Grades | Kansas Jayhawks 34, Texas Tech Red Raiders 41

Jamie Squire

Grades, quotes and thoughts in Texas Tech's overtime win against Kansas.

QUOTES

Hate me for making this the first thing to discuss, but I am genuinely happy for the seniors on this team. If you think that as fans we have been rung through the ringer, then spend the last four years in their shoes. This is their lives we're talking about. Yes, as fans, we can get passionate, but it's their lives and they have had to deal with things on a daily basis. Doege said it best when asked about getting a win:

That was huge. I'm so excited for these seniors because we get to end this home stretch on a win, which is huge for us because we've been through a lot. We've worked really hard, and I'm glad and feel blessed to have the opportunity to play here. I'm glad that we did end up with a victory going out. That is something that we'll remember forever.

Now we get to the big elephant in the room:

Yeah, he was trying to help me get him off. But he's standing out on the field and we're trying to get him off, and the referee's standing there. I just pulled him off and missed his shoulder and grabbed his -- I mean, it wasn't anything to it. It was just one of those deals where I missed his shoulder and ended up grabbing the microphone on his head set and pulled it off.

Thanks to hawkspur, you get two still shots of the incident:


I do not think that head coach Tommy Tuberville slapped the graduate assistant. In the second photo, he's about to grab the microphone, not slap the GA. I do think that it was inappropriate whatever it was and to me, it doesn't matter if it was a slap or it was Tuberville forcefully removing the GA's headset. It was inappropriate. Tuberville's post-game explanation is also inappropriate because I think that Tuberville's actions were intentional. That's me reading a lot into a situation, but the GA turned his back on Tuberville, the GA is responsible for having the right personnel on the field and that didn't happen. Still, no matter the reason, I hope that Tuberville just comes clean and apologizes, says that his actions were inappropriate, and that he's apologized to the GA. It is incredibly difficult going back and having to apologize, but it's the right thing to do.

Even then, I think that whatever AD Kirby Hocutt does, I'm okay with because I trust what he's doing. He's methodical and careful. If he suspends Tuberville, then I'm okay with that. If he doesn't, then I'm okay with that too. I trust Hocutt's process. I tend to think that a lot of people want to see Tuberville punished because they dislike him as a coach and that's not appropriate either. I understand that Tuberville isn't the most popular coach, but more than anything, I trust in Hocutt and I'll feel pretty comfortable with what he does no matter what.

OFFENSIVE STAR OF THE GAME | QB Seth Doege played lights out and was terrific.

DEFENSIVE STAR OF THE GAME | DT Kerry Hyder was additionally fantastic and he's been a joy to watch most of the year.

SPECIAL TEAMS STAR OF THE GAME | I think it has to be K Ryan Bustin, but I'll give it to PR Austin Zouzalik, who had 3 returns for 31 yards. That's not bad.

GRADES

GRADE

POSITION

A

QUARTERBACK

Ummm, QB Seth Doege's numbers were really quite ridiculous. He was 45 of 59 (76%) for 508 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. He averaged 8.0 yards per attempt which is not just dinking and dunking the ball, but actually getting the ball down the field. Doege's lone interception was a result of IR Jakeem Grant giving up on the play, he was about to get leveled by a safety had he continued his route to catch the ball, but the ball was in the window where Grant was supposed to be. Doege did just about everything and despite a strong wind, he found ways to get the ball down the field. He was quick on his feet and I think that this may have been the best game I've ever seen him play

D

RUNNING BACK

I don't think that the reason the running backs struggled was because of the running backs themselves, they just had zero running room for three quarters and quite frankly, I'm surprised that this team finished with positive yards running the ball. I thought that RB Kenny Williams did a nice job in the 4th quarter and actually had a couple of nice runs. RB Sadale Foster is going to be electric next year with another year under his belt. He couldn't get anything going offensively, but he sure has the potential to make guys miss every time he touches the ball and that is an uncommon trait. I loved that RB Eric Stephens got a rushing touchdown and passing touchdown on senior day. I am happy for him.

A

RECEIVERS

Remember last week when I said that WR Eric Ward is the best player on the team? Well, he did it again as he caught 12 passes for 180 yards. His 4th down drop left me scratching my head, but he wouldn't be denied. If he keeps this up, he's going to go pro after this year and we will miss him greatly. I hope he stays another year. WR Darrin Moore was on point and successful this week because he ran excellent routes and he was right where he needed to be on just about every occasion. Again, 10 players, including Doege, caught a pass against Kansas. Doege spread it around as much as humanly possible and I think it served him well.

C

OFFENSIVE LINE

Let's get to the good, which is that Doege was clean just about all day. The official stats say that Kansas had 2 sacks, but I don't even remember them to be honest, so I don't think they were all that impactful. Now, they couldn't get a man on anyone in the running game and that was just an awful performance for 3/4's of the afternoon. Texas Tech was not facing the '85 Bears defense and Kansas had, prior to this week, given up 211 and 299 yards the past two weeks. As a unit, they had better figure it out. I don't know if this is because we're still in the middle of a philosophy change, from big guys that have some agility to more agile players. OC Neal Brown and OL coach Chris Thomsen need to figure out why there is such a disconnect sometimes. I would mention that Kansas did hold Oklahoma St. to 114 yards rushing so there is some precedent for stopping a good team, but there was something seriously wrong with how the running backs couldn't even get out of the backfield on a handful of plays.

C

DEFENSIVE LINE

I don't think that the line in itself was the impetus for Kansas breaking off a ton of long plays. For the most part, I thought the defensive line played pretty good. I'll say that DT Kerry Hyder is really tireless and he is your season long MVP. He will not get the credit of Davis or some other guys, but these things start up front and without Hyder sometimes dominating the middle of the field, Texas Tech doesn't have close to the success that they have had this year. For the game, Hyder had 8 tackles and 2.0 TFL, while DE Branden Jackson had 7 tackles. I thought going into this game that DE Dartwan Bush would be exposed for being unable to play the run and he was really good against the run and he finished with 5 tackles and 2.0 TFL while fellow DE Jackson Richards also finished with 5 tackles. I think this team was without DT Dennell Wesley this week, which meant that there was really just a rotation of 2 guys, mainly Hyder and DT Delvon Simmons, with Leon Mackey mixing in a handful of plays.

F

LINEBACKERS

Sometimes they figure it out, but when they don't figure it out, it's ugly and there are gaping holes that cause problems for the entire defense. The first linebackers to show up on the list at 7th, behind the safeties and defensive line. That's not how this is supposed to work. The linebackers, especially on a day like yesterday, need to be making more than 11 tackles for the entire game. That's right, 11 tackles the entire game (LB Sam Eguavoen 4; Will Smith 4; Blake Dees 2; and Zack Winbush 1). That's the problem with this defense, which is that the linebackers are getting covered up and can't shed a lineman to save their lives. Art Kaufman, by trade, is a linebackers coach, so he must be scratching his head as to what's going on, but I would guess that this unit will be better next year, come hell or high water.

B

SECONDARY

It's really hard to give the secondary a passing grade when Kansas had not thrown a touchdown pass in 3 games and then they did it this week. The passing touchdown wasn't the fault of any player in the secondary, it was Eguavoen for not picking up the running back flaring out of the backfield, but at the end of the day, it will reflect that the pass defense gave up a passing touchdown to one of the worst passing offenses in the NCAA. There was one pass interference call on CB Eugene Neboh that was completely legitimate and another pass play that I recall was there as CB Bruce Jones was covering some guy that looked like a giant in comparison to Jones. For the game, Kansas had 29 passing yards on the day. S Cody Davis and S D.J. Johnson finished the game leading the team in tackles, but when playing a run oriented team, that's an awful indication of how things played out.

F

COACHING

This doesn't all fall at the head of Tuberville, but for the second straight game, I'm trying to figure out what happened on some level. Honestly, if OC Neal Brown has to run the ball a certain number of times, then I didn't have a problem with 22 rushing attempts out of 82 total plays. That's running the ball only 26.5% of the time, which is something that usually just doesn't happen for this team. For the year, it's around 40% and so I'm honestly glad that there wasn't any mandate to run the at that 40% rate, which would have meant about 10 additional runs. Yes, you can quibble with how those runs occurred or running things out of the wildcat or whatever, but overall, this was an offense that averaged 6.9 yards a play. But the offense struggled in the redzone, and had Kansas been a better team, they would have won that game because the offense couldn't convert. For the day, excluding the overtimes, Texas Tech converted only half of the opportunities in the redzone, which is down from the 70% or so for the year. In fact, for two straight games, UT and KU, Texas Tech has been at 50% or lower, 33% against UT. It's getting the ball in the endzone that's been the problem for this team, not getting the ball down the field. Despite the offensive struggles, the defense is the main culprit here. Kansas had not scored 34 points except for one other time, against South Dakota St. in the first game of the year. The problems for the defense were just gaping. The long plays, were just awful. And yes, we can say it was just one play, but those one plays are haunting this defense, for now two games in a row. Huge plays against UT and now Kansas will perhaps be a depressing sign of things to come. I don't know how Kaufman gets the linebackers to play better, but something had better happen soon.

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