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3 questions that will be answered in TCU game

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Next Saturday’s game will reveal a lot about this Texas Tech team.

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

All offseason long, we’ve questioned the identity of this Texas Tech team.

After a great start to the season from true freshman quarterback Alan Bowman and breakout performances from Antoine Wesley, T.J. Vasher and Ta’Zhawn Henry, it appeared Tech was figuring itself out.

Then Bowman got hit with a devastating injury, and the team is right back where it was a few weeks ago.

Now facing a lightning-quick TCU defense, the Red Raiders turn to former standout recruit, Jett Duffey, in hopes of creating a new identity.

That’s the first of three questions that’ll be answered next Saturday - will Jett Duffey step his game up and play like the heralded prospect he once was? Pressure does two things: busts pipes and creates diamonds. Which will be the case for Duffey?

Poll

Will Jett Duffey thrive or fold under the pressure?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Thrive
    (259 votes)
  • 38%
    Fold
    (162 votes)
421 votes total Vote Now

Last year, the Tech defense collected 14 interceptions (32nd in the nation) and recovered 15 fumbles (fourth in the nation). This year, the team is 43rd and 57th in those categories, respectively. We haven’t seen that same level of production from what was supposed to be one of the best Tech defenses in the history of the program.

Next weekend, David Gibbs’ unit has a chance to move up the national ranks in turnovers forced against a very mistake-prone quarterback in Shawn Robinson (if he suits up - he’s questionable with a shoulder injury to his non-throwing arm). To date, the TCU quarterback has already thrown seven interceptions and made a few questionable decisions in the team’s surprisingly sluggish start. He turned the ball over six times in the losses to Ohio State and Texas, and the Frog fan base is showing their frustration in the tremendously talented but raw quarterback.

If his backup, Michael Collins, starts in Robinson’s place, Tech should have the same opportunity to create turnovers. The Penn transfer has a big body with a cannon arm, but his lack of experience playing against Power 5 competition in big-time games. The Tech secondary should be salivating over the possibility.

Poll

Is Tech a bowl-caliber team?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Yes
    (601 votes)
  • 16%
    No
    (118 votes)
719 votes total Vote Now

The other question that’ll be answered next Saturday is whether or not this is a bowl-caliber team, and that largely depends on the playmakers in skill positions and the defense’s ability to slow down the league’s fastest offense.

If Tech wins this one decidedly, we’ll know that despite the two losses on record, this is a no-doubt 6-win-or-better team.

On the other hand, if Tech loses, especially if it’s a blowout, we’ll know some of those wins were just flukes, and that Kingsbury truly is not the coach we thought he was.

Poll

Is Tech a bowl-caliber team?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Yes
    (601 votes)
  • 16%
    No
    (118 votes)
719 votes total Vote Now