Much thanks to samuelbryant from Cowboys Ride For Free for answering a few questions with DTN. Check out my answers to samuelbryant's questions where I, once again, I speak on behalf of all Texas Tech fans with absolute authority.
I posed this question earlier in the week, which is who should Texas Tech fear more, QB Brandon Weeden, RB Kendall Hunter or WR Justin Blackmon? Now I'm hoping we get the expert opinion. Who is it and why, or should Texas Tech fear all three?
They are all very talented and Cowboy opponents should be scared of each, but Kendall Hunter is what takes this offense to another level. The dude makes 5 "WOW" plays every game, and requires entire defenses to scheme around him. Weeden, Blackmon, and the passing attack are potent, but there is no way that this offense would be 2nd in the nation in passing yards if it weren't for teams having to stack 7 or 8 in the box. So really, Kendall is 5th in the nation in rushing yards per game, and can take a chunk of the credit for the Cowboys being 2nd in passing yards per game.
I made mention the other day that the Oklahoma St. defense is quite similar to Texas Tech in that they are almost neck-and-neck in terms of passing, rushing and total defense, but that the key has been creating turnovers for Oklahoma St. It also appears that OSU is more of a bend-but-don't-break sort of defense. Is this a reasonable assessment and what would you like to see improved?
The Oklahoma State defense is a bit of an enigma right now. We all know thatis a super genius, we all believe in him, but this defense has bounced back and forth between different schemes, and varying levels of effectiveness, all season. They will be shutting a team down with a 4-man line that is getting good pressure while the secondary is in an aggressive press coverage, then inexplicably switch to 3 down linemen with a soft zone behind them and allow teams to dink and dunk their way down the field. It has been the assessment of every OSU fan I know that the more aggressive scheme would be very effective, and when it is run it shuts opposing teams down. The only reason we can figure that it isn't being run more is that the defense would be worn out, and the pace of the game would be ridiculous. My basic assessment of the defense at this point is that it is basically a bend-don't-break, but they possess the ability to step up when needed and force a big turnover or a 3 and out.
More after the jump.
OSU is 5 games into the Dan Holgorson experiment, what's the verdict thus far?
The consensus right now would probably be, "I like it, but he needs to get Kendall the ball more". It is hard to complain about an offense that is ranked in the top 5 in most major categories, but the issue that has come up is that this offense cannot control the clock when it is needed. The Troy and A&M games were great examples of this as in both games the Cowboys spent 50 minutes putting the themselves in a position to win, only to not be able to put together clock draining drives to seal the deal. As fans, we look at our lead, the few minutes left on the clock, and the All-American in the backfield, and cannot understand why the playcall is 3 straight passes. But outside of the clock management at the end of games, I would say the Dana Holgorsen experiment has been successful and well received thus far.
Who are some of the playmakers to watch from the defensive side of the ball?
MLB Orie Lemon is the leader of the defense who also leads the team in tackles and TFL. He is super quick and can deliver big time hits. After him you will want to watch out for the defensive ends. Ugo Chinasa, Jamie Blatnick, and Richetti Jones will rotate at the 2 DE positions, and all can cause major disruptions. The only problem thus far is that only one of them can seem to step up per game. We are all waiting for the game when 2 of the 3 are on fire and causing havoc in the backfield.
Generally speaking, are you happy with the direction that the Oklahoma St. program is headed? Do you think that head coach Mike Gundy is the type of coach that can get this team over the same hump that Texas Tech is trying to get over, i.e. Oklahoma and Texas?
Yes. It isn't often that we get back-to-back nine win seasons in Stilly. Sure there are questions as to whether Gundy's teams can handle the big moments (like Bedlam last year), but he is growing as a coach, and the switch this year to allowing the two stud coordinators to run the show during games is proof of that. I personally have no doubt that the sick recruiting classes we have coming in here running proven schemes being created by borderline genius coordinators will result in at least one Big XII championship in the next few years. And yes, I do plan on denying that statement when the Mike Leach coached Cowboys are 3-9 in the rebuilding year of 2013.