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Bye week preview: what do we do now?

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Although Bye week presents plenty of challenges, Texas Tech should win.

Texas Tech v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“If you wake up and don’t want to smile,

If it takes just a little while.

Open your eyes and look at the day,

You’ll see things in a different way.

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow,

Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here.

It’ll be here, better than before,

Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.”

When I looked for a song to start this piece, Fleetwood Mac’s massively underrated 1976 hit “Don’t Stop” was the first to immediately jump into my head. It is one of those songs that can instantly turn your day around, no matter the situation you’re facing. The British-American rock band had a knack for making catchy tunes, and I think their album Rumours is one of the best of all time. As an admitted eternal optimist, this song resonates with me and how I feel about this football team.

Seriously, watch this video and be prepared to be in a better mood.

Saturday wasn’t any fun. Not only did Texas Tech get beat by a pretty bad Arizona team for their first loss of the season, they also lost their starting quarterback to an unspecified shoulder injury that’s going to sideline him for several weeks.

Losing Alan Bowman to any injury sucks, there’s no other way to put it. In the preseason, no scenario where Texas Tech football achieved success in 2019 had Alan Bowman missing any significant amount of time. It also sucks because the kid has played his heart out for this university and it’s just another brutal blow to one of the good guys.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

If there is a bright side to this situation, it’s that we have been presented a really great test to see how good Matt Wells and his staff can be with the situation they’ve been handed. I will certainly be tuning in every Saturday to see how Matt Wells and David Yost scheme and develop game plans for two quarterbacks with two completely different skill sets in Jackson Tyner and Jett Duffey.

While Tyner is an unknown grad transfer from a very bad Rice program, who completed less than 50% of his passes in his limited time against bad competition. Tyner reminds me a lot of Taylor Potts, but without any of the production and less arm ability. He’s definitely more of a pure pocket passer who will play conservatively and may be able to dink and dunk down the field.

Jett Duffey is more of the known commodity with Big 12 experience, but that also comes with the roller coaster ride that is the “Jett Duffey Experience”. Sure, he made some mistakes in some crucial moments last year when he was thrown into the starting role under the same circumstance, but his flaws are being highlighted, and his good spots (bringing you back against WVU, UT and outright winning against a good TCU defense in Fort Worth) are being tossed aside because he doesn’t exactly practice very well.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Texas Christian Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jett also brings in the added element of being a run threat. If you need a real world example of how this can win games, Kansas just went and beat a decent BC team running RPOs up and down the field. You can do a lot worse than Jett Duffey at quarterback, and you canwin ball games with Jett Duffey at quarterback.

As far as the defense goes, they deserve nothing but applause for Saturday night. Sure, they got gassed in the 4thquarter, but they also held a really good Arizona offense with Khalil Tate in check the entire first half. Getting gassed in the 4thquarter wouldn’t have been an issue if the offense was up 21-7 at half, like it should have been. Yes, they gave up 314 yards rushing, but they were able to produce 3 turnovers that the offense should have been turned into points. The defense wasn’t the issue Saturday night, and I think they’ve given you enough to suggest they could help you win some ball games this year.

I’m not here to suggest you need to make reservations for the Sugar Bowl this year, and honestly if that was your expectation in the first year under Matt Wells, that’s a you problem. I don’t know if either Jett Duffey or Jackson Tyner are going to end up doing much of anything in terms of helping you win games, but I think they deserve the chance to prove if they can.

I am here to say that, we only get 12 game days a year. We only get 4 more chances to see our Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium. Any given Saturday something unpredictable happens (again, see the Kansas game), and I just don’t think you should dismiss this team and this coaching staff with three-quarters of a season left to play.