oh let me count the ways.
Your offensive diversity,
makes me kinda ‘cray. “
-A poem, by me, the author.
Here in 2017, college football is wildly different than it ever has been. Each school continues to work at finding recipes for success and offensive playbooks just get thicker and thicker. But while teams are working around their offensive weapons available, Texas Tech seems to be trying to mold players into our offensive scheme known as....
THE AIR RAID
High-flying, rootin’ tootin’, embarrass the defense every play, let’s go ahead and score 59 points and hope that they’re too gassed to pass us - offense!
Except sometimes the other team isn’t gassed. In fact, since you’ve taken such a short time to score their defense is still able to trot off the field. But you’ve left your defense no time to recover. Meaning that their offense is ready to take advantage of a defense who couldn’t possible prepare to be exhausted every time they step on the field. Result? Your 59 points actually doesn’t win the game.
Are you kidding me?!
Who do we blame! Who do we shame! Defense: Why couldn’t you keep their offense from scoring? Offense: How come you couldn’t score again? Coaching: Why aren’t you calling the right plays? Air Raid: (crickets)...
What if our offensive brand is what has been keeping us down this whole time? No, seriously. Just because something is working out amazingly at the beginning doesn’t mean it’s supposed to last eternal. Point in fact, the mediocrity plateau we’ve hit. One of Kingsbury’s focal points in recent years has been to rebuild and reengage the defense into Texas Tech’s identity. That’s been exciting to see mature, right? Yet one of the sub-narratives to that development has been an increasing reliance on the run game.
“STOP RUNNING THE D- BALL!”
I heard it more times than I’d like to at last weekend’s game against Iowa State. Yes, sometimes in the third and long I wonder why there was a run-play when we should definitely rely on our strength(?) in passing the ball. Outside of that it seems that we want to have our defensive-cake and eat it, too. Tech fans, slowly but surely, are molding into the society that wants that instant gratification of scoring fast because our offense has graced the field with our presence. Then when we have a possession where we don’t score a touchdown, people begin firing off the heavy questions of coaching changes. As another VTM contributor wrote, “In the age of instant gratification, it's easy for fans to feel like if the coach isn't winning today, then somebody else can win tomorrow. The truth is that it's not that simple.” And he’s right, it’s not that simple. The coaching staff is trying to build a balanced program - but that requires the fans to be okay with changes from the old model. Replacing them won’t solve it; you wouldn’t switch out construction workers in the middle of a job if they’re doing honest work.
“IT’S NOT A PHASE, MOM” - SKATER US IN EIGHTH GRADE
The Air Raid ignited something that all Americans truly resonate with: individual identity. It became Texas Tech, so now years later we’re trying to both maintain our brand and also move forward to being a quality football program. See where the hangup could be?
I will argue that seeking what makes us excited and entertained doesn’t need to be synonymous with the Air Raid. I grew up a fan of a team who favored the run first, and passed when needed. I promise you all it is still exciting to watch, and even sweeter when you end it with a win. Football is a chess match, not an (A) button, left stick around a bit, (X)/(Y)/(B)/(A), right trigger for the sprint to the end-zone. It will have moments of excitement, moments of stress, and moments of disappointment but every move is calculated towards the end goal of getting that coveted W. So let our boys hand off the ball to Stockton, Nisby, Felton, and King run the ball. When the bad guys’ defense stops assuming we’re gonna pass, that’s when we’ll chunk it 80 yards for a high-flyin, rootin’ tootin’ embarrasment of the defense.
Let’s all get behind our team, our coach, and for Pete’s sake...