After a solid first half, the Red Raiders offense stalled yet again and allowed the Wildcats of Kansas State to come back and eventually win 25-24. This ultimately led to the firing of Matt Wells, which didn’t come as a surprise as it was inevitable after this disappointing performance.
Besides a few big plays, there was no part of this offense that stood out. The grades will reflect that unfortunately, as there’s really no positive to look at after the Head Coach gets fired
It’s unfortunately becoming clearer why Henry Colombi lost the starting job to Tyler Shough. He only threw for 148 yards and added an interception onto this ugly performance. It leaves you wondering if Wells would’ve been fired if Shough was healthy, but I guess we’ll never know.
Hopefully the play at this position improves, or Donovan Smith could be seeing more playing time which really wouldn’t be a bad thing at this point. If next week in Norman gets ugly fast, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sonny Cumbie pulls the trigger early and lets Smith try and get us back in it.
Running Backs: B-
Sarodorick Thompson had another solid stat line, with two touchdowns to go along with 47 yards on the ground as well as 21 yards on his lone reception. Tahj Brooks also added 33 yards of his own. Xavier White had a quiet day, which has become a common theme throughout a disappointing season for White.
This unit was solid throughout the day, but you would’ve liked to have seen more from them especially later in the game when they needed to convert on key downs. Going into these last four games, this position group is going to be key if the quarterbacks don’t play to the level that they need to in order for us to become bowl eligible.
Wide Receivers: B
In the passing game, Myles Price was the only player to have more than one reception as he finished with four for 64 yards. The running game is where this group had the biggest impact, as Erik Ezukanma had two rushes for 45 yards and a touchdown that was one of the more electric offensive plays for the Red Raiders this season. Kaylon Geiger added a 30-yard run as well.
Most of the receiving woes are due to the poor quarterback play, as it seems like the guys are getting open more times than they aren’t. If there is to be a quarterback change, then these guys would have to rally around Smith and hopefully be able to get some chemistry going until Shough returns.
Tight Ends: C
Another game with no impact from this position besides one catch for 48 yards by Travis Koontz. Besides Xavier White, these two tight ends for Texas Tech have been one of the bigger disappointments of the season.
The running game saw Travis Koontz grade out as Techs best run blocker with an 82.3 run blocking grade. Mason Tharp finished with a 66.6 grade, good enough to be third on the team. If the only place that these two athletic players will be having an impact on is the run game, then their talent is clearly going to waste.
Offensive Line: C
The pass blocking of this group was not bad at all. They gave Colombi plenty of time to throw and make solid decisions, it was just the rare occasion where he didn’t deliver. The majority of the line finished above a 73.0 pass blocking grade, which is a solid day at the office.
Run blocking is where this team struggled. While the production on the ground was solid, most of that was due to the players making plays on their own and not because of stellar blocking up front. If this team wants to become bowl-eligible, then they’re going to have to have a solid day overall up front and take advantage of some weak front sevens in the Big 12.
When coaches get fired, there’s no way that there could’ve been a solid day in either the coaching or gameplan department. After the first half, this offense didn’t score another point and was calling some silly plays that lead to three-and-outs.
The gameplan worked early on as they gashed the Wildcats up front with the running game, but they got away from it and tried to have Colombi be the hero when they had a solid lead and that backfired on them. Hopefully the staff and team as an overall can take this loss and learn from it.