Every week, I take to the internet to choose a performance to rave about and award our “offensive player of the week” to a player of choice.
I’m going to be blunt: this week there was not one.
Instead, I have decided to discuss what Texas Tech needs to do on offense to beat the Longhorns in Lubbock this weekend.
Run the Ball
Yes, I know this is an air raid offense and we throw more than run. However, I think this season, Tech has been at their best when they can get a decent dose of run mixed in with the pass. On the drive before halftime in Raleigh, Tech moved the ball very well on the ground to start the drive with SaRodorick Thompson, which opened up the passing game to Myles Price. The Red Raiders were helped tremendously on that drive by a defensive pass interference, but nevertheless, kept it to two scores going into half.
In the Houston game Tahj Brooks ran the ball 17 times, SaRodorick ran it 5 times. Obviously you choose to go with the hot hand, but to only get Brooks 4 carries and Thompson 9 in the NC State game was a travesty. You absolutely have to get two all-conference caliber guys more touches out of the backfield. I know Brooks had 5 receptions out of the backfield, but some more organic runs can’t hurt, plus it helps the defense stay honest.
Catch the Ball
The NC State game offered a lot of broken offensive plays, most of the time Donovan Smith only had a couple of seconds to throw. That makes this all the more imperative that if you do get your hands on the ball as a receiver, tight end, or running back, you have to come up with those balls. We have seen some uncharacteristic drops so far and those will get cleaned up.
Clean up Mistakes
This is a pretty obvious one, but there were quite a few times where Tech shot themselves in the foot, whether it be a drop, missed block, penalty, or turnover that put the game out of reach for the Red Raiders. I thought this one on the road was a winnable game for Tech if they played a clean mistake free game. Let’s not forget if we take away a special teams fumble and a terrible pick-six, this is a three point game.
With all of that being said, the offense has a tall task coming up against Texas, a team Tech has had trouble with at home over the last decade.
The Red Raiders have the tools to beat Texas at home this year, and if the execution on offense sharpens back up, it could be a very long day for the Longhorns in what could be their last trip to Lubbock as a member of the Big 12.