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Nate Night Thoughts: With 5 games left, Tech has a chance to make a lot of noise

Late in October, the Red Raiders still control their own destiny.

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

Texas Tech is on the verge of their best season since 2013 when Kliff Kingsbury made his return to the South Plains. With a 5-2 record and 3-1 in conference the Red Raiders are still relevant in the Big 12 title race. With a trip to Ames, Iowa looming, Tech has a favorable schedule to finish this season with a bang.

Let’s assume that Tech gets revenge against Matt Campbell and the Cyclones this weekend after being embarrassed in their last trip to Ames. I’m not trying to undermine this weekend’s game, Iowa State is tough, but let’s think about the possibilities. All of a sudden Tech only has 1 conference loss and 2 of the top 3 Big 12 teams have to come to Lubbock. Tech then controls their own destiny going into November for the first time since 2013 when they also had 1 conference loss after 5 games. While the 2013 season didn’t pan out, this year’s team looks much different than Texas Tech teams of the past.

Starting with the Defense

Texas Tech has a defense you can rely on and it has absolutely stunned the national media including ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. Defense wins championships, or at least that’s how the saying goes, while that’s not necessarily true in the Big 12, it definitely helps to have a defense that has given up the least amount of points in Big 12 play this season. David Gibbs has done a tremendous job turning around a defense that couldn’t stop a hundred-year-old tortoise if they tried a few years ago.

After shutting down opponents in the second half of Tech’s first two conference games, the defense has buckled down and only allowed an average of 15 points in their last two games. This defense is here to stay and will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12 moving forward.

Have things changed offensively?

The Texas Tech offense is still as high powered as ever, but this year’s team is much more balanced than Red Raider teams of the past. While Tech still has a dynamic quarterback in Alan Bowman, the running game in Kliff’s offense has developed into a genuine threat. The ball control and time of possession has been a major improvement to this offense and in turn it keeps the defense fresh. If this trend continues, we will likely see Tech win close games that they haven’t won in the past.

There is a lot of football to be played, but this team has brought more optimism to the Red Raider fan base than any team since the Mike Leach era. With five games remaining on the schedule and the toughest ones being at Jones AT&T Stadium, things are shaping up nicely for Texas Tech to have a successful season.