Texas Tech's 38-24 victory over the Baylor Bears left a lot to discuss. From Keke Coutee’s kickoff return to yet another fourth quarter dip. One of the most talked about moments was this.
This moment occurred after the Bears forced a punt in the fourth quarter and Kingsbury was clearly letting someone (presumably offensive coordinator Eric Morris) have it. For a lot of fans, this was a breath of fresh air given the lack of emotion Kingsbury typically shows on the sideline. It got me thinking, however, about the configuration of the coaching staff (no, I don't mean in the head coach position).
One of the biggest topics of the offseason was the fact Kingsbury was going to step back and take a more administrative approach to the team, which meant more time with the defense. It also meant less time with the offense, which is Kingsbury's bread and butter. Day-to-day operation of the offense was delegated to Eric Morris, the offensive coordinator. So, it raises the question:
Was the offense affected by Kingsbury taking a step back? If so, how much?
Eric Morris is one of the last holdovers from the original staff from 2013. Up until this year, Morris has shared offensive coordinator duties with Kingsbury, the same way Dana Holgorsen did with Mike Leach in the 2000s. This year, the offense, with the exception of playcalling duties, has been almost entirely under Morris’s supervision. So how has this offense compared to the others, the ones Kingsbury directly managed?
- The 2013 offense averaged 511 yards per game and 35.8 points per game.
- In 2014, the offense dropped to 504 yards of total offense per game and 30.5 points per game
- In 2015, the offense averaged 579.5 yards of total offense and 45.1 points per game.
- In 2016, the offense averaged 566.6 yards of total offense per game and 43.7 points per game.
Based on those numbers, when Kingsbury is directly in control of the offense, they average 540 yards of total offense and 38 points per game.
This year, with Morris taking over the day-to-day activities, the offense averaged 489.9 yards of total offense and 38 points per game.
Based on numbers alone, it's hard to say how much Kingsbury's limited role has affected the offense. The yardage has dropped significantly but the points per game is almost identical. The devil is in the details however and it's in the details where I think the change had the most impact. Kingsbury is meticulous in how he likes to run his offense and if he can only focus on the big picture, it becomes much easier to miss the little things. Because of that, things like receivers running incorrect route or failing to hear the audible happen. That's why it is crucial to have a solid coordinator who can catch and correct these mistakes in practice, before they become an issue on the field.
It will be up to Eric Morris to fill that role. If he can't, I'd expect to see some more reconfiguration of the coaching staff this offseason.
What's your take?
Was the offense affected when Kingsbury delegated the day to day duties to Eric Morris?
This poll is closed
Yes a lot
Yes, it's noticable
Yes, but not enough to affect the game