When Texas Tech is on offense
Balance, balance, and more balance. In their thrilling victory last week, Texas Tech had 24 pass attempts and 28 rush attempts. Erik Ezukanma torched the Houston secondary for seven receptions and 179 yards. While the offense itself had balance, the passing portion of the offense was one-sided. The second-leading receiver for Texas Tech was Travis Koontz with only four receptions for 28 yards. This isn’t to take anything away from quarterback Tyler Shough. Even though he only had 17 completions, he looked poised running the offense and made good decisions all game long. Expect him to continue his sharp play as he and the offense look to progress in their development.
Tahj Brooks was a standout in his starting role with SaRodorick Thompson injured. Brooks had 15 carries, 134 yards, and two touchdowns. It appears SaRodorick could be back this week, but Brooks’ coming-out party was confirmation that the running back depth for this offensive attack is as deep as it has been in a long time. The offensive line also deserves some credit for Brooks’ performance. There does need to be an improvement on pass protection. Texas Tech surrendered three sacks to Houston last week on only 29 dropbacks.
The Stephen F. Austin defense is certainly vulnerable. In the 2020 season, in games against FBS opponents (UTEP, UTSA, SMU, Memphis) they allowed 24, 24, 50, and 56 points respectively.
When Texas Tech is on defense
Removing the two opening drives to Houston last week, Texas Tech gave up seven points on 122 yards of offense and forced four interceptions in three and a half quarters of football. Certainly, it cannot be overlooked that the same group gave up 14 points on 129 yards on two possessions. By the end of the game, this defense showed out. Two defensive players earned weekly Big 12 honors for their efforts:
Once the defense was settled, they looked fast and aggressive all game. Houston never looked comfortable after their opening two drives because of the unrelenting pressure from this unit (four sacks on 39 dropbacks). The defensive line needs to continue to develop and create pressure without bringing additional rushers. The Lumberjacks should offer an opportunity for the entire defensive to get quality game reps. Stephen F. Austin struggled against the same FBS opponents when it came to producing points. They never scored more than 14 points against any of the four games referenced.
Texas Tech vs SFA prediction
Fans are looking forward to #PacktheJones and welcome this Red Raider team back. Texas Tech is also bringing on some (quite literally) big entertainment to the tailgate scene. Red Raider fans should expect a strong performance on both sides of the ball and a convincing win.
Texas Tech 49, SFA 10