THE RESULT | I HAVE RUN OUT OF WORD | Not really, but I never thought that by the end of the year, I'd have a tough time with coming up with a catch phrase after "THE RESULT". Four straight losses and most likely five straight losses after Baylor, and you're looking squarely at a 5-7 record for the year, the bowl game attendance snapped and if reality hasn't already set in for the entire coaching staff, it will after next week and there are no more games or practices. I don't recall where I read it, but even if Texas Tech wins on Saturday, they're not assured of a bowl game and I think it would be best if this team doesn't go. Last week, I thought that the extra practice would be good for this team, but now I think that the crowd that appears for any bowl game will be minimal and embarrassing (I would most likely be a part of the problem by not attending) and maybe this team and staff needs to be at home for the the time being to figure out why things have gone so horribly wrong.
TRYING TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER | For the past four weeks, I've been trying to figure out why the offense isn't as explosive. I mentioned the last two or three weeks that I'd love to see some of the Pistol Formation and that did happen and the running game actually seemed okay (4.6 YPC) given the fact that Texas Tech is down to their last two running backs, Aaron Crawford and Kenny Williams. OC Neal Brown did have more variety in his offensive game-plan and I think that the reason why QB Seth Doege played better was because he wasn't being asked to do too much. Someone mentioned after the game that a big reason why the offense probably looks so bad right now is that the outside receivers can't get down the field to open things up and this was something I was going to get into during the offseason, but we'll do it here. I think this is partly true. I think that the big targets, Darrin Moore and Marcus Kennard and Alex Torres are all good at different things, but they're not track stars. Sure, they're faster than you and me, but overall, they do not have the speed to beat your average cornerback and cause a safety to be too terribly concerned with them getting down the field. That's a personnel problem and I don't know that Tramain Swindall or Jacoby Franks would do much to change that. I think that Brown's general thinking is that he'd rather roll with Moore and Kennard on the outside rather than Swindall or Franks because at least Moore and Kennard are bigger targets. That works when Moore or Kennard work their way open and that's not happening. I'm not sure how to change this, maybe WR Eric Ward should be flipped to the right side (Crabtree's old side) as I think he offers more as a receiver and he's proven to be this team's most consistent threat over the course of the year. Explosive plays was supposed to be a big thing this year and it was mentioned during the spring or fall and the number of explosive plays over the course of the last 6 or 7 weeks is incredibly low (I'm doing this off the top of my head,
This isn't an excuse as there are plenty of players in college and the professional ranks that seem to get open that don't have the physical gifts to be 6-4/215 and a 4.40 forty. The thing that was mentioned in the comments after the thought that the receivers weren't getting open, was that some of this has to fall on coaching, and to a degree I agree. TE Michael Egnew isn't the speediest player on the field, but he found a way to get open down the field for a fade route touchdown grab over S Cody Davis. It was a perfectly thrown ball and it was a terrific catch, but the Texas Tech players mentioned above have physical talents, but I don't know .
Perhaps this is my own stubbornness, but I cannot believe that Tommy Mainord and Sonny Cumbie aren't coaching these players to make the right cuts at the right time. That just doesn't compute. Neither does the fact that I can't accept that the defensive coaching staff isn't telling the players to make the wrong reads on so many plays. That doesn't compute either. I don't know if I can explain it because I'm not there in the meetings when those players are being coached as to the correct reads, both offensively and defensively. There is a disconnect and it's disturbing and its been happening all year long. That's the disturbing thing is that I go into the premise thinking that everyone is doing their job, but it's not happening on the field. There is a cavernous disconnect.
Additional Storylines after the jump.
STILL GUESSING | Sometimes I think I'm too tough on players, but when I watched the game, in almost every big play, it seemed that LB Daniel Cobb guessed and jumped in the wrong gap. I'm probably too hard on Cobb and he's not the only player making incorrect reads on various plays. His play just stands out to me. The defense is still in shambles, giving up over 300 yards rushing to a team that lost their leading rusher doesn't seem at all abnormal at this point. The telling statistic isn't the 300 yards rushing, but the fact that Missouri had over 6.5 yards per carry on the day, so it wasn't a matter of Mizzou simply running into brick walls and not making much of a dent, but rather the fact that Missouri was incredibly successful all day. There were 49 carries on the day and a lot of those runs were big plays made by Franklin and little used De'Vion Moore who broke off a 54 yard run. Truthfully, the score should have been worse considering Kendial Lawrence fumbled at the one yard line only to have the fumble pushed out the back of the endzone. This was actually a game that should have been in favor of Missouri by 11 points rather than by 4 and Texas Tech was lucky to have a shot to win the game at the end.
I don't know how this defense gets better last year and I don't know how it gets better in a week when it faces RGIII who may be the best player in the Big 12 this year. Sports depression.
I HAD HOPE | I don't know if it was foolish, but on the last drive, Doege seemed to be in control and I thought for sure that Texas Tech would turn this thing around and I'd be dealing with happy post game thoughts rather than thoughts that the team played better, but it just wasn't enough. I don't know what to think of Doege because when he's been good, he's been terrific, but as the season has worn on and as the competition has gotten better, I think, unfortunately, he might be showing his colors. In non-conference play, Doege has a quarterback rating of 178.27 and in conference play it is 127.70. That's significant. And in September Doege was 178.27, October he was 132.45 and in November he's at 119.58. That's regression and although you can't pin all of this on Doege, you can't help but think that he has to be better. I do think that losing RB Eric Stephens had a significant impact on the passing game. Stephens was not only a terrific runner and receiver out of the backfield, but he also had two years to figure out his player to pick up and that's significant. That's not to give anyone an alibi, but it's significant. Crawford and Washington have done admirable jobs, but Doege's been pressured more than he has during the first of the year. From 1.33 sacks per game in September, to 1.60 in October and 2.00 in November, the protection has regressed as well. I don't think that Matt Moore has become a worse coach over the course of the year, but again, I go back to the thought that there is a disconnect and we've got a full offseason to figure it out.
PLAYERS THAT SHOWED UP | I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't laud the play of some of the players, including SS Terrance Bullitt who had 9 tackles, 2.5 TFL and 1 pass break-up. DE Scott Smith who had 7 tackles and 1.5 TFL/sacks. CB Cornelius Douglas appears to be this team's best cover corner despite having played defense for weeks rather than months (yes, feel free to ask why this didn't happen sooner, but I'd be remiss if I didn't think that the offense is probably feeling the loss of his impact as he was a reliable inside receiver . . . not perfect, but reliable). Offensively, I think that Crawford runs hard and plays hard each and every play and I wish him the absolute best after Saturday. Washington, before his injury, was ripping up the Missouri defense, at a tune of 6.8 yards per carry. It was nice to see Darrin Moore get back on track a bit and I thought that IR Bradley Marquez is starting to show why he was a 4-star player coming out of high school. Again, K Donnie Carona hit both attempts, one being a 48 yard field goal into the wind, and Texas Tech doesn't have the opportunity to have a chance to win without his play.
FINDING ANSWERS | I feel like I'm doing an awful job at finding answers and as this season has progressed, I feel like I'm providing you all with fewer and fewer answers as the season progresses. I feel like on some level, I'm supposed to figure out what the answers to the problems are and I'm not doing a very good job of that. I keep thinking that we have an incredibly long offseason where I can try to ask some questions to figure out what is wrong and how it can be fixed. I know for some of you this is a simple solution, fire the head coach. Although I do think, as I said yesterday, that for the first time all year, I thought that Tuberville showed some fire and genuine disappointment on Saturday after Doege threw that interception, I'm still squarely in the camp that Tuberville will get a third year to turn this around whether you like it or not. I also think that because Tuberville showed some emotion, that he really wanted that win because I think he might have felt that a loss meant something to his career at Texas Tech this past week and I have a feeling that a loss will mean something to Tuberville when I think Texas Tech loses to Baylor this week.
Being competitive isn't enough, which is something that happened this week, but didn't happen for the previous three weeks. That's just not enough. It's not even close to being enough for me, nor do I think it's enough for you as well. I think a lot of you feel that way and you won't be satisfied with being competitive in just one of four games. I too am tired about reading how it just wasn't enough and that he's proud of the way the players competed. I don't want to think that it just doesn't go your way this week and you'll get back on that horse next week and try again. That's not enough for me.