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Instant Reaction: Texas Tech vs. Kansas State

We all knew deep down that we weren’t going to win this game.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes these articles write themselves, and it almost feels repetitive writing the same things over and over. Shocker to nobody, Bill Snyder out-coached Kliff Kingsbury for likely the last time. It’s true Red Raider fans, I think Snyder will retire, and it’s feeling inevitable that Kingsbury is let go as well. I’ll credit the defense for their spirited effort, but they managed to play likely the softest pass coverage I’ve ever seen. Seriously, David Gibbs, answer me this - did Kansas State’s band of walk-ons deserve to have 10-yard cushions the majority of the game? Meanwhile, where do I start with the offense....well, Jett Duffey sure didn’t play well, our running game lead by Kevin Johns died a few weeks ago, and the alleged depth on our offensive line is a joke. I swear to you, I wrote almost the exact same article last year. Let’s read a few highlights:

Five years, and this is what we have to show for it. Kingsbury’s tenure should be remembered for being almost good, but overwhelmingly terrible at the same time. I’ll always remember him favorably for what he did as a quarterback, but as a coach - I give him a solid F+. I dare one of you Kingsbury apologist to explain/sell me that you want another few seasons of this? No, we’re better than that. This is a proud school that wins more than they lose, and we go to bowl games. WE ARE NOT BEHOLDEN TO A COACH WHO CAN’T DELIVER A CONSISTENT WINNING RECORD. Period.

Pass Defense - How do you allow a 3rd String quarterback to torch you on the most crucial drive of the game? Seriously, how does that happen. Obviously, K-State isn’t a passing team, but they sufficiently carved you up when they felt like it.

That was from this article, which was written roughly one year ago. But, doesn’t it feel like I could’ve said the exact same things about this game? I’m just sick of watching this team disappoint me week after week. Sure, point out how we almost beat West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, and even Iowa State. Tell me more about how you’d like a redo against Ole Miss - and all that might be true, but we caught PLENTY of breaks against TCU to win that one. The Houston game is another one that could’ve turned for the worse, and don’t get me started on what would happen if we played Oklahoma State again. The reality is this, Kingsbury isn’t a great head coach. He doesn’t read the team well, he doesn’t motivate, he doesn’t inspire, and I think he’ll lose more close games than he wins. In theory, we should win 50% of all one score games, but doesn’t it feel like we win closer to 25%?

What’s going to be interesting is what happens when we face Baylor next week. They’re pretty darned bad too, but knowing Kingsbury he will find a way to win that one. So, we’ll be staring down the barrel at back to back 6-6 seasons - and what do you do? Do you run it back one more time and see if Alan Bowman can lead this team to 8-9 wins? Do you wager on David Gibbs to continue rebuilding a previously futile defense? Or, do you cut your losses and put it all on red one final time before conferences are reconfigured in 2023ish. The next head coach will undoubtably be our leader when we eventually know our conference fate and I’m absolutely terrified that we’ll mess up the decision. We have to nail this decision or else we’ll be setback another 10 years.

Personally, I don’t know what I’d tell Kirby Hocutt to do. Many of you brashly suggest we could land a “better” coach, and to that I’d agree there’s likely better options. But, it doesn’t change the fact that the stakes will be higher than ever, and our conference hasn’t gotten any easier. Hell, Kansas is going to get Les Miles! He won a National Championship! Now he’s at freaking KANSAS! So, I hope we manage to pull this off and I have all the faith in the world in our Athletic Director. But, just like the many many Red Raider games I’ve watched - I’ll have white knuckles, sweaty palms, and pangs of anxiety that consume me the entire time. So, finally, after all that, let’s dive into “highlights”:

Jett Duffey - Man, you just didn’t have it today and managed to get progressively worse as the game progressed. So much so that McLane Carter replaced you. Speaking of Carter by the way, what in the world were you thinking that final drive? Seriously, how do you almost throw two interceptions to go along with that fumble - yikes. I’d speculate if Alan Bowman has any semblance of health for Baylor he’ll play. One final thought on Duffey though, I have to wonder how this game finishes if he’d have hit Antoine Wesley for that deep pass to start the 3rd quarter.

Offensive Line - Obviously, this was a depleted group entering the game but they managed to get worse and worse as the game wore on. What happened to that physical group that dominated a solid Oklahoma State offensive line?

Kolin Hill - Great game for Hill, and he’s had a more than solid senior season. He’s been good player for Red Raider fans, and I’m grateful that he made some plays today.

Clayton Hadfield - Did you job today and kept us in it for the first half.

Broderick Washington - I liked how physical he was today, and he definitely set the tone against the K-State offensive line.

Adrian Frye - He had a great interception that was negated by our atrocious offense, but he also gave up a brutal 3rd down reception. I say that, but Frye had fantastic coverage on the play. For the most part, he played well all game.

I could likely highlight a few other guys, but at the end of the day we were out-coached. So, it’s hard to highlight any one else. I’ll certainly be tuned in for our game against Baylor and I’d NEVER root against the Red Raiders. So, for any of you fans who want us to lose against the Bear to lock in Kingsbury’s fate - I hear Tom Herman is taking on bandwagon fans in Austin.

Until next week, Wreck ‘Em.