After an electrifying performance on Saturday night, it’s only right that Erik Ezukanma is the offensive player of the week! Racking up 179 yards on 7 catches, EZ managed to singlehandedly dominate the Houston defensive backfield. The Cougars didn’t do much of anything to try and take him out of the game plan as they were constantly leaving guys in single coverage against him.
Most of his production came on three huge plays, with two of them being off of screens where he turned what should’ve been short gains into massive plays for Texas Tech. 75 of is 179 yards came after the catch, which is crazy given his size advantage that he already possesses.
We already knew that he was capable of going up and catching the ball over the defense and making big plays downfield, but the athleticism that he displayed on those screens shows the improvement that he has made over the offseason and should serve as warning to defensive backfields that have to try and stop him.
According to PFF, Ezukanma was the highest graded player on offense for the Red Raiders with an 84.5 overall grade including an 83.2 receiving grade that would’ve been much higher if he hadn’t been flipped upside down one yard short of the goal line. He had 80 yards off of routes that were 20+ yards downfield, and an insane 71 yards on plays where he caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage.
Without his big plays, there were a few drives that would’ve been in a much worse position that could’ve changed the tide of the game. Making sure that he establishes himself early in the season is key for this offense if they want to open up more opportunities for other guys to get favorable matchups.
A few guys that would be honorable mentions would be Tahj Brooks who had a monster game on the ground in relief of SaRodorick Thompson. Tyler Shough also had an efficient game at quarterback and never really put the ball in a bad position while also taking some nice chances that you want to see from an offense that has potential to be one of the more explosive offenses in the nation.