For the first time in what seems like a month we can finally say some positive things about the Texas Tech offense! Many fans were doubting this offense after putting up only 14 against a poor Arizona defense and only 16 against Oklahoma, however after a couple slow drives to they were able to put together what was easily the most impressive showing of their season so far.
Tech amassed 586 total yards of offense and almost 7.9 yards per play. The second stat was by far their highest output of the year to this point, while the first is the most yardage Tech has amassed since the Texas game last year. The also marked the first time since the OU game last season where the Red Raiders hit 45 points against a FBS opponent. There were clearly a lot of positives to take away from this week, and these grades will reflect that:
There’s not many quarterbacks in the country that have the kind of polarizing hot takes regarding their play that Jett Duffey gets on a regular basis. Some Red Raider fans think Duffey is an error prone decision maker that puts in very little effort and lacks discipline, while others think the Jett is a Patrick Mahomes level playmaker. While the truth is probably somewhere between those two assessments, there is no denying that Duffey was sensational this past Saturday. He mostly replicated his 500 yard Texas performance from last year (with slightly less yardage and one more touchdown), however this year he did not turn the ball over. The only slight negative I have is the overthrows he endured at times, however Duffey put together a performance that we haven’t seen in the last year.
Duffey will need to continue to protect the ball and find receivers in stride, but if he continues to play this well in the coming weeks there’s no reason why Tech can’t be at least a seven team.
Running backs: A-
The box score won’t do enough justice for the running backs in this game. While they only ran for 144 yards as a unit, they did so on almost 5.8 yards per carry. All three backs showed versatility in where they ran, and both Sarodorick Thompson and Ta’Zhawn Henry were crucial in providing great clock controlling runs in the second half. None of the backs were used quite as much in the passing game this week, which was honestly a welcome sight after the disaster caused by David Yost’s swing pass craze over the last two weeks.
One concern for the backs is their status . Currently the only running back fully is Sarodorick Thompson. Armand Shyne and Ta’Zhawn Henry have both dealt with ankle injuries in recent weeks, and those injuries have forced Thompson into a lead-back role. Thompson has done well so far, but as the year goes on it will be very important to keep all three backs well.
Receivers: A- ( Includes Tight Ends)
The receivers did a much better of creating space against press coverage this week. Some of that is due to David Yost scheming more routes towards the middle of the field, however the receivers also seemed much more crisp on their routes than last week. T.J. Vasher continues to be a superstar esque talent despite a lack of numbers, and both KeSean Carter and Erik Ezukanma had their best games of the year on the outside. Yost was clearly more diverse in the intermediate plays he called, but all three of the aforementioned players had much better games than against Oklahoma.
On the flip side, the inside receivers really struggled. McLane Mannix had two drops, while Dalton Rigdon was the one receiver that struggled a little against Oklahoma State’s aggressive slot defense. Thankfully the tight ends had their best game of the year, with Donta Thompson having five catches for 46 yards. The receivers had their best showing of the year, and hopefully that performance will carry over to next week.
Offensive line: B+
The offensive line played well without Jack Anderson, who will unfortunately be out the rest of the season. They had great run blocking, allowing five yards per carry to be picked up, and they gave Jett Duffey time to throw. The line still needed some work in pass , however they have clearly improved on some poor games to the year. Travis Bruffy had one of the few blemishes on the day with a missed block on a fake field goal, however the game was still a positive sign for future success considering what the beginning of the year looked like.
Player of the week: Jett Duffey
There were a lot of great choices for offensive player of the week this time around, however somehow this was the easiest player of the week decision I’ve made all year. Jett Duffey played the game of his life, accumulating 440 yards of offense, five touchdowns, and best of all no turnovers. Duffey made multiple great throws into coverage and also displayed tremendous poise when finding open receivers when his initial read broke down. Jett looked like a completely different player from last year, and for his efforts received the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week to go along with the prestigious Viva The Matadors POTW .