Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Kansas Jayhawks | Two Reasons To Win And Lose

TWO REASONS TEXAS TECH WILL WIN

OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY AND TURNOVERS | This will be an incredibly pleasant sight, much thanks to cfbstats, as Texas Tech is the #1 team in offensive efficiency:

17 Attempts | 17 Scores | 16 TD's | 1 FG

Take that, in conjunction with an offense that has has had only two turnovers on the year, both fumbles and has 7 gained turnovers, has been of great benefit for the entire team. The biggest obstacle for Texas Tech will be finding a replacement for WR Darrin Moore, who will be out for this game, but I think the emergence of WR Eric Ward, five touchdowns on the year and two touchdowns in each of the last two games, as well as TE Jace Amaro, one touchdown in each of the last two games, bodes well for Texas Tech.


TOP 40 RUSHING ATTACK | For those of you who are die-hard Air Raid fans, this probably won't make you think that this is a reason to win, but I've absolutely loved what RB Eric Stephens has done over the course of the first three games, helping lead a Texas Tech rushing attack that is #38 in the nation in yard per game at 184.67 and Stephens is currently at 114.67 yards per game with five touchdowns. There is still a lot of hand-wringing about how this offense is running the ball and there are still Texas Tech fans that believe, and perhaps rightfully so, that rushing the ball doesn't equate with success, but I do think it's an advantage for the team to be able to churn out rushing yards at a relatively high rate. The one interesting note is that during the course of a game, the rushing attack starts out very slowly, averaging only 2.68 yards per carry and only has 22 attempts, but as the game goes forward, the rushing offense is wearing down opponents:

Situation G Att Yards Avg. TD Long 1st 10+ 20+
1st Quarter 3 22 59 2.68 0 9 7 0 0
2nd Quarter 3 25 111 4.44 1 28 7 3 2
3rd Quarter 3 30 201 6.7 3 48 7 3 2
4th Quarter 3 29 183 6.31 3 26 9 5 3


Two reasons Texas Tech will lose, after the jump.

TWO REASONS TEXAS TECH WILL LOSE

CLOSING TIME FOR THE RUSHING DEFENSE | As I said earlier this week, this is the last week that I'll be able to use the awful rush defense as a reason for Texas Tech to lose. I have to be more creative and I think that I could use this reason for the rest of the year. I have to be better than that. We've already somewhat read this morning that Tuberville thinks that Kansas should run the ball and they should be chomping at the bit to have their shot at the Texas Tech rush defense. This isn't rocket science as Kansas is 17th best rushing team in the nation and they have a fast and good-sized running back in RB James Sims (6-0/206), a smaller, but presumably faster running back in RB Darrian Miller (5-10/191), and a true freshman RB Tony Pierson (5-11/175). I think that the return of DE Leon Mackey will help, but the problem as Tuberville talks in the next reason to lose, aligning the defense correctly, that this is a situation where I'm guessing that if the defense isn't lined up correctly, even if its one person, will wreck a defense that is already struggling.


MULTIPLE LOOKS | Kansas is a team that will give opposing defenses multiple personnel looks and that may not bode well for a Texas Tech team that struggled against a Nevada team that put players in motion making it tough for the Texas Tech defense to adjust and as a result the defense didn't align themselves correctly. Here's Tuberville:

It's a numbers game when you play the option, and our numbers weren't quite as good as they needed to be on weak or strong side of the field after when the ball was snapped. What they do is they roll over on one side, put a guy in motion, and we didn't adjust to the motion very well; and we played tentative once they started the option. That's a huge lesson that we'll learn. Our alignments continue to -- we make mistakes on alignments. We didn't tackle as we but we saw a lot of running game. There's a tremendous amount of room for improvement. We can't play again like that on defense and the next nine games we play, we can't put our offense in that bind. We have to get the ball back for our offense more. I think we only had, what, eight or nine possessions, and that's not enough.

Tuberville addressed this yesterday and said that the defense is trying to simplify some things this week:

"We probably had them confused a little bit," he said. "We probably might have been doing too much. We got lined up wrong quite a bit Saturday and we were unable to take good enough angles on their running game… So, we made some changes, trying to make sure that everybody knows what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. We’ll see a lot of formations this week out of Kansas and they’ll try to get us in a situation like we got in last week."

I always feel uneasy when a team is having to scale things back, especially 3 games into the season and that some of this has to do with so many guys being out of the lineup last week and guys like Eugene Neboh playing a new side of the field, etc. Still, this sort of thing makes me incredibly nervous.

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