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Is Texas Tech better than last year’s 4-8 team?

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Digging into the stats to see if Matt Wells has shown improvement in his team this year over last year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 07 Texas Tech at TCU Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the season likely over and Texas Tech finishing with the same number of wins as it recorded last year, I thought it might be interesting to look at the statistics to see if Matt Wells has made improvements beyond the win-loss column.

This is a basic exercise with very generic statistics. Someone else can dive into the deeper sabremetrics. I’ll stick to the stats and see if Tech has actually progressed in year two of the Wells era.

Passing game

Alan Bowman and Henry Colombi have combined to complete 259-398 passes (65.1 percent) for 2,667 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Last year, Tech quarterbacks combined for 342-541 passes (64.4 percent) for 3,896 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In a shortened season, it’s expected to see a drop in passing yards, but a difference of 1,229 yards in just two games means Tech would have to throw for 615 yards per game in its final two contests to pass last year’s total.

The completion percentages are effectively a wash, but the turnovers are the ultimate catalyst here. This year’s touchdown-to-interception ratio is 1.67:1, substantially worse than last year’s 3:1 ratio.

VERDICT: WORSE

Running game

Last year’s Red Raiders rushed 404 times for 1,795 yards (4.4 YPC) and 20 touchdowns. The 2020 team racked up 337 carries for 1,628 yards (4.8 YPC) and 17 touchdowns. If Tech performed exactly at that rate in two additional games, it would add up to 1,954 yards and 21 touchdowns. Not a huge difference, but a decent improvement over last year.

VERDICT: BETTER

Defense

Last year’s squad allowed 30.33 points per game, 172.5 rushing yards per game and 307.8 passing yards per game, adding up to 480.3 yards per game.

This year, Tech surrendered 36.7 points per game, 186.4 rushing yards per game and 258.5 passing yards per game for a grand total of 429.5 yards per game. It’s an interesting comparison considering how much better we thought the defense would be and often appeared throughout the season. But, numbers never lie, so:

VERDICT: WORSE

Taking care of the football & generating turnovers

This one’s easy. Last year’s team turnover ratio was +4. This year’s is -9. Can’t get much worse than that.

VERDICT: WORSE


From a statistical standpoint, Tech has improved its running game and regressed in its passing game, defense and turnover ratio. The answer is surprisingly obvious - the Red Raiders are worse this year than they were a season ago.

What do you think? Do the stats tell the real story, or did Tech look better this year?

Poll

Did the team improve under Matt Wells in Year 2?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Yes
    (42 votes)
  • 85%
    No
    (253 votes)
295 votes total Vote Now