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Matador Mailbag: Another Ranked Opponent on the Horizon

After a tough loss to Kansas State, the Red Raiders will look to bounce back against another ranked opponent in Oklahoma State

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Tough start to the two-game road stretch against ranked opponents as Texas Tech fell short against Kansas State 37-28. Their next opponent? #7 Oklahoma State. Let’s see what you had to say heading into another tough matchup.

How do you explain the scores on opening drives?

I see it as a non-issue right now. We’ve allowed them the past two games but in our first two we held strong, so it’s not a season-long worry. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to try and make an early stand on defense and set the offense up for a chance to get the lead or maintain one.

Against Oklahoma State it would mean a lot if we could go into that environment and stop them early and often. Our defense is capable of holding teams to less than what they’re used to getting, but last week was not a good example of that. I’m hoping to see a strong bounce-back performance.

What can be done about the QB situation? Should a change get made? If not, how can Smith prove he’s the guy?

Right now the best bet is to see who the coaches put out there on Saturday. They see the two healthy guys more than any of us and I trust them to make the right decision is Morton isn’t healthy at the moment.

That being said, there’s no need to worry about whether or not Smith is the “guy” because he isn’t for this team. Shough is the unquestioned starter when he’s healthy and there’s no debate that I’ll hear about in regards to that. I want to see Smith improve more than anyone, but he hasn’t done enough to hold off Shough when he returns.

Should McGuire change his fourth down go/no go approach when within Tech territory?

I will default to coach on these calls. I think that football as a whole is becoming more analytics based, therefore I would like to see this team stay aggressive. The narrative around this would be much different if they converted more often, and if they have been practicing these situations often then I would assume that they are going to stay aggressive.

When you’re playing against teams that you know have explosive offenses or are in a situation where you can’t seem to get them off the field, going for it in these situations regardless of field position is a good way to keep your defense off of the field. Sure, there may be sometimes where you can say that it might be a little too aggressive, but it’s better than seeing your punter on the field in a fourth and short situation when you have all the momentum.