Texas Tech had a lot of questions coming into this game against FIU. They tried to answer quite a few of them this week after a 54-21 victory.
In my preview, I referenced 3 different areas to watch for. My three questions were:
Can Tech have long sustained drives?
The answer to this was yes. Tech held the ball for 32 minutes and 26 seconds, also gaining 31 first downs in the process. On the Hub City Homers pod this week, we discussed that Tech needed those 7+ play drives and boy did they deliver. 5 drives of 7 or more plays, all of them ending in points. The Red Raiders were able to keep the offense on the field much better than they did the first 2 weeks.
Who will step up besides Erik Ezukanma?
Tech really needed someone else to step up in the receiving game. While having Ezukanma getting close to 200 yards a game would be awesome, in the Big 12 you need multiple weapons in the passing game that can get you points. Tech had multiple guys step up this week, with Ezukanma actually taking a back seat. Kaylon Geiger finished with 6 catches for 121 yards, while Travis Koontz hauled in 2 touchdowns along with 53 yards on 6 catches.
It was also very helpful to have Sarodorick Thompson back in a limited capacity, and really see the full running back committee that Tech will be working with.
Tyler Shough was on point all night, and his receivers were giving him much more help than the first 2 weeks. The offense definitely took a step in the right direction this week and will look to build even more off that performance.
How does the team respond after last week?
At first it didn’t look great, but then both sides of the ball completely flipped a switch. Slow starts are not ideal, but when you finish it off the way this team has in weeks 1 and 3, you don’t complain.
Week 2 is gone. Done with. Flush it. That SFA game was just bad all around, but the way the team came out and responded against FIU was what I needed to see. Now Tech goes into conference play with confidence and an offense that looks completely revamped.
Tech now goes on to Austin to face Texas in the Big 12 opener. Texas has looked really inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball and their game against Arkansas showed a lot of flaws. If Tech can come out and attack their weaknesses, they have a really good fighting chance.
Tyler Shough was absolutely phenomenal this week and needs to continue this play if Tech has bowl game aspirations. Shough gave us possibly the best game offensively under Matt Wells and he lived up to his hype. 399 yards, 4 Touchdowns on excellent efficiency, this was a huge step forward for the Tech offense.
If the run game stays consistent and Shough is gonna play like this, look out Big 12.