Keys to the Game: Texas Tech vs. Missouri

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 22: Wide receiver Alex Torres #86 of Texas Tech runs a reception for a touchdown in the first half against the Oklahoma Sooners October 22, 2011 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Texas Tech leads Oklahoma 24-7 at the half. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)


A work induced week hiatus, but the Keys are back....for the 3 of you looking forward to them.

Sometimes a good rock ballad is just the thing to express what we're all feeling.  This week, I turn to Bret Micheals.

 

Well I see him on the TV
Preachin' 'bout the promise lands
He tells me believe in Jesus
Steals the money from my hands

Some say he was a good man
Lord I think he sinned, yeah

Twenty-two years of mental tears
Cries a suicidal Vietnam vet
Who fought a losing war on a foreign shore
To find his country didn't want him back

Their bullets took his best friend in Saigon
Our lawyers took his wife and kids, no regrets
In a time I don't remember
In a war he can't forget

He cried "Forgive me for what I've done there
Cause I never meant the things I did"

Chorus:
And give me something to believe in
If there's a Lord above
And give me something to believe in
Oh, Lord arise

 

My best friend died a lonely man
In some Palm Springs hotel room
I got the call last Christmas Eve
And they told me the news

I tried all night not to break down and cry
As the tears rolled down my face
I felt so cold and empty
Like a lost soul out of place

And the mirror, mirror on the wall
Sees my smile it fades again

Chorus

Sometimes I wish to God I didn't know now
The things I didn't know then
Road you gotta take me home...

 

I have last weeks game on the DVR.  I still haven't brought myself to watch it, so I don't have any insightful analysis based on the latest film. Maybe that makes me a bad fan, but I prefer to think it makes me human.  After I knew the outcome, I just didn't want to torture myself.

My second confession is that this is not a game that I was confident about coming into the season.  On the road against a dangerous Missouri team, and Gary Pinkel has seemed to have unraveled the secret to stopping Tech in the past.  After seeing Missouri play in the first few weeks of the season, I was less confident.  Missouri is down right scary running the football.  Henry Josey is the real deal, already has over 1000 yards on the season, and averages 8 ypc.  James Franklin is inconsistent as a quarterback, but is the second leading rusher on the team and a threat as a runner.

On defense, the Tigers are middle of the pack in almost every statistical category you can think of.  Jacqiues Smith is the leader up front, and will have to be accounted for at DE, and Dominique Hamilton is a big body plugging holes up front.  Look for the UM to try and keep everything in front of them, as they have against Tech in the past, and make any receiver who goes up over the middle pay.

Key #1: Somebody make a play

Call it confidence, call it momentum, call it trusting the guy next to you.  Right now, this Texas Tech team is looking around for someone to step up and just make a play.  Give them something to be excited about and relax a little.  When you're in a slump, you think too much, and focus on everything that needs correcting.  Wear a garter and breathe through you eyelids if you have to.  But for the love of all things holy, someone make something good happen so everyone can relax, quit thinking so much about all the things that might be going wrong, and just play.  I don't care if its a quick strike opening drive for a TD or a pick 6.  Make something good happen.

Key #2: Load the box

If MU cracks 150 yards on the ground, this game is not going to go well for Texas Tech.  Man coverage on the receivers and load the box and force Franklin to try and beat you through the air. Missouri has lost every game that they have throw the ball more than 30 times this year.  This Missouri team is not built to win a shoot out.

Key #3: Get your heads in the game

Distractions late this week with the Missouri head coach being arrested for DUI and absent for the game give some extra opportunity for the Red Raiders to go in and sneak away with a road win, as long as they don't beat themselves.  Go in focused and play with intensity.  This is a must win game.  Treat is as such. 

 

So what do you say to a team that has been on a roller coaster ride?

Give me something to believe in, yeah.

 

Wreck 'em.

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