Tough loss for the Red Raiders, as the offense seemed to be non-existent. When was the last time you ever heard someone say the Tech Offense lost us the game? Hats off to the Swarm Defense, as I they played as good as I could have imagined. Here are some quick thoughts about the game.
-It looks as if the QB battle in Lubbock is re-opening. Taylor Potts was ineffective Saturday night as he was never able to settle it. Yeah, you can blame some of it on the play calling, but Potts’ decision making doesn’t help the argument. There were many times when Potts was throwing passes into double or triple covered receivers. At one point, Potts, scrambled to his right and threw the ball back across his body, towards the left into triple coverage. Are you serious, Taylor? Time and time again, never throw back across your body. Sometimes I ever wonder if Potts understands how to make reads. There were so many times during the game in which a wide receiver would be open on the other side of the field, but Potts is too busy staring down one side of the field. He needs to be able to look off the safeties and progress with his reads. It baffles me how Potts can play well in practice, but is like a deer in the headlights when its game time. I have come to a conclusion that Potts isn’t and won’t ever be the guy to lead this team. It’s time we see what Sticks could do. Hell, I don’t even think Doege could do any worse.
-Did Neil Brown even show up to the game Saturday night? I have never seen such predictable play calling by an “Air Raid” offense as I did on Saturday night. Let me guess, let’s line up two running backs in the back field (Batch and Stephens) and hand it off right up the middle and get stuffed again. Time and time again, I saw our runs up the middle get stopped before it even began. We need to start mixing it up a bit. The Texas front four were pressuring Potts and was getting in our backfield all night without blitzing. How about we adjust? Maybe throw a screen that way of the D end, or how about a draw play. I really think we should have thrown more screen plays. I don’t even think we have run more than three all season thus far. The screen play and running back check down throws were very successful during previous seasons. I am not sure why we are getting away from these. Also there were too many times in which our first-down play would result in zero/negative yardage forcing us into many third and long situations. Our first-down play calling needs to improve. How about we run those wide receiver screens on first down instead of on second and a mile?
-Where are Alex Torres and Eric Ward at? During summer training camps, all I heard was how good Torres and Ward are. They are supposed to be our best wide receivers. Torres only finished the night with three catches for 17 yards and Ward didn’t even record a reception. How are our two best receivers now producing? Is it a play calling issue or a quarterback issue? Whatever it is, it needs to be fixed quickly.
-Jarvis Phillips will be special player in the Big 12. As a redshirt freshman, Jarvis has four interceptions in three games. His interception returned for a touchdown saved the game from being over in the first quarter. This kid is a playmaker. He has the abilities to be an eventual All-American corner. I would not be even surprised to see make an All Big 12 team this season. He has the knack for reading quarterbacks really well. Also unlike most corners at this level, he is able to find the football in the air extremely well when covering man to man. The best part is he’s only going to get better.
-Finally, Scott Smith showed me the monster he could be on the d line. Smith’s play was huge as he was able to harass Garrett all night. Smith’s tall frame also caused two interceptions, tipping one to himself and another to Jarvis. He also forced a fumble, had three tackles for a loss and two sacks. Can you say beast? I have been waiting for Smith to play like this during the first two games. Let’s hope he can keep it up.
-Penalties are killer as it showed on the field. Too many personal fouls kept Texas’ drives alive.
Even though Tech lost, I am very pleased with our defense. To cause four turnovers against Texas and to lose the game hurts, but there is plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball. The offense needs to get to work and Tech will have two weeks to prepare as they head to Iowa State on Oct. 2nd.