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Lessons to be learned from a wild night

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Texas Tech overcomes a slow start to put Houston away late.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was a wild ride. We will have true recap tomorrow for everyone to enjoy, but I compiled my notes from the press box to bring you all my impressions from the game.

Defensive notes:

  • Tech defensively came out in the wrong defense. There was too little pressure applied through the three-man fronts, and the defensive backs were giving up too much space on the edge. All of that allowed Houston to attack the edge, and gave Tune time to find his man.
  • Once Tech went to even fronts, and the pass rush started to wear out UH, the game changed. The more uncomfortable Tune became the worse he played.
  • The LB group is as good as advertised. Houston could not run up the middle for basically the entire night. Schooler and Jeffers both made big plays but Merriweather flew to the ball as well.
  • Coverage is still a concern, but some of that looked like chemistry more than lack of ability. They were just a bit out of sorts at times. Talent is there, and those guys can fly up to stop the run.
  • Patterson’s adjustments are a huge positive for his tenure. His gameplan didn’t work, so he changed it and the guys executed.
  • ZERO SECOND HALF POINTS!!!

Offensive Notes:

  • Tyler Shough finishes with 17-24, 231 yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD
  • Overall Shough looked the part. His only problem was a couple of times he waited too long to get the ball out of his hands. However, he also did not get a ton of help from his line.
  • The line was just bad last night. No way around that, at least on thier pass sets. Especially the RT, who Houston just ran by regularly. That has to get cleaned up, the group is the most veteran group on the team.
  • Xavier White did not look good at all last night, he was running right into Houston instead of finding the hole. His fumble problem also showed up again.
  • Tahj Brooks was the man last night. He is not the most electric back Tech has, but he finds his hole and hits it hard. He has enough speed to get separation and he doesn’t overthink it.
  • Ezukanma is an early favorite for best receiver in the nation. There is no DB who should feel good trying to take him one-on-one, and Houston’s undersized DBs put up no resistance.
  • Cumbie had a bad habit of trying to force the issues, getting away from Brooks too often.
  • Cumbie also called a pretty good game after halftime. He figured out what was working, used different formations to try and isolate the problem, and made adjustments to keep the offense moving. He needs to find a way to manufacture some more production from guys not named Ezukanma or Brooks, but it was a B grade worthy first game.

General impressions:

  • This was a game Matt Wells loses in the past. The team finally looks like they can handle some adversity. That is real growth, and bodes well for this season.
  • Penalties were down, still a few too many dumb ones especially from the line.
  • UH fans did not do their part to create an actual home environment. Announced attendance at 43K and I would guess Tech had between 10-15K. I know Houston to the Big 12 is basically a done deal, but this is the kind of stuff that makes me leery of it. They can’t get people to a primetime game in their city against one of the best teams they will face all season.
  • Other than the endzones being painted the same color, NRG was a fantastic venue. I was very glad to not have to roast at TDECU.
  • First snap being a screen pass still triggered me.