We went to the the boys down in taco land to answer a few questions about Texas Tech football. Zach Mason from Viva The Matadors took the time out for us, so let’s get to it.
1) You played Texas down to the wire and some things didn’t go Texas Tech’s way against Kansas State. Now you sit at a crossroads coming to Ames at 1-2. What is the general vibe around this Red Raider team right now?
There’s a general feeling of chaos around the program right now. We almost lost to an FCS team and followed that with a near upset of Texas. Then the K-State game happened to add to the mounting frustration in fans, coaches and players alike. No one really knows what’s going on with Alan Bowman, is he actually the franchise quarterback when healthy or is he just an inconsistent, mediocre presence behind center? Are there better options behind him? I don’t believe even Tech coach Matt Wells knows the answer to these questions. We have tremendously talented playmakers at pretty much all of the skill positions, yet the offense feels like it hasn’t come close to playing up to its potential. Because of all of these issues combined with the rapidly spreading feeling that Wells isn’t the guy to change the trajectory of this program, the Tech fan base is in a state of despondence and skepticism, and a lot of us are just eyeballing the first day of basketball season.
2) Is the defense holding this team back right now? If so, why is that?
It feels weird to say, but the quarterback play has been holding the team back more than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we have the ‘85 Bears out there on defense, but Tech has shown some modicum of improvement on that side of the ball. Outside of the last few minutes of the Texas game, which was like the Hindenburg and Chernobyl combined, the defense has done enough to keep Tech in each of its first three ball games. Still plenty of room for improvement, but the inconsistency from the quarterbacks has made the defense’s job that much harder in an already immensely difficult league.
3) If Iowa State is going to slow down the Texas Tech offense, who needs to be held in check first and foremost?
It’s hard to name just one guy because there are so many weapons on this offense, but right now I’d say the most dangerous is probably Erik Ezukanma. He’s been as consistent as anyone through the first three games of the season and when Tech needs a big play, Ezukanma seems to be the guy to make it happen.
4) Give us a player Iowa State fans may not know now but will know once the game is over on Saturday.
Xavier White might be someone to keep an eye on. After registering just three carries for six yards in the Texas loss, White rushed 12 times for 113 yards and a touchdown against Kansas State while starting running back SaRodorick Thompson mustered just 3.4 yards per carry in the loss. It’s not likely either halfback will replicate those performances Saturday, but White remains a guy to monitor as another potential home-run threat.
5) If Texas Tech is going to win on Saturday, what is the biggest thing they need to do?
Limiting the number of big plays allowed. Iowa State has six players who have registered at least one run or catch of 40 yards or more through the first three games of the season. If Tech can prevent Cyclone quarterback Brock Purdy from connecting on too many of those kinds of plays, the Red Raiders should manage to pull out a W.
6) What is your prediction?
Of all the fan bases in the Big 12, I think Iowa State’s is by far the nicest so it doesn’t hurt as much as it normally does to predict a Texas Tech loss here. I think confidence is sky high in Ames right now after wins against two of the stronger teams in the conference and there’s no reason the Cyclones should slow down against a reeling Red Raider team. Tech has a habit of making games closer than they should, which is why I have been calling it Moral Victory U for several years now. Iowa State 31, Texas Tech 30.