VARIED OPTIONS AT RECEIVER | I mentioned this after the game, but it's pretty amazing to think that QB Seth Doege completed 29 passes and there wasn't one receiver that had more than 4 catches during the game. IR Cornelius Douglas and WR Eric Ward each had 4 catches to lead the game, but you have to think that the Kansas defense was scrambling just a bit to figure out exactly who they were going to cover. Doege gets a ton of credit to think that he's completely distributing the ball and there isn't just one guy that's dominating the catches. Defenses have to account for each position and each player and despite the fact that a spread offense can work with just one player, see WR Darrin Moore the first 2 games and Michael Crabtree for his career at Texas Tech, the offense is cruising along and for each play, I'm really not sure who is going to be the recipient of a Doege pass. The running backs aren't as involved as they used to be, but the receivers are all involved in the offense and that makes the offense incredibly difficult to cover when the defense can't just shut down one player.
RUSH DEFENSE STILL ISN'T BETTER | Hi. Remember me? I'm the topic that wasn't going to be discussed any longer. I wish I could ignore and I can promise you that this won't make an appearance in the two reasons Texas Tech will lose (if I'm able to finish it), but this is the big pink elephant in the room that everyone is talking about and I'm positive that TAMU is also talking about the fact that Texas Tech is one of the worst rush defenses in the country. Despite the insertion of LB Cqulin Hubert and LB Daniel Cobb last week, there were still holes in that defense. Unfortunately for Texas Tech, DE Scott Smith is not known to be a run-stopper as he tends to enjoy flying up the field. My hope is that DC Chad Glasgow will pair DE Jackson Richards and DE Aundrey Barr as a pair and DE Leon Mackey and Smith as a pair. I like Richards against the run and I think that Mackey can play the run well enough. I'd also add that it's been a year since I'm seen Smith play, so everything I've just typed could be completely wrong.
More after the jump.
STEPHENS CONTINUES TO SHINE | Before the season, I thought that one of the bold moves that this football program could make would be to bench RB Eric Stephens in favor of the younger running backs so that they could get the playing time with the thought that the program could advance quicker, albeit the program would take its fair share of bumps this season. I was so wrong about that and it's not even close. I was trying to be a bit "out there" and that's not usually my style, but it was a "bold" move that I thought could pay dividends in the long-term. I know that QB Seth Doege is getting all sorts of accolades for his work, but Stephens has been on a different level than he was last year. He is running with power and vision and he's not fumbling the ball. The turnovers last year soured me more than I should have and Stephens has now put together three out of the first four games rushing for over 100 yards.
OFFENSIVE LINE HAS A RELATIVELY ROUGH DAY | I think I counted 6 offensive line related penalties and then you add in less than a handful of times that QB Seth Doege was hit during the game and the line had it's roughest day of the year. This is a compliment. Despite not having the best day, the offense still managed to churn out 164 yards on the ground, 366 through the passing game and 45 points. That's not a bad day and if you were to look at the official stats, Kansas would have zero quarterback hurries and just one quarterback sack, but it still felt like there were times that Doege was hit and I was wondering if this was going to create issues. It didn't, but the Aggies are the best in the nation at sacking the quarterback, but near the botton in the nation at pass defense. Doege's health, just like every year in talking about the quarterback, is imperative and I think the line knows that TAMU is going to try to tee up Doege and see what he's made of. It wouldn't surprise me to see TAMU bring 5 or 6 different players in attempt to fluster Doege and see if he's going to make bad decisions. I don't think the offensive line had a bad day against Kansas, but the pressure will be on for the offensive line to have a stellar day on Saturday.
HALFTIME DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS | I always talk about how I appreciate it if players and coaches acknowledge their defensive deficiencies and this week CB Tre' Porter talked just a bit about what the defense needs to do to improve:
A little bit. We're struggling like some of the deep ball situations and some of the running games. But we're trying to put pieces together to the puzzle to make a bigger picture.
Again, it's comforting to me to think that they're seeing the same things that I'm seeing. It's also comforting to know that the coaches are making adjustments during the game and at halftime. There was only one instance when I remember the Kansas receivers getting behind the Texas Tech secondary (there may have been other times, but I can only remember that one long pass in the first quarter) and that's positive. Not to mention, I really didn't think that the Kansas quarterback had much time after the first quarter to really look deep down the field and that helped shore up a lot of the defensive problems that the Red Raiders faced in the first quarter.