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Random Thoughts on the Texas Tech v. Missouri Game

I'll work on grades later today, but don't expect the regular lengthy write-ups. Still not in the mood.

Random Thoughts:

  • Do you think the Colorado game is important? Next week sets up to be one of the more important games of the year. There are 2 games left on the schedule, Baylor and Colorado, that Texas Tech should win and without those wins, this season, as good as it started will be incredibly disappointing. That's a lot of pressure and don't think that the coaching staff and players don't know that. Mix in a win against Oklahoma or Texas and the sting from this loss isn't as bad as it was yesterday.

  • Harrell throws 4 interceptions again, and I can't for the life of me figure out why he gets rattled. I thought he had "figured it out" for the most part and matured as a quarterback and these types of days were well past him. I still believe that Harrell is an excellent quarterback, but he has to be better than this. I don't think I'd be telling him anything new, but so much of the success of the offense depends on what he does on the field. If he gets rattled then the entire team gets rattled. I know, the receivers have to do their job too, but so much of the offensive success of this team depends on the quarterback's performance. I realize that some of those interceptions were not all his fault, but we'll get to that later.

  • Receivers dropped way too many passes. It was almost unbearable at a point. They were bullied around by a tougher Missouri defensive unit. You don't ever want your opponent to be tougher than you, but Missouri sure as hell was. Texas Tech gift-wrapped to the remaining 4 teams the best method of beating Texas Tech so expect to see this from this point forward.

  • Isn't the most disappointing thing the stage which was set? I'm an eternal optimist so I realistically thought that Texas Tech had a chance to win, but the stage was set for us to show up and have a good showing. You know, silence the critics, etc. That just didn't happen. In fact we pretty much showed our ass and that's a tough pill to swallow.

  • Defensively, I think the Texas Tech played okay, but the problem was probably McNeill not making the necessary adjustments. For most of the first half I thought McNeill and his defensive crew did a decent job of containing Missouri. They held the Tigers to 10 offensive 1st half points, but the Tigers went in at half-time, made their offensive adjustments and the defense didn't. I'll cut McNeill some slack here because he has been good for the most part, but he should have realized much quicker that the Tigers were going to run the hell out of the ball in the 2nd half (over 200 yards rushing for the entire game) and they should have done something to stop it. Umm, they didn't. One other thing, it's not as if the defense was on the field more than the offense. Yesterday, Texas Tech had a slight edge on Missouri in terms of time of possession.

  • At least now we know, as if anyone ever had any doubts otherwise, that Leach does not believe in a field position battle. Leach left at least 12 points on the board by not at the very least going for the sure thing (for some reason I thought it was 5 times during the game, but I remember thinking that Leach was crazy for not going for it on 4th and 43). I'm not sure that it really changes the complexion of the game, but at some point I thought the offense started slumping their shoulders after they turned the ball over on downs the first 2 times. I know, what's the difference in 15 yards if Texas Tech decides to punt the ball? But that's sort of a worse case scenario. What if the defense is able to pin Missouri in their end of the field, especially in the 1st half? Haven't we always been taught that sometimes a game can be about field position, putting your team and your defense in the best position to win? Is that adage even true? From listening to Harrell, and yes, I realize that he's biased, he's glad that they went for it on every 4th down opportunity, but at some point don't you have to play it a little close to the vest?

  • Once or twice a year, there is the invariable "bad loss", which is really a loss where the Red Raiders have either 1) showed the world that they aren't as good as we think they are, or 2) they've been playing above their heads the entire season. I'm still not sure which one I believe for this season, but I'm starting to lean one way.

  • Crabtree still has some growing up to do and yes, he's not perfect. Crabtree and the rest of the receiving crew were roughed up over the middle and it seemed to me that they were getting up slower after each and every hit. Where was the adjustment here? What did work? Britton down the sideline and thinking back to yesterday there were few instances where Harrell even threw to the sideline (there was one other time down to Crabtree towards the endzone). It's true with almost any system, you can't cover everyone and if Missouri is taking away the middle then sidelines should be open. Even if I'm wrong about that, I'm still disappointed that Leach didn't figure out something to get the offense going.

  • I still really like this team. They are a young bunch, but at sometime or another they are going to have to take that next step, winning on the road in a hostile environment and beating a, heaven forbid, ranked team. When can we do that this year? In Austin, three weeks from now.