1. Game Links:
2. No Controversy. Nope. When head coach Joey McGuire opened his presser after the game he made it clear that Tyler Shough was the starter moving forward, wanted to address the inevitable question. When I wrote last week that Shough doesn’t throw receivers open, that’s exactly what Behren Morton did. He threw the ball to guys to make plays. Sometimes it was a touchdown and sometimes it was pass interference, but that’s really what it’s supposed to look like.
And that is your answer for now. Which is that Shough is the starter and will be the starter moving forward. Shough had a quarterback rating of 118.2 for the game and Behren Morton, with an interception, had a rating of 143.4.
3. Third Downs. One of the things that McGuire mentioned the struggles on third downs, going 6 of 14. McGuire even mentioned that the offense was 3 of 9 at the half, which means that the Shough led portion was 3 of 9 in the first half, which is only 33%, and I think that he missed at least 1 additional 3rd down, so that means that he was 3 of 10 overall and Morton was 3 of 4 on 3rd downs. Again, that’s about efficiency of offense and McGuire, I think realized it when he said it (maybe this is me reading too much into this).
Deep dive numbers, Texas Tech went 0-3 on 3rd downs of 9+ yards, which is pretty standard. Those are hard to do, and was 4 of 6 on 3rd and short. The average distance was 5.6 yards to go, which is much better, but that still seems high for an average.
4. Lots of Contributions. Lots of defensive contributions, which I think was by design. Last week, I didn’t really have a ton of idea of who did what, but for this game we definitely saw linebacker Ty Kana get some burn with 6 tackles along with true freshman Miquel Dingle, Jr. who had 3. Young defensive backs Brendan Jordan, Jalon Peoples, Chapman Lewis, Maurion Horn, and Jordan Sanford. McGuire specifically mentioned defensive end Dylan Spencer as someone who is coming on strong and likely to get playing time, while Terrell Tilmon and Trevon McAlpine also got playing time.
5. Finally Tahj Time. We’ve already sort of been waiting on Tahj Brooks to get plenty of carries and that did happen last night, Brooks was a positive-yardage son of a gun, rushing 19 times for 158 yards, averaging 8.3 yards a carry. Nehemiah Martinez subbed in and ran 6 times for 38 yards, but it was clear that the running backs were getting the call after Shough carried the ball most of time time against Wyoming and Oregon.
6. Advanced Stats Things. We’ve talked about rushing success rate, above 50 is average and below 40 is below average. The first two games, the rushing success rate for Texas Tech has been in the 30s and this week, that was at 47, so when the ball goes to the running back (again, we should adjust for opponent strength) the running game improves. That’s really not a surprise.
For offensive success rate, which is successful plays based on yards needed, I can’t specifically remember what it was, but it is the same grading scale, and this week, the offense graded out as 39, which isn’t great, but is creeping up to average. I would love to see the first half and second half breakdowns of that.
The offense averaged 6.2 yards on 1st downs, 32 of them total and 17 of them were rushes and averaged 8.7 yards a rush, while the passing game was where there were problems, 5 of 13 for just 50 yards including 2 1st down sacks. That’s pretty well unacceptable.
Also, the offense had 2 penalties for 26 yards on 1st down, which you sort of hate to see.
7. Defensive Okayness. Okayness isn’t even a word, but if asked about the defense, I’d say that they were okay. They gave up yards, but kept Tarleton State out of the end zone and I’m good with that. A late field goal at the end of the game with TSU having no reason to kick a field goal other than to keep Texas Tech from getting the shutout, I’m good with that. TSU was 13 of 16 on short passes, which is probably what the game plan was, don’t give up anything deep, and the Texans were just 1 of 10, so that’s success. Tarleton State’s offensive success rate was just 25, so that’s a good indicator that the defense did what they wanted to do. Tarleton State was 8 of 15 on 3rd downs passing the ball, which probably surprised the defense a bit as TSU decided to throw the ball rather than run on those 3rd down attempts.
8. Idle Thoughts.
- Word from the game last night was that Tarleton State receiver Jaden Smith did have fully neurological function.
- I haven’t even mentioned the receivers, Jordan Brown had a very nice day, including a 46 yard catch, totals of 6 for 73 and a touchdown.
- The pass to Mason Tharp was a pretty one.
- Gino Garcia looks like a good kicker, that’s also an important thing, he was 2 of 2 last night, from 28 and 43.
- Austin McNamara continues to punt the hell out of the ball, 4 for 195 for nearly 49 yard average including pinning 2 inside the 20.
- The leading tacklers were C.J. Baskerville and Ty Kana, Baskerville is tall from my end of things, which is an odd trait for a defensive back, but Texas Tech has 2 of them.
- Jessiah Pierre was injured at the end of the half, but ended up coming back and playing lot of the 2nd half.
- Myles Cole did have 2 sacks, which is great, but there were a couple of times the defense didn’t complete the sack.
- Jaylon Hutchings had 1.5 tackles for a loss
9. Coach Comments.
“A couple of things, number one, I want to start off by letting Tarleton State and Jaden Smith’s family know that we’ll be praying for them. You play this sport, and you never want to see that. When anybody gets injured in any way, and you have to carry them off like that, you’re so nervous about a lot of different things, so we’ll definitely be praying for them. I was really proud of our team. We had three turnovers and had the chance to have a few more. C.J. [Baskerville] almost picked one right there at the end. We had three sacks. I thought the pressure was better on the quarterback. Still, we have things that we will continue to work on, especially with the quarterback we’re facing next week. I was really proud of our guys. I know everybody’s going to ask about the quarterback, so I’ll go ahead and tell you that was my plan all week. That was going to happen no matter what. The only way Tyler [Shough] was going to stay in that game was if it was like 24-21 or something like that. It had nothing to do with Tyler or Behren [Morton] playing better, or anything like that.”
On Tahj Brooks’ performance:
“He had his career high of 19 carries of 159 yards on 8.3 yards-per-carry. We saw him getting really high last week. Out of all of his runs he probably had, I think he had one bad one in the first quarter. We ran an inside zone, and he passed it. That was the one bad run. I keep reminding him that he’s 225 pounds, so he needs to make teams tackle 225 pounds vertically. You started to see that later in the game; You started to see him really get in a rhythm. The thing I love about Tahj, whenever guys come in at the next level and ask about him in this building, they all say he’s a complete back. He’s got really good hands. He’s physical in the run game. He’s extremely physical in the pass game and in picking up blitzes. He’s playing right now at a really high level.”
On Behren Morton and Tyler Shough:
“I thought Morton did a good job. I thought both of them did. I thought both quarterbacks made some good decisions. We have got to be more physical and continue to be more physical in the run game to take the pressure off of them. We still gave them three sacks tonight which is extremely frustrating. That’s about staying on blocks and finishing blocks.”
10. Tortilla Tossin’ Players of the Game.
Jordan Brown getting 6 for 73 and a touchdown gets this first one for me.
Myles Cole with 2 sacks to sort of break that drought and maybe get that end of things pointed in the right direction.
malik Dunlap gets all 3 tortillas from me. Two interceptions including a pick 6 to get points on the board is terrific.