Man, oh, man was that heartbreaking. Texas Tech took the now no. 9 Longhorns to overtime after leading by 15 points with three minutes to go in regulation and we can’t help but ask ourselves, “what could this team have done more? executed one more stop? get one more first down?” Well, the answers we’ll never know for sure, but I’d say this offense was infinitely better on Saturday than it was during that debacle against Houston Baptist in week one.
Offensive Line: B+
The offensive line for Tech was great against an otherwise stout Longhorn front seven, Alan Bowman had time to survey the defense and make a safe throw. The offensive line was also much better this time out in the run game allowing the backs to average 4.6 yards per carry and they didn’t allow a single sack.
Running Backs: A
The running backs for the Red Raiders also had another great outing as the bunch accounted for a total of 139 rushing yards on 24 attempts with two touchdowns. To no surprise, sophomore SaRodorick Thompson took the bulk of the touches and didn’t disappoint. Breaking big gain after big gain, tiring out the defense and opening up the pass game more. We also saw Alabama transfer Chadarius Townsend go for only three carries for five yards but I’m sure we can expect to see him more this weekend at Kansas State.
If this past weekend proved anything at all about this offense is that the run game will be bruising and we’ve got the talent to pound the ball and make the defense sweat.
I’d like to make the argument that the receivers overall played better in this game. They were making blocks to allow the running backs to break for big gains, the chemistry with Alan Bowman is improving and we saw the talent that each receiver brings to the group. The firm of Ezukanma, Carter and Vasher were the top targets and it seems like a true deep threat is emerging in the form of sophomore Erik Ezukanma who had seven catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.
To me, this receiving corps will be deadly towards the middle of the season.
In his first ever career start against the Longhorns, junior Alan Bowman fared quite well against an otherwise strong and fast Texas secondary. Bowman completed 59.6 % of his passes for 331 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. Two of those three interceptions were just miscommunication between him and his receivers. The third one was just trying to force something into coverage and it backfired- badly.
Aside from that third interception, the decision making was a lot better and Bowman’s incompletions were smart and safe. Allowing Bowman to do his thing in the pocket will open up this offense to more success and as the season progresses and the chemistry with his receivers improves, I think we could be looking at an explosive passing attack.
Yost’s play calling was a lot better than in week one. We saw Yost finally trust his quarterback to take shots downfield and was more aggressive in passing the ball. The run game was a whole hell of a lot more smooth and quite frankly, I’m a big fan of the ground and pound that Yost is trying to compliment the passing attack to make for a complete and balanced offense that the Big 12 doesn’t really see anymore.
This was a lot better in terms of play calling and we could see this offense finally finding its identity in year two with this coaching staff.