Bowl eligibility has been elusive in Lubbock for quite a few years, but that is changing as Texas Tech gets to six wins for back-to-back years.
First Down: RUN. THE. BALL
I thought after last week we would see the lightbulb turn on for Coach Kittley. It sadly did not. Your best drives on the night featured a nice balance of run and pass, with the TEs getting touches.
Unfortunately, you tried that twice. Look, Iowa State is a fantastic defensive unit this was always going to be an uphill battle. But you have two All Big 12 caliber backs, they are averaging 5 yards a carry, and your quarterback is rushing more often than them.
Winning makes everyone happy, but it does not excuse bad playcalling. Kittley has got to figure this out. If Shough is changing the play based on keys, and then the passing game is as stagnant as it has been take the audibles away or change the keys.
Make this offense is easy. It will open up everything you want to do. Feed Thompson and Brooks.
Second Down: The defensive line steps up
When you lose a player like Tyree Wilson, one guy is not enough to cover for his loss. The entire unit has to play 25% better at the minimum, including reserve players. I thought this unit as a whole pulled it off.
I also want to shoutout the linebacker group, they were phenomenal in run support as well. Overall, the front seven took care of business in a huge way, and it started with the DL deciding losing their captain would not break them.
Third Down: Big plays continue to be a problem
I have talked about this at length, the lack of cohesiveness in the secondary is leading to a lot of big chunk plays with wide open receivers. In individual coverage situations, man or when someone is covering their zone, the DBs have been great in coverage.
But too often the safeties are leaving men wide open, or someone is sneaking behind the linebackers and getting free for big gains.
OU is a big play offense; they live and die by it. Tech has a week to shore this aspect of the unit up, because otherwise the defense was outstanding in the cold.
Fourth Down: McGuire outcoached Campbell
Matt Campbell coached a really poor game, while Coach McGuire was all over his business. A huge part of why Iowa State rattled off so many wins under Campbell over Tech was because the Red Raiders were at a coaching disadvantage. The head man was just not good enough to lead his team to victory.
That scenario has flipped, the Red Raiders have a competent head coach who can learn and grow into something even better. I thought all night you looked tougher, more disciplined, and like you believed more than Iowa State. That was the difference in the game. The culture McGuire has brough in is truly different.