football

Iowa State Post-Mortem

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ThescorewasrightaroundwhereIguessed,butthegamewasnotnearasclose
asIthoughtitwouldbe.Thiswasamustwingameforbowlimplicationsand
TexasTechflatouttookcareofbusiness.Personally,Ienjoyfollowinga
leaguewhereanywinisabigwin,especiallyontheroad.Thiswashugewin
overagoodfootballteam,andforthemostpart,theRedRaidersdominated
trenchplayonbothsidesoftheball.
WhileTechdidn'tjustpusharoundIowaStateperseonoffense,theRed
Raiders'offensivelineseverelyoutplayedtheCyclones'offensiveline.You're
notgoingtolosemanyballgamesthatwayregardlessofhowyourquarterbackis
playing.Inotherwords,
TommyTubervillemayhavequarterback-proofed
thisteamandwillbemuchtoughertobeatbecauseofit.
Therearealotofteamsintheconferencethisyearthatcan'taffordany
hiccupsatquarterback.Itwasrefreshingthatoneofthemwasnotwearingred
andblackonSaturday.HugewinandTechout-physicaledaphysicalfootball
team.Ifanything,thisgameprovedtomethattheRedRaidersarealotbetter
teamthanIthoughttheywere.I'mnotsurehowmuchbetteryet,butthiswasa
muchmoreimpressiveperformancethangoingontheroadandstrugglingwithsay
aKansasorSMU.
It'sgoodtoknowearlyintheseasonthatTechhastheunderratedtraitof
composure.Theyfoldedlikeacheaptentthelasttwoyearswhensomethingbad
happenedagainstPaulRhoadsrightoutofthegate.Majorpropstothe
coachesandplayersonthisteamallthewayacrosstheboard.They'vegotsome
stones.
OFFENSE
WithSethDoegeandtheoffensivelinestrugglingearly,
NealBrownkeptpluggingawayanddialedupthecriticalcallswhentheteam
neededthemthemost.TheRedRaiders'runninggamewasmuchmoreeffectivethan
whatthestatsheetindicated.AfterwatchingtheotherBig12teams,thiswas
arguablythetoughestdefenseremainingonTech'sschedule.JakeKnott
andA.J.Kleinaremorethanjustgoodplayers.Theyaregreatplayers,
whowillcontinuetoplayonSundays.Theywillbeatsometeamsbythemselves
thisseason.
Quarterback
EricWardand
KennyWilliamsplayedgreatgames,sothiswill
seemalittleoddtomost.I'mgoingwithDoegeasmyoffensiveMVPdespitehis
poorstartandmodeststatline.TheDoegeoflastyearmighthavecrumpled
underthepressure.Thedefensehadhisbackand,afteradisastrousquarterand
ahalf,DoegebouncedbacktoleadTechtopointsonfouroftheteam'sfinal
fivepossessions(sansamissedfieldgoal).Goodquarterbackshavebaddays,
butthereallygoodonesmakeplayswhenitcounts.Youcertainlycan'tfault
himforthat.BothdefenseswereplayingwellandtheRedRaiderswonbecause
theirquarterbackansweredthecallandIowaState'scavedunderthepressure.
RunningBack
SometimesKennilacWilliamsleavesmescratchingmyheadwonderingwhatTech's
offensewoulddohandinghimtheball25or30timesagamewithOmarOntiveros
leadblockingandthrowingplay-actionoverthetoptoJavonBell.I
knowitwoulddrillBaylor.IwassomewhatshockedthatISUoutgainedtheRed
Raidersonthegroundbecauseitdidn'tfeelthatway.Williamsisthetypeof
backwhosedividendsincreasewiththenumberofcarriesandwillsooneror
laterbreakabigone.Techactuallymaywanttoslowsomegamesdownthisyear
andpossesstheball,andit'snicetoknowyou'vegotatackle-breakinghomerun
threattoshouldertheload,ifneedbe.He'sgoingtohouseacouplefrom
60-plusoutthisseason.MaybeseveralagainsttheTexasdefense.
WideReceiver
Wardplayedagreatgamebut,outsideofhisgamesealingtouchdowncatch,all
ofhiseffortwasfornaught.Somethingbadseemedtohappenonallthedrives
wherehemadebigplaysandresultedinnopoints.I'mnotknockinghiseffort,
IjustfounditoddwhenIre-checkedtheplay-by-playsummary.He'sasreliable
ofachainmoverasthereisintheleague.Nothingbutgoodthingshappened
whenBell,JakeemGrantor
JaceAmarotouchedtheball.The
RedRaidershavealotofdifferentwaystoputtheballintheendzonewhen
youthrowDarrinMooreandBradleyMarquezintothemix.
OffensiveLine
ItwasreallyuglyearlyasTechstruggledadjustingtotheincreasedspeedof
conferencecompetition.Theysettleddownandoftenlookedbetterrunblocking
thanpassblocking.I'mhavingtowritethiswithouttheoptionofre-watching
thegame,soI'matabitofahandicap.However,Irecall
Le'RavenClarkbustingaprotectionearly,buthe'sphysicallygoingtobefinein
thisleagueandhasproventobeadevastatingrunblockerattimes.
TerryMcDanielstruggledattimesontheedgewiththesmaller,fasterCyclone
ends.LaAdrianWaddleseemedtotakesomeplaysoff;Idon'tremember
DevericGallingtonor
AlfredoMoralesdoinganythingbad.I
maychangemyopiniononthissubjectaftertheBig12NoHuddlereplay.
DEFENSE
TheRedRaiderswereoneflukethird-downscramblefrompitchingashutouton
theroad.ArtKaufman'sunitwasphenomenalinallphases,playersand
coaches.WeclearlyknowwhatTech'spersonnelcanandcan'tdo,whilebeing
spotonwithplaycalling.
DefensiveLine
I'vestartedspreadingthewordintheblogosphereworldabouttheplayof
KerryHyder.Atthispoint,I'veseenalltheotherBig12teamsin
actionandHyderisplayingbetterthananydefensivetackleintheleagueright
now.I'llgosofarastosay,athiscurrentlevel,heisgiving
ArthurBrownarunforhismoneyfordefensiveMVPandcertainlyearnedthathonor
inthisgame.I'mnotevensuredominantdoesjusticeindescribinghis
performanceagainstISU.Gobackandwatchthesecondsack.Itwasn'tyour
typicalbustedassignmentbyanoffensivelinemanorshoot-a-gapsack.Hyder
straightuptruckedaBig12guardandIhaven'tseenamoreimpressiveplay
fromanydefensivetackleinthecountrythisyear.What'snextonthemenufor
Hyder?AragtagOklahomalinethatstruggledblockingUTEPandRoad
LandryJones.TheRedRaiderswillsystematicallydestroyeverypassingteamin
thisleagueifHydercontinuestoapplytremendousinsidepressure.
Therewasn'tanyguythatdidn'tplaylightsoutonTech'sdefensivelineand
majorpropstoFredTateandRobertPrunty.Thiswasamessage
gamebytheRedRaiders'defensivefront.Oneplaceyoudon'twanttobeagainst
TexasTechisinthirdandlongHyder,LeonMackey,
DartwanBushand
PeteRobertsononthefield.I'mlookingatyouWest
VirginiaandBaylor.Techfinallyfacedateamwillingtothrowtheballand
learnedthattheycanactuallyrushthepassernowthattheycangettoobvious
passingdowns.JacksonRichardsandDelvonSimmonsweresolid
againsttherun.I'veseencomplaintsuptothispointaboutlackofturnovers,
butIwasn'tconcerned.Whenyouplayaswellasthisgroupisturnoverscomein
bunches.
Linebackers
WillSmithplayedhisbestgametodateandeliminatedanythreatof
SteeleJantzhurtingtheRedRaiderswithhislegs.TerranceBullitt
andZachWinbushhadacoupleofbigplays.IguessIwasjustas
impressedwiththeircoverageasIdon'trecallthemallowingancompletions
thatreallyhurt.
Secondary
It'sbeenalongtimesinceI'vebeenasfiredupaboutaplaybytheRed
Raiders'defenseasIwasonthe
D.J.Johnsonhitand
CorneliusDouglasinterception.Thosearethekindofclutchplaysthatgood
secondariesmaketosealagame.
SteeleJantzwasspokenofasa
strengthenteringthegame.Forcing10of20attemptsfor73yardswiththree
picksandonetouchdownmeansyouaregettingoffthefieldandcoveringpeople.
Idon'tevenrecognize
CodyDavisanymoreandImeanthatinthe
sincerestformofflattery.Idon'trememberISUeventhrowingat
EugeneNeboh.
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