Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
How Texas Tech can attack the Iowa St. offense and defense.
Overall, I think Iowa St. is a tough, physical team. This applies to both the offense and defense. Texas Tech has traditionally had incredibly difficult times with teams that can both pass and run the ball. Who am I kidding, you could say that Texas Tech has had trouble defending every team in just about any manner recently, so there's that. But quarterbacks that can run have always seemingly been problematic, even if we go back to Mizzou's Brad Smith.
The best way to combat a team that can do two things well is to have athletes that can cover guys in space and athletes that run players down. So Texas Tech will need to take some of the things that they learned over the course of their first three games and apply them to Iowa St. The difference is that Iowa St. is going to try to work the one-on-one matchups for the cornerbacks and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see quit a bit of play action in an attempt to get relatively inexpereinced cornerbacks trying to cover Iowa St. receivers one-on-one.
But the strength of Iowa St. is going to be their running game and they have a three-headed running attack with QB Steele Janz and running backs Shontrelle Johnson and James White. Both running backs are similar in stature, 5-9/190, and I'd imagine they're both tough to tackle in space. Again, the key is staying at home and not allowing those cut-back lanes or open opportunities, but thankfully, Texas Tech has both big backs and small backs to practice against.
I actually watched a bit of the Tulsa game and the Cyclones are susceptible to giving up significant yards to offensive-minded teams. Tulsa's QB passed for 198 yards and they ran for almost 200 yards if you take out the yards lost by the quarterback. In fact, Tulsa had two running backs have really good games, one going for 10 carries and 125 yards and the other getting 11 carries for 57 yards. That's not bad by any measure.
The strength of the Iowa St. defense are their linebackers, Jake Knott and A.J. Klein, and they are really fantastic players. Truthfully though, fellow linebacker, Jeremiah George, is pretty good as well. Knott and Klein aren't the most mobile linebackers, but they are mobile enough. I think OC Neal Brown does his absolute best to try to get both Klein and Knott in space and away from the middle of the field so that he can then exploit Kenny Williams and Eric Stephens between the tackles.
I don't think you'll see a lot of 22 personnel in this game, by design. I think you'll see more 10 personnel than anything else in the hope that Iowa St. takes off one of or maybe two of their linebackers in order to cover the four receivers. They won't be able to stick with Jakeem Grant Tyson Williams on the inside. I'd also wonder if this is the type of game where you perhaps emphasize getting the ball to RB Sadale Foster in a couple of screens that utilize his speed on what I would think would be a linebacker trying to cover him. I don't think this should be the major focus of the offense, but Texas Tech's bread and butter this year has been how they have seemingly been able to force their will on an opponent and do just about anything they wanted in just about any personnel package, but I really want to see Texas Tech do what they do best here. One last item is that I think how teams play TE Jace Amaro is telling a lot about what they are going to do. We know that they will be
This week is going to be an excellent test for the offensive line. Iowa St.'s defensive line is most likely going to get pressure on Doege, so it's imperative that the line hold up. Iowa St.'s line is responsible for 12.5 of the tackles for loss. This may be one of those games where the play of the running back picking up the odd lineman that needs a chip or a blitzing linebacker is as important as ever because I do think that Doege is going to feel some pressure this week, something he really hasn't seen this year.