Another Sunday morning and another victory for the Red Raiders! This one came at the expense of UTEP, and it appeared as both sides of the ball dominated throughout based on the box score. But I wanted to be double sure that this team is headed in the correct direction and that this team no longer has any residual effects from the Kingsbury tenure. So with that being said, here are some things I noticed from the win over UTEP.
Texas Tech run defense is stout
If anyone tells you different, ignore them or slap them in the face. They held a team that can only run the ball to under 100 yards of rushing this week. Don’t get me wrong, UTEP is really, really bad and I think they already won all the games they are going to this season. What makes me smile when I re-watch this game is the fact that Coach Patterson can only send 4 guys to the backfield and everyone swarms quickly once they realize that it’s a run play.
That was something that had been missing for the most part in the Kingsbury era. Something that I noticed is that even against our worst competition in most of the years under Kingsbury this defense still allowed a ton of rushing yards. It really appears that Coach Wells has the right guys in place to have some success stopping the rush this season.
The offensive line missed Jack Anderson and Terence Steele
You pretty much saw it from the second possession of the game. Weston Wright and Casey Verlhurst missed the safety on a screen play that would have gone for some good yards if one of those guys even change the trajectory of that safety. Instead, Armaund Shyne got tattooed and it resulted in a 3 and out.
Jack Anderson joins Terence Steele as a starting offensive lineman in street clothes tonight. pic.twitter.com/BHQ5E72K2q— Eric Kelly (@EricKellyTV) September 7, 2019
The good news here is that when Big 12 play and even as soon as next week, I foresee both Steele and Anderson suiting up. This will sure up the right side of the offensive line, making it as formidable as it was last season.
No one was as disciplined as last week
I saw it on both sides of the ball and we got away with it because of who we were playing. This one would have really concerned me last season, but I trust this new coaching staff to turn this program around in that way. There were not a ton of major penalties on the defensive side of the ball, but there were some missed assignments by the safeties that although didn’t come to fruition for UTEP because of their Quarterback play, would have definitely hurt against an actual football team.
The offense also suffered from not doing the little things right. Erik Ezukama did not have a good game. He dropped a couple of passes and didn’t do an amazing job blocking either. I think Easy-E has huge potential, but needs to do the little things correctly in order to have great success here. Even Alan Bowman was undisciplined at times, throwing off his back foot when he didn’t need to and missing a wide open Dalton Rigdon for what would have beem his second touchdown of the day.
Our special teams is more solid overall than most thought
After some headache from a ton of fans for some reason, we finally have a good idea of who will be sent out for our special teams. Trey Wolfe had his first real test with a 45 yard field goal and he put it right down the middle. He looked really good on both kickoffs and that field goal. I think Wolfe has solidified the kicker position for the time being.
We also found a punter in true freshman Austin McNamara. He averaged 47 yards per punt last night and also had a 57 yard bomb. I am so excited to have a great young punter on this team that will be booting the ball for the next 4 seasons.