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In this segment, Reese, Curtis, Jeff, and I answer some crucial questions for Red Raider fans.
1) What do we know about Texas Tech after four games?
"We know that this team is different than teams in recent history. This team has fight and heart. They don't give up when they fall behind. This team also has significantly more depth than past teams. The defense is also greatly improved."
"This team has mental toughness. I think we learned a lot more about this team with the ugly win in Ames than we would have if it was a blowout. I think it was important for the players to witness this firsthand as well. This should keep the players more receptive to what the coaches have to say this week during game prep."
"The Tech defense has the potential to be a top 50 defense overall. The players are there for that to occur. We also know that Texas Tech can make a stop in the 4th quarter."
"Several things stick out to me. Two of the most important ones are discipline and confidence. Yesterday, the Tech offense got off to a slow start, but the whole team stayed composed until the very end. They didn't get rattled like they would in past years. Several Tech teams from the past decade would have let that Klein interception return suddenly lead to three or four more scores, and you don't see that so far this year. When this team makes a mistake, they get back up and keep going. The defense has a lot of speed and they play with a lot of fire. Kaufman has done a tremendous job so far, and you can tell this defense believes in themselves, despite the lack of faith in the off-season from many critics around the country. This team has come out and played four complete games so far, and you can't ask for much more than that. I'm pretty optimistic about them going forward. Last night the defense held Iowa State to 189 total yards which was the best defensive effort by Tech against a Big 12 opponent in 15 years. Offensively they have three reliable running backs, several weapons at wide receiver, and plenty of speed."
2) What do we still need to learn?
"We still need to know about Tech's passing defense. The secondary has yet to be tested like they will be down the road."
"Just how good Texas Tech really is. This cannot be answered until the end of the season but at least we know that this team is considerably better than last year’s team. Playing teams like OU, Texas, WVU, OSU, Baylor and TCU should leave no doubt to how competitive of a team Tuberville has built in the South Plains."
Can the Tech offense constantly perform in the rushing department? They now hit the brutal five game stretch where they play teams ranked no lower than 17th in the AP currently. They have had some success running the football, now can they do it against higher ranked teams?
There are still several questions. I think we can expect good leadership out of Doege and all of the weapons he has at his disposal, but how good is this offensive line? Can the two freshmen guards Alfredo Morales and Le'Raven Clark be counted on during this five game stretch that Curtis mentioned? How will this team respond when they get down by two or three touchdowns? Is this secondary better than West Virginia and Baylor's?
3) What do you expect to happen when Oklahoma comes to Lubbock next weekend?
"I expect a hard fought, close game. Oklahoma has some weapons on offense, and they will be a tough test for the defense. Oklahoma will also be coming off a bye week and looking to bounce back after their loss to Kansas State. "
"I expect a much more fun game for the fans. The offense should be much more fluid and in rhythm which should translate to more points. However, this is Oklahoma and I would never overlook this team regardless of their win-loss totals. I would expect Oklahoma to have a bitter taste in their mouths from last year’s embarrassing loss in Norman. I am curious to see whether or not this gives Oklahoma a noticeable spark on the playing field."
"I expect Oklahoma to be in a desperate state as well as being fired up, having 2 weeks to prepare for Texas Tech. I expect Tech to go after the front 7 of the Sooner defense on the ground. Tech will be able to move the ball through the air. As of right now, I expect it to be close, with Tech pulling one out (and that is based off of the game being at Tech where Oklahoma has lost the last 3 times they've traveled to the South Plains)."
"This Tech team is playing with a chip on their shoulder. I expect them to stay confident and play well against Oklahoma. Oklahoma has by far the most talent of any team Tech has played this year, and is among the most talented teams they will face this year, so I think this game will answer a lot of questions for everyone. The Sooners haven't won in Lubbock since 2003 and this year's Oklahoma team seems to still be looking for an identity. If I had to call it today, I would say this Oklahoma team will lose at least three or four games this year and there's a good chance their second loss could come this weekend in Lubbock. We know the atmosphere will be crazy. This Tech coaching staff has plenty of big game experience in past jobs, and I think they'll have the Red Raiders playing at their best."
4) Overall in the Big 12, what has surprised you and how do you see the season playing out for everyone
"The play of the quarterbacks and Kansas State's ability to continue to win the close games. The play of Geno Smith and Landry Jones has kind of surprised me, although not all in a good way. It will be interesting to see the rest of the Big 12 schedule play out. I will be particularly interested to see if some of the defenses in the league (Baylor, West Virginia, etc) will turn around or continue to be shredded."
"I mean it may be a homer pick but how can you not be surprised at the way the Texas Tech defense is playing? I think most of everything else that has happened in the conference has kept up with the status quo besides how pedestrian Oklahoma looks. I am not sure which is more ridiculous though; Texas Tech being ranked no. 1 nationally on defense or Geno Smith completing 45/51 passes for 656 yards and 8 touchdowns. They are both stat lines that are common in video games."
"I’m surprised with how strong the Big XII really is. From top to bottom, the Big XII is probably the 2nd best conference, behind the SEC. Based on what I have seen, the game next week between West Virginia and Texas could in fact be the Big XII decider. Whoever wins that one has the inside track to the Big XII. Currently, I believe Texas will win that game. Kansas St. can spoil the party if everything works out in their favor."
"This site wasn't up yet, but before this season started I said Tech's toughest two games would be against Kansas State and West Virginia, and so far both look great. Does this mean I think Tech will beat everyone else? Not necessarily, but I think those two games are very important for Tech in the big picture of things as far as establishing themselves closer to the top of the conference as opposed to the middle. Dana Holgorsen's offense and their new uniforms have caught a lot of attention from several of the recruits Tech is after, so a win against them is critical. Anyways, the Big 12. I think it's safe to say West Virginia, Kansas State, and Texas have established themselves as the top three teams in the conference, but can they keep it up all year long? Geno Smith definitely looks impressive. Baylor has really impressed me. I expected them to score about half of what they did against West Virginia. How good is Oklahoma State and how good is TCU? I could see them finishing around .500 but I could also see them catch a few teams napping. Iowa State has a solid defense, but their offense simply is not that good."
5) Based off everything we know at this point, rank how you think all the Big 12 teams will finish, 1-10"
1 - Kansas State
2 - West Virginia
3 - Texas
4 - Oklahoma
5 - Texas Tech
6 - TCU
7 - Oklahoma State
8 - Baylor
9 - Iowa State
10 - Kansas
2) Kansas State
3) West Virginia
4) Texas Tech
6) Oklahoma State
8) Iowa State
2. West Virginia
3. Kansas St.
6. Texas Tech
7. Oklahoma St.
9. Iowa St.
2) West Virginia
3) Kansas State
4) Texas Tech
8) Oklahoma State
9) Iowa State
This post was edited by Landon Wright 19 months ago
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