5 Things Texas Tech Must Do to Beat Iowa State
The Texas Tech Red Raiders have way more on the line than they thought would this week in Ames, Iowa. I've said for seven straight weeks now that Texas Tech was in a must-win situation. The wins have stood for different things, but the last few weeks the wins have only meant one thing: Bowl game eligibility.
I'm going to say it again, and it's more true now than ever. If Texas Tech wants to be in a bowl game, they have to win this week.
Good news for Texas Tech the game is against 2-8 Iowa State. Bad news for Tech is that the game's in Ames, Iowa.
The Cyclones have beaten Texas Tech three times. Once in Lubbock against Tommy Tubberville and twice in Ames. The first time was in 2002 against a quarterback named Kliff Kingsbury. The last time that Texas Tech played in Ames it was a 34 to 31 victory. It was the first road start for some freshman named Patrick Mahomes.
If Texas Tech is going to win the game this season in Iowa, these 5 things must happen.
The forecast for Saturday doesn’t look promising, with temperatures in the low 40s and winds gusting up to 30 mph.
The wind shouldn't be a problem. 30 mph is a breeze in Lubbock, but the low 40s hasn't been sniffed in Lubbock this year.
The Red Raiders have enjoyed incredible weather this fall and will have a new experience on Saturday.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders have lost five games this season by 35 points. That's a possession per loss.
If they had finished stronger against Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State, their season would look completely different. The fact of the matter is that this is something that Kingsbury and company have been struggling with since day one.
At some point it will click. A game where the Red Raiders get an early lead, then just put their foot on the throat of the opponent and sail gleefully to victory.
This match up begs for a beat down, but there won't be a beat down if Texas Tech can't finish strong.
Texas Tech has excelled at limiting penalties this season. Well, excelled might be a strong word for a team ranked 7th in penalty yards per game, but after being ranked 9th and 10th in Kingsbury's first three years, progress is good.
The reason these penalties haven't translated into a stronger record is because the team is still turning over the ball more than they force turnovers. The margin is -5 in the turnover department, which is worse than last season. Regression is not good.
To win this game convincingly, there needs to be a high level of cleanliness.
You know what they say about cleanliness.
Just once I want to see Texas Tech assert themselves on an opponent. No matter what the defense brings, Kliff Kingsbury just says try and stop us and does what ever the hell he wants to and is successful.
Too many times you see the opposite and here, "we took what the defense gave us."
When the offense does lay the wood, like against Arizona State and Oklahoma, the defense is trying not to make the opposing defense feel bad by giving up even more!
It would be nice for the defense to dictate the pace of play and style of game that the Red Raiders are going to be in.
This brings me to my final point.
It seems like even within certain games when the offense does well, the defense shuts down. When the defense stands tall? The offense struggles.
The offense was on fire the entire game against OU. The defense had its worst game.
The defense was great in the 3rd quarter against Kansas State, but the offense couldn't respond.
The defense forced five punts in the Texas game and received zero points from the offense on the ensuing possessions.
This team needs to be clicking on both sides of the ball to be effective.
Rick James said it best: