter. We did some things differently in practice trying to get ready for this, and I thought they did a great job. When you look at the stats, we rushed for 264 yards, which is huge, and we had three rushing touchdowns. I love running the ball into the end zone. The offensive line did a great job and only allowed one sack. I thought the play right before the half to Cleveland right was huge for momentum. {Kansas} had grabbed all the momentum, and then Wolfe came out and kicked a 51-yarder. I am proud of our guys. We are one step closer to some goals that we have, and we have a chance to reach them next week.”

On the running game

“We felt like we could run the football against Kansas. We felt like we could formation them and make guys miss tackles. I thought Tyler did a great job, and once they started covering down, he went vertical. Our running backs put forth really great effort, and we are starting to see that a healthy Cam’Ron Valdez really helps this offense.”

Q: On the progress of Tyler Shough

“He would probably tell you that the healthier he gets and the more rust he knocks off has been huge for him. His feet were a lot better this week. You bring a lot of power from your lower half to be able to put some zip on the ball, and his feet were a lot better. Some of that is getting over the shoulder injury and not overcompensating. I thought he was really locked in tonight, and we are starting to see what we were expecting to see from him this season.”

10. Tortilla Tossin’ Players of the Game.

Going to the group of runners, which should also include Donovan Smith along with Shough, Thompson, Valdez, and Brooks who ran for 264 on 48 carries. You love to see it.

Jesiah Pierre with his 7 tackles, 2 sacks, and forced fumble. Huge in the box score.

Dadrion Taylor-Demerson gets the final 3 tortillas for his 3 pass break-ups, 2 tackles for a loss and 6 tackles.


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