Texas Tech Football Notebook | Offensive Coordinator Thoughts

The Ringer’s Steven Ruiz has a fantastic article about what it means to be an offensive coordinator. Really though, that’s not an accurate description of the title, the title is what makes a good offensive coordinator and why are there fewer of them now. You think that Zach Kittley thinks this sometimes, just substitute NFL for college?

Such is the life of an NFL offensive coordinator. You have a job that 99 percent of fans and analysts don’t really understand. Sure, the position can become a fast track to a head-coaching job if you do it well (especially if you’ve ever worked alongside Sean McVay). But there’s also a chance that you’ll get fired if the vibes are off—whether or not the data supports that conclusion. If the quarterback stinks? It’s on you for not calling the right plays to allow him to play better. If the offensive line can’t block? It’s your job to figure out how to protect the quarterback. And if a receiver drops a wide-open pass? It’s your fault for drawing up a play for the wrong guy.

When I read this and I think about what head coach Joey McGuire said about Zach Kittley before the Texas game, McGuire says that he’s not an Air-Raid guy and that Kittley is working it out. Of course, Kittley is absolutely an Air-Raid guy and it’s clear he’s not running the offense he ran at Western Kentucky.

“As much as I don’t claim to be an Air Raid type offense, I just want to be a tough offense and find ways to win games. Zach Kittley and his staff have found ways to put us in games that really are outside the box in terms of what we thought we were going to be to what we are right now. So I’m thankful for those guys to continue to grow and it comes down to just find ways to win the game and I’m thankful for that.”

And I thought that Colt McCoy, yes that McCoy, really summarized what happens on the logistics, but the first part of the article goes into how it’s about leading the offensive group and how that’s not necessarily easy with a lot of egos.

“You may call three play-action passes in a row and not get the look, so it becomes three runs,” McCoy said. “It’s hard for even me on the couch watching and trying to figure out all the things teams are doing. But I know that there’s so much strategy going on.”

The best coordinators, McCoy said, aren’t necessarily the ones who are running cool RPOs or jet sweeps—but rather the ones who comprehend strategy on both sides of the ball and can help their players understand it too. It’s not enough for the coordinator to know the defense will be playing Cover 3 if the quarterback doesn’t also know it—or fully grasp how to attack it. McCoy credits Daboll with teaching him how to read defenses during his rookie season in Cleveland, the same way Daboll taught Tom Brady in New England, where the coach got his NFL start. “Understanding defenses, understanding zones, understanding pressures, where the weak spots in defenses are based off the fronts, what the coverage is going to be” are some of the things McCoy said he learned from the future Giants head coach. “It was a lot of information. But it was amazing because I really felt like I gained an understanding of defenses and why we do what we do on offense.”

I’m not looking to change anyone’s mind about what you think Kittley is or isn’t. I don’t think he’s going anywhere any time soon. I think he was asked to devise an offense that’s not his offense and so it is definitely a work in progress. And I don’t even know if this will be the same offense that we’ll see next year. I’d guess that it won’t be simply because Tahj Brooks won’t be wearing a Texas Tech uniform and those freshmen receivers who all redshirted will start to see the field and make some plays.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams reported that long-snapper Jackson Knotts will have surgery to repair his ACL, MCL, and the MPL. God speed and a quick recovery.

Offensive guard Landon Peterson announced on X/Twitter that he would be transferring. I happen to know his brother and wish nothing but the best for Landon. I’ll actually wish nothing but the best for anyone that transfers. Life’s too short.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams talked to Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt who said that in the future, Texas Tech will have 7 home games every season, including next year’s game in Oregon as Oregon has asked Texas Tech to get out of that game so that the Ducks can continue to play Oregon State. Additionally, Texas Tech will pay the contract buyout not to play Colorado State in Fort Collins in 2025, and is considering whether or not to play North Texas in Denton in 2027.

“So I’ve not had a chance to sit down with coach McGuire and talk through it,” Hocutt said. “Obviously, we’re contracted right now to go to Eugene, Oregon, and play the Ducks next year, and that’s what we’re planning to do right now. That being said, I respect their conversation in wanting to continue their instate rivalry, if that’s what it’s about.

“It’s new information that’s come forward. We’ll sit down and look at what the opportunities are in front us, what makes sense from a scheduling standpoint.”

Earlier Friday, Hocutt talked with Dave Brown, a go-to person on college football scheduling, formerly with ESPN and now as head of his own company. Hocutt said he expects Brown might send him something in writing this week.

“We’ve made no decisions — don’t even know what all the options are in front of them,” Hocutt said. “But it does appear that there’s interest in Oregon’s position for us to reconsider the game next year — not eliminating the game, only pushing it back to a further year. But we’ll look at everything and make the best decision for Texas Tech and our football program.”

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