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Matador Mailbag: Kicking ourselves with penalties

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Tech ends Houston’s home win streak and looks to end another this Saturday against OSU

Nikopoia

Texas tech improves to 3-0 with its 27-24 victory over Houston, though seemingly leaving some Tech fans a little lackluster about Tech’s chances going into the big showdown with Oklahoma State. It should be noted to all Tech fans that Houston isn’t the same team we seem to recall from 2010 who went 5-7. For some reason we forget the year before when they finished 1st in their conference and in 2011 when they did the same. Houston has been pretty consistent about winning 8+ games a year under Kevin Sumlin, Tony Levine and Tom Herman. This year they were undefeated with the nation’s longest home win streak at 16 and boasted the nations #26 ranked defense. Tech ended the home win streak... put up over 500 yards of offense and yes there was some miscues, mistakes and missed opportunities, but that shouldn’t diminish the win, especially considering the alternative.

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Derrick Willies had a horrific game by all accounts. You’re right. He had the sure TD drop, a few false starts when Tech was trying to go up-tempo and the missed-catch off his hands that ended up being an interception. But this isn’t some scrub either. He is arguably one of the best sure-handed WRs on Tech’s roster and a big redzone and downfield threat. Looks like it was just an off game and he compounded mistakes by trying too hard to make up for them as the game went along. I wouldn’t expect this game’s performance to carry over to OSU.

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, September 23, 2017

I heard they had pickle juice available for players dealing with cramping issues. I’m not a fan of pickles so I would have been in trouble. But from a hydration standpoint, there is only so much water you can intake during play. Take in too much and you’ll get water-logged. Most hydration takes place during the 24 hours prior to the game. Your body won’t be able to use most of the water you put into it during a game anyway. During the game you want just enough water to keep you cool and your mouth from getting dry. It’s why you see marathon runners and triathletes, sip water, spit it out and dump it on their heads. Coach Whitt undoubtedly knows this and had his guys well prepared for the conditions.

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Kicking his harder than we think believe it or not. And honestly Tech has had issues with kickers more often than not. Clayton Hatfield is our main place-kicker and a pretty good one at that. But he’s injured. From the timetable for him to return and his level of activity to date it sounds like a groin injury. He kicked some extra points against ASU and either aggravated the injury he thought he could play through or made it much worse. Kingsbury has made it known that it’s either going to be Micahel Barden or Micheal Ewton going forward. Ewton is a freshman and in a few years he’ll probably be our main guy and be very consistent. Just needs time to develop like all freshman.

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, 23 September 2017

The worst? Probably not. Looks like his coaching career is over and he’s learning craft this year. I can’t stand Tuberville for a variety of reasons, but I give him, and anyone, credit who chose to do something different and challenging and does the best they can with it. Good news is the play-by-play guy was Mike Patrick who is one of my favorites to listen to.

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Kingsbury says he has no ill effects from the hit and that it was all mainly precautionary. He is under a concussion protocol, but it sounds like there were no signs of a concussion at the time. He’s still in protocol because concussion symptoms don’t always manifest the same or with the same timing. Which is why you’re seeing more and more teams hold out anyone with a head injury even if they don’t have symptoms. Players in the past, even Wes Welker I believe, have taken a head shot, showed no symptoms and was sent back in and it turns out that after the game the symptoms started to show.

I would expect him to be held out of practice this week until they make a decision on whether or not he’ll play this weekend. Which will probably be Thursday. If they determine he’s good... he’ll do the walk-through on Friday and be in there on Saturday. If not, sounds like he’ll be good to go against Kansas the following week.

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, September 23, 2017

We answered a similar question last week, but since their were some penalties this week we’ll do it again.

Penalties come from two places: Discipline and Aggressiveness. While most pre and post-play penalties come down to discipline, most penalties during the play are chalked up to aggressiveness. In recent years, Tech has tried to combat the penalty problem by not being as physical and in turn have given up big plays and a lot of yards. Especially last year where Tech also had a downturn in takeaways on defense. It’s a fine line to walk. Sometimes you have to choose one or the other. If you want to be more sure of tackles, turnovers will suffer. If you go for turnovers, you’ll get a few more, but you’ll also miss more tackles.

This week we did see more pre-snap penalties such as false-starts and illegal motion, but I’m ok with penalties due to aggressiveness and physical play. The hard part is when you compound one with the other and I think that’s what needs to be fixed.

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Publié par Viva The Matadors sur samedi 23 septembre 2017

I don’t care what we call it. It was called “The Swarm” when I was at Tech (03-07) and I’m fine with that if I’m honest. Viva la Nostalgia!

Matador Mail Call! Send us all your questions about the win over Houston, the upcoming battle against Oklahoma St or anything really.

Posted by Viva The Matadors on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lord knows we need to. The last time Texas Tech defeated Oklahoma State was 2008. That’s 8 straight years of losing to Xerox U. If you count, 2008 and 2007 Tech has lost 9 out of the last 10. Tech hasn’t lost that many straight to Oklahoma or Texas, so that’s pretty telling.

Tech has been close the last few years. An epic meltdown in 2015 let one get away, and last year, a game we had no business being in, we ended up losing by one point. So yes... I’m going to say we take care of Oklahoma State this weekend. But be careful, because after we are done with them... we’re coming for you Sooners in Norman. Mark it down.

Hate to turn into the negative person here, but no. I don’t think it’s happening. But as I said prior to the season, I think 8-4 is a real possibility with a 9th win opportunity in a bowl game. Unfortunately an 8-4 record would mean we go 5-4 the rest of the way. Not great, but one thing to build on this year is Tech finishing conference play with a winning record. Which, admittedly, Kingsbury hasn’t done in his time at Tech.

Look for Hatfield to be back in the last few weeks of the season. If it is a groin injury, as I think it is, there’s an argument to be made to shut him down for the year and get an extra year of eligibility out of it.

As far as our punter situation goes, I’ve been okay with it. Mainly because I remember our punting situation last year. Blocked punts, fumbled snaps, safeties, short yardage kicks... smh.

Pannazollo had 7 punts against Houston and averaged 40 yards per punt. I think we’ll take that all day if I’m honest. For the year he’s averaging slightly less than that at 39.2. Besides... that rugby style punt is either gonna roll a ways or be picked up for a short punt. However, it did help with Demarcus Fields getting Tech’s 5th takeaway of the game on Saturday.


That’s it for this week folks. I checked where I buried Scott Jordan. He’s still there. If he rises for whatever reason, I’ll make sure he finds his place again. haha

Enjoy the game, check out all our preview content, listen to the podcast and keep sending in your questions. Get ready for a fun conference run!