We are only about 6 weeks away from a beautiful Lubbock evening kickoff against Stephen F. Austin. As I start making my football season preparations one thing I always do is set some expectations. This way I have something to (complain, gloat, cry, brag, yell at my dog) help me evaluate the season when it is over. Rather than simply talking about how many games Tech will win or lose let us dive into what the fans should expect this season.
Win At Home
Playing both UT and OU at home this year is something we must take advantage of. If Tech wants to get to the next level then they must find a way to knock both of these schools off in the same year. The other home games, all winnable, are Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech, Kansas, and West Virginia. I would not be surprised at all if this team finished the season 5-1 at home.
Win the games we are supposed to win
No more underachieving games and let's take care of business. Looking back at last year the one game I really feel Tech should have won, but didn't, was the Oklahoma State game. You could argue TCU, but I felt going into that one TCU was the favorite to win. Yes we are supposed to beat SFA, LA Tech, Kansas and Iowa State this year, but who else? For my money give me wins over Texas, TCU and Arizona State.
Is expecting a better defense realistic or wishful thinking? First, I have to decide what better actually means. No I do not expect our defense to be top 5 in the conference, but I do expect to see all around improvement. Corner backs turning to see the ball on deep passes and not giving up 80 yard run plays from scrimmage will be a great start.
Receivers not dropping passes
Nothing killed our drives more last year than dropped passes on third down. We need our receivers, both young and old, to catch the ball. Dropped passes plagued the team all season and the West Virginia game has been stuck in my mind for months. Tech dropped 5 passes that game including one by Lauderdale in the end zone.
Get to a higher tier bowl game
Last year 7 wins earned us a trip to the Texas Bowl which actually turned out to have some hype behind it because LSU was the opponent. I believe everyone's expectations are higher than a return trip to the Texas Bowl. So that leaves us the college football playoff or four other Big 12 associated bowls. I think it is reasonable that come late in the season Tech fans should be looking at the Alamo Bowl or Cotton Bowl as possibilities.