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Instant Reaction: Texas Tech vs. Iowa State

The Red Raiders were humiliated by a motivated Cyclone team.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t think Iowa State has more talent than we do. But, I do think Matt Cambell is a better coach than Kliff Kingsbury is. We’ve seen it time and time again, but Kingsbury managed to get outwitted once again by the opposition. This isn’t a confirmed statistic, but I’m 95% sure our first throw that traveled more than 10 yards down the field was the Hail Mary to close the first half. I can understand the desire to run the ball against a four to five man box - but that isn’t what we do well. It was infuriating to watch this team falter once again in a must-win type of game.

Prior to diving into specifics below, I will say this, I’m not ready to fire Kliff Kingsbury. What if he manages to beat Oklahoma and TCU? I don’t think he will, but anything can happen. Thus far, history has showed me that Kingsbury is what he is. His record is below .500, he struggles in conference play, and he can’t motivate a team if they fall behind. Five years is a long time, and we can’t keep letting Kingsbury learn at the expense of this program. I guess we’ll see how he closes out the year.

I’ll dive into comments now!

Tre King - He looks great when he gets the reps doesn’t he? It’s becoming apparent that he can slice and dice through a defense an awful lot like DeAndre Washington used to, right? I’d credit King with being one of the only players ready to play today. It appears as if he was a steal of a late “take.”

Nic Shimonek - Absolutely terrible. At this point, you’ve got to wonder what McLane Carter could do out there. I counted several occasions in which Shimonek inexplicably escaped the pocket under no duress. Two or three of those times saw him either get sacked or create pressure on himself by breaking containment. Should he struggle against Oklahoma, I’m not above trying something new. I hate to say this too, because I think he’s got the talent to be great.

Tyler Carr - Aka #41, burned his redshirt today and acted as a fullback/H-Back type. He had an outstanding block on Nisby’s touchdown run. I hope his playing today leads to more opportunity down the road.

Dakota Allen - I thought his effort showed out a few times. He had a great tackle for loss that really flashed. It was unfortunate that his blitzes resulted in limited disruption though. Nevertheless, I appreciated his heart.

Justus Parker - He’s a tough guy, and tends to make athletic plays. He’s not overly consistent, but his INT was the biggest highlight of the day. He’ll be fun to watch over the next few years.

The Defensive Backs - When Dorsey got that Pass Interference call, I knew the game was over. It was a back breaker of a penalty at the time and allowed Iowa State to eventually score a touchdown. It’s especially frustrating because the ball wasn’t catchable. Desmond Smith played easily his worst game and was benched after several possessions. DeMarcus Fields sure looked like a freshman, and Octavious Morgan is barely playable at this point. I’d comment on Dorsey and Johnson a bit more, but what else is there to say. Regardless, I’m being really critical here, but they weren’t the reason we got humiliated today.

Defensive Line - Zero pass rush, solid enough run defense, but hardly any havoc. We needed more from this group. But, I can’t hate on their play much. They weren’t the reason we lost.

Linebackers - I don’t recall seeing my Jordyn Brooks, but I could be wrong. Also, I commented on Allen above. Overall, solid but not spectacular showing.

Offensive Line - You’ve GOT to be able to whoop a three man front, and they couldn’t do it. I’ll admit that King and Nisby aren’t great running backs, but they’re certainly serviceable. The saving grace for this group is that everyone comes back next year.

Kicking - What a joke...hold an open tryout.

Coaching - Absolutely horrendous coaching by the offensive staff. Our team was outclassed by a young Iowa State group at home, on homecoming, and by a 3rd string walk-on quarterback. I’m not sure what needs to change with this group, but things aren’t working. Why in the world did we run the ball on 2nd and 17? Please explain the logic of running Shimonek on a QB Draw on 3rd and 5? And, why in the world did the offensive staff insist on running the ball when we needed a spark. For what it’s worth, I think Gibbs called a half decent game. Iowa State got 17 points of turnovers (short fields, pick-6), so it’s not all on that group. It’ll be unfortunate if Kingsbury is fired because we’ll likely lose Gibbs too. It appears as if that group is finally coming together.

My closing thoughts are this: don’t give up on this team just yet. I get that it’s hard, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m beyond disappointed. But, what if we turn it around? As I’ve stated before, I don’t think we will, but anything can happen.

I guess let’s see what happens in Norman next weekend.