football

Kansas Post-Mortem

Let'stalkaboutthebigpicturefirst.ThisisthefourthKansasgameI'veseen
thisyear.Inthosegames,theyare0-4withthefollowinglosses:TCU20-6,OSU
20-14,UT21-17andTech41-34.Notbeingtheteamthatlosestothemis
somewhatofanaccomplishmentinitself.They'vebeencompetitive,they're
hungryandthey'replayingforpride.Plus,they'vegotsomegoodplayerson
bothsidesoftheballandthatmakesthemdangerous.I'lltakeanywinovera
loss.
ThiswasthelasthomegameforCodyDavis,D.J.Johnson,LaAdrianWaddle,Terry
McDaniel,DevericGallington,SethDoege,EricStephens,AlexTorres,Austin
Zouzalik,DarrinMoore,TysonWilliams,MarcusKennard,LeonMackey,Eugene
Neboh,HappinessOsunde,CorneliusDouglas(injured),ChrisYeakeyandAndrew
Bowman,socongratulationsgoouttothemforfinishingofftheircareerathome
withawin.
Forthoseguyswhogotherebackin2008and2009,theyarethefirstgraduating
classIhavecoveredfortheirentirecareers.Youcouldn'taskforabetter
groupofguysandrepresentativesofTexasTech.Aftergoing5-7,thiswasas
criticalaseasonasanyinthelast30years.Newcompetitionwasthreatening
theRedRaiders'turfanditwasimperativetheyputtogetherawinningseason.
Despitewhatanyofthemcan'tdo,theyhavedoneeverythingtheycouldwith
theirabilitytogettheteamto7-3andatop25ranking.Muchrespectoutto
thisgroupofseniorsandI'llthrowEricWard,KerryHyderandTerranceBullitt
inthatgroupsincetheygottoLubbockin2009.
Techhastwowinnablegamesremaininginwhichtheresultswilldetermineif
thisisaborderlinemagicalseasonbyRedRaiderstandards.Thatwillbea
substantialprogramturnaroundforagroupgenerallypickedtofinishninthin
theconferenceandoneofhistoricalproportionsforTech.Thereisstillvery
muchatstakeinthisseasonandopportunityawaits.Somewhere,Ihopetheycan
squeezeouttheirlastbitofadrenalinetogettwomorewins.Theycertainly
deserveit.Thankyou.
OFFENSE
Therearetwosidestothiscoin.Onthesidewithaunicornfartingarainbow
istheKansasdefensehasallowedanaverageof20pointspergameand400total
yardsagainstaCaseyPachall/WaymonJamesTCUoffense,thetoprankedoffense
intheconferenceduringamonsoonandaquarterbackwhohaslookedexceptional
facingeveryonebutthemandOklahoma.Puttingup27pointsand521yardsat
sevenyardsperplayinregulationwithlessthanidealpassingconditionswould
generallybetranslatedasapositivebyacasual,unbiasedfanfromtheSEC.
Thismighthavebeenthegametosettleforanotherfieldgoalintheredzone.
OnthesidewithBillSnyderwaterboardingakittenissloppydisciplineand
executionbythegrouppreviouslymentioned.Iwouldhavemuchratherthe
clockedexpiredwiththe45-20marginofvictoryitshouldhavebeen.Itendto
keepflippingittomaintainafairlybalancedstateofemotionandrealizethat
theRedRaidersarecapableofbeatinganyteamintheconferencewiththisunit
orlosingtothem.They'recertainlygoingtoneedtoplayatahighlevelthese
lasttwoweekstohelprelieveagroupthatisrunningoutofsteamontheother
side.
 
Quarterback
Doegemadeonebaddecisionthatresultedina14-pointswingintheballgame.
Aroundthat,hethrewfor476yardsandthreetouchdownson45of58attempts.
Thatisinsane.Doegeisonscheduletothrowforover4,000yards,anover70
percentcompletionrate,41touchdownsand11interceptions.WithBaylor's
defensestillontap,lookforDoegetosurpassthatprojection.
RunningBack
Techattemptedfiverunsinthefirsthalfandoneofthemwastotheteam's
backupquarterback.Inthesecondhalf,KennyWilliamsandSaDaleFosterboth
gainedsomecriticalyardage,ranbetterthantheirblockingattimesand
contributedinthepassinggame.EricStephenswasresponsibleforbothof
Tech'sovertimetouchdowns.Iwishtheycouldgetsomemoreconsistentblocking
asIthinktheyareallcapableplayers.
WideReceiver
EricWardhadacareer-high12catchesfor180yardsandtheRedRaiders
wouldn'thavewonthisgamewithouthim.Wardmadeamendsforakeydropwitha
hugeplayinovertime.DarrinMoorewasbigaswellandscoredtwotouchdowns.
Theinsidereceiversweremoreinvolvedthisweekwitha162receivingyardson
17catchesandtwotouchdowns.
OffensiveLine
Passprotectionremainedastrength,whiletherunblockingwaslaboriousat
best.
DEFENSE
Thegameoffootballsometimescomesdowntoanumbersgameandthislargely
summarizestheRedRaiders'strugglesagainstKansas.InTech'sfrontseven,Techhastwo
guys,HyderandDelvonSimmons,whowinroughlynineoutofevery10snaps.
That'swinningfootball.Surroundingthem,Techhasfiveguysonthefield,who
winroughlyfiveoutofevery10snaps.That'sabitofacrapshoot.
Soifyou'reCharlieWeisandsufferingfromalimitedpassingattack,asound
gameplanmightbetotestthelawofaveragesontheRedRaiderperimeter
defensewithtwogoodrunningbacks.WhileTechdidforcesevenpunts,allowing
370rushingyardsisanunacceptablelevelofplayunlesstheopponentis
Oregon.
Justabouteverythingbadhappenedthatcould.Whippedbyblockers,missed
assignments,over-pursuit,latepursuit,outflankedinthenumbersgame,etc.
It'samazingthatthisissuchanimprovementoverlastseason.Overall,theRed
Raidersseemtobeagroupthathasplayedovertheirheadsduringthefirst
halfoftheseasonandarerunningoutofsteam.
DefensiveLine
HyderandSimmonscontinuetobeaforcethatopponentsgameplanaround.Both
spentthemajorityofthedaybehindthelineofscrimmageandmadesomereally
greatplaysinpursuit.TheyarearguablyTech'sbesteverythinginthefront
seven.
WhenIlookbackonthe2008defensiveendunit,thisgroupcomparesoutequally
inthetwodeeponPlaystation.Forinstance,BrandonWilliamsandMcKinner
Dixonhelda90powerrating,whileJakeRatliffandSandyRileycarrieda50
powerratingforanaverageof70.TheRedRaiderscurrentrostergradesoutat
a70ratingacrosstheboard,buttheydon'thaveanytwooptionstoputonthe
fieldatthesametimethatcandoeverythingwellconsistently.
DartwanBushandJacksonRichardsmadesomereallyniceplaysthroughoutthe
game,butthecoinlandedonSnyderdrowningakittentoooften.Kansasstayed
committedtothegameplanandwasabletoexploittheirlackoflateral
quicknessorgetthemblownofftheballinzoneblocking.BrandenJacksongot
burnedonacoupleofoptionplays,butsawextensiveactionandgavea
respectableperformancegivenhislackofseasoning.I'mstillabitsurprised
Techdoesn'ttrustPeteRobertsonformoresnapsashismanstrengthhasheldup
wellintherungameandthelateralquicknessallowshimabetterchanceto
makeplaysinspace.
I'mnotdownonthisgroupfornextyearasBushandRichardswillgetbetteras
JacksonandRobertsongetbiggerandstrongertoprovidemorereliefduty.For
now,expectOSUandBaylortocontinuetoattackthemintherungameasthe
team'slastfouropponentshave.
Linebackers
WillSmithdidn'thaveaverygoodday.Helookedtentativeattimesengaging
offensivelinemenandhisreadsweren'tveryaccurate.BlakeDeeswasabetter
optionthisweekprimarilybecausehewasengagingincontactfootballandmade
oneofthebiggestplaysofthedayinovertimetosecurevictory.SamEguavoen
madeoneofTech'sbesttruelinebackerplaysoftheseasonatthe14:55markof
thesecondquarterblowingupaleadblockerandstuffingtheballcarrierat
thelineofscrimmage.Hestruggledwiththeseconddimensionofcoveringbacks
inthepassinggame.Still,Eguavoenhasbeentheteam'smostconsistent
linebackerthroughouttheseasonandthat'stheprimaryreasonhe'sreceiving
themostsnaps.Althoughtechnicallyadefensiveback,Ifeelitwouldbemore
appropriatetogradeTre'Porterasamemberofthelinebackergroupthisweek,
whichconsistedofhimlargelybeingtiedupbyblockersposingasslot
receivers.
Secondary
D.J.JohnsonandCodyDaviscombinedfor18tacklesincleaningupthemess.
OverpursuitbecametheirenemyasthegameworeonandTechwasburnedby
cutbacklanes.BruceJonesandEugeneNebohweren'tasactivethisweekdueto
opponentplaycalling,butneitherreallymademuchofanimpactintherungame.
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