TWO REASONS TEXAS TECH WILL WIN
TOO MUCH OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER | It seems improbably that New Mexico will be able to keep pace with Texas Tech, especially when the Lobos struggled to put the ball in the endzone against Colorado St. And against Arkansas the Lobos only put 3 points on the board. The problem with New Mexico is that this just isn't limited to this year. Last year, the Lobos had similar problems, ranking 116th in the nation in scoring offense and 120th in the nation in total offense. New Mexico isn't a good offensive team by just about any metric. If Texas Tech can spread the ball around and the mere threat of Doege to Moore should open things up for some other receivers. Add to that another week where C Terry McDaniel will have time to adjust to the center position and I'd almost guarantee that you won't see any missed assignments from McDaniel this week.
DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS | If a halftime is any indication about how DC Chad Glasgow makes defensive adjustments then I'm excited to see what Glasgow can do with a week of preparation. The downside is that Glasgow was most likely counting on De Leon Mackey to be available for the entire year, but injuries happen and he's got to move on. Perhaps that's the thing that we'll end up loving about Glasgow the most, is that he'll make proper adjustments based on what he has available. I can't make an argument that the numbers were significantly better in the second half, but what I did see was a defense that was flying around the ball and there were multiple tacklers on each and every play. Given the fact that the defensive group is on its third defensive scheme in as many years and given the fact that the defense should be better as these new players that litter the two-deep continue and the overall simplicity of the defense, I'm confident that at least for this game, defensive improvement will continue.
TWO REASONS TEXAS TECH WILL LOSE
OFFENSIVE LINE IN FLUX | I am tired of worrying about RT Mickey Okafor. The sack that Okafor gave up to Texas St. and almost getting his quarterback on the sideline is something that we've seen in 2009 when Okafor gave up a similar sack to UT's Sergio Kindle and resulted in QB Taylor Potts suffering a likely concussion that affected the entire year. In 2009, you could say that Okafor was immature in 2009 and he'd grow out of that. But at this point in Okafor's career, those sacks where the opposing defender just runs past him to absolutely level the quarterback cannot continue. There cannot be any more lapses in concentration or technique. Okafor has to be more consistent. He's certainly athletically capable of shutting out opponents, but those lapses are inexcusable, especially the way that it happened against Texas St. One weak link in the offensive line, especially considering the overall lack of depth along the line is worrisome. McDaniel should be better at center this week, and the left side of the line, LT LaAdrian Waddle and LG Lonnie Edwards were fine, but Okafor must be better and I'd so much rather prefer for announcers not to call his name this week for any reason other than 4 or 5 pancake blocks.
YOUNG DEFENDERS ARE EXPLOITED | We talked about the relative youth of the defense the other day and until these players have more than one or two games under their belt, I'm still going to be a bit concerned as to whether or not these young defenders are capable of being starters and leaders on defense. And this is the conundrum in that one of my reasons Texas Tech will win is that the defense will make adjustments and will continue to improve, but I can't kick the idea that playing so many young players will hurt Texas Tech in the short-term. The young linebackers of LB Blake Dees and Sam Eguavoen looked a bit hesitant, while you could see that LB Cqulin Hubert did see more comfortable, but now he's been ousted as a starter by Eguavoen. And last week was entirely new for a good part of these players and it wasn't an absolute disaster. But with better talent, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't concerned about a unit that is young and a secondary that was hardly tested at all last week (due to the overall lack of ability by both Texas St. quarterbacks to throw anything deep). Even then, there were times that the defensive backs seemed to be beat deep a bit, but the quarterback just missed those receivers. Big plays are killers and I think that Glasgow is constantly telling his players not to give up the big play.