THE RESULT | EMBARRASSING | Pretty much, and that word, embarrassing, has nothing to do with Iowa St. The Cyclones played as well as to be expected. The were opportunistic, didn't let Texas Tech convert on third downs and they ate up some serious clock in the second half. Ball game. This was embarrassing because this happened to Oklahoma last week. Texas Tech as opportunistic, converted on third downs and ate up some clock in the second half (although a more narrow victory) to win the game. One of SBN's Bill Connelly thoughts on games is that you can't win a game in the first half, but you can lose one in the first half, and that's exactly what Texas Tech did, through a series of three-and-outs, punts and turnovers, Texas Tech put themselves in a hole that should have been worse and it's tough to climb out of a 21 or 28 point deficit in the second half. The quarterbacks press and it's not a good situation.
And I'd also like to ask that everyone refrain from asking if Tuberville takes the blame or if he doesn't. I don't know how he can make it more clear about taking responsibility. Yes, he continues to talk, but those quoted to the right were Tuberville's opening remarks and it is a press conference so he sorta has to talk. "Total blame" is as clear as he can be.
KNEEJERK REACTIONS | There's a reason why I didn't kneejerk last week and declare that the program had officially turned around and was on the right path. I don't work that way because of what happened against Iowa St., which is that for me, it's not a week-to-week proposition, but rather a cumulative process in determining if Tuberville is the right guy for the job. I think I need the rest of the season to start to make my decision. That doesn't mean that you can't be ready to get rid of Tuberville, but realistically, I'm pretty sure that he's not going to be fired until after three years because I think that most coaches get at least three years to recruit a bit and try to implement what they're going to implement. So as much as I hated to see this loss, I'm not quite ready to declare the whole thing complete over because I still think I need more time to make the right decision. I do think that Tuberville is doing some things right, and I do like some of the things that he's trying to change, but there are obvious flaws too. The home winning record is more than troublesome, it's downright awful, 1-6 thus far, and if Tuberville fixes anything, he's got to start there. I'm sure that I'm not telling him something he doesn't already know himself, but to be successful, you can't give away home games.
DEFENSE JUST CAN'T STOP THE RUN | The zone-read is really tough for this team to figure out, for some reason or another. They've seen this before from Nevada and Texas St. and the results were relatively the same, which was that the opposing team did a terrific job of eating up the clock and churning out yard after yard. It's depressing football to watch. Without LB Blake Dees for the second week in a row, the linebackers were over-matched, not in the right gaps and that caused significant gains on the part of Iowa St. I don't know how much difference Dees would have made, but he is the more technically sound of the linebackers and at least I think he's in the right spot more times than not. It also doesn't help to lose your starting strong safety, Terrance Bullitt, who may be out for a while. Bullitt was a pretty darned good run-stopper and you replace him with senior Jared Flannel, who gives up about 30 pounds at the strong safety spot. Flannel was actually pretty good, but he gives up quite a bit of weight and that's a problem.
And this is the problem with linebackers that guess. Last week, LB Daniel Cobb guessed beautifully and it was really something, but that's the problem. I think he guessed. He mentioned earlier this week that his problem was that he didn't spend enough time watching film, and if there's one thing that you have to watch more film than not is the zone-read and you can't guess. It's just not going to work out. I think that if you asked Glasgow why he started Dees and Sam Eguavoen is that Glasgow probably thought that he'd rather have guys that aren't going to guess, but rather guys that he could mold into what he wanted. Glasgow wanted fresh slates and Cobb, Hubert, Winbush and the other linebackers on the roster was that they were relying too much on athletic ability and not enough on what they were reading.
Additional Storylines and MVP's after the jump.
WHEN THE FAST-BREAK OFFENSE LOOKS AWFUL | Speeding up the offense can put the defense on their heels, like against OU, but when the offense doesn't convert third downs (3 of 13) and the quarterback is turning the ball over at a high rate, then the offense is going to struggle to do much of anything. Amazingly, if you look at the offensive numbers, the rushing game wasn't all that bad, averaging 4.9 yards per carry for Aaron Crawford and DeAndre Washington. When they ran (except for 4th and 1 . . . ) they were pretty effective. The problem for the offense, at least in my opinion was the high turnover rate and Doege just not being able to complete much, if anything. That's really problematic when your offense revolves around your quarterback being incredibly accurate.
And as to the questions about why isn't the offense the same as it was last week, well, a lot of that depends on what the defense is doing. Iowa St. did the same thing that Texas Tech did to OU, which is drop everyone in coverage and force Doege to find the open receiver. Last week, OU decided to pressure a bit more, was more aggressive overall and that left some serious holes in the OU defense. Iowa St. didn't play this way.
Overall, the fast-paced offense can be a great benefit, but then there are times where you hit fast-forward once on your DVR and you've missed an entire drive. That's what it felt like watching the Texas Tech offense yesterday, I blinked and I missed it.
DOEGE SHOULDERS A LOT | This is both the good and bad, which is that when QB Seth Doege is on a roll, then he's the hero, but when he's not on, he's a goat. Doege's not the kind of guy who is going to deflect criticism and like Tuberville, he didn't shun any of the blame. Here's Doege on his turnovers:
Yeah, the first one was a bad throw. The second one was just a stupid throw, you know. Guy had him beat to the spot.
The exchange, tried to pull it and lost it and then the other one I just dropped.
I don't think that this game is going to define Doege any more than any number of the good games that he's had. If you know one thing, it's that playing quarterback isn't easy and it's usually done on the run. Doege will be better, this year and next and the one thing that I think he'll do is improve. He's not a perfect quarterback, but sometimes football is a process and it takes a bit of time. It's one of the reasons why I think that having a quarterback be the starter for at least two years is advantageous in that you get at least one year to be a learning process. Nevertheless, Doege feels the same way you do:
I just know that we weren't ready to play, and it showed and we embarrassed ourselves and we embarrassed our coaches and our fans and it's something we need to work on. We have a lot of improvement to do. But like I said, give them credit. They were ready to play. They were confident and came in and did exactly what they wanted to do.
I COULD WRITE MORE | I think I could write a lot more about the state of the program than anything else, but like I said before, I'm not quite ready to make a decision. Perhaps I'm too patient of a person in some respects, evidenced this past week by my leniency in how I dealt with the name-calling. I think it was Tech92 that said it, which is that this team needs to decide who they are. Are they going to get down and lose games that they shouldn't or are they going to win games that they shouldn't. I do believe that the coaching staff is getting these players ready to play. That may be a false hope, but I just don't get the sense that this staff believes that their entitled. I'm still going to give it another year and a half before making a more firm decision about where I sit on this staff. More games like last week, and things are pointing up, more games like this week, and things are pointing down. No matter the recruiting or anything else, it's what happens on the field that counts.