Joey McGuire is the future of the Texas Tech program. But when Texas Tech vs. Iowa State kicks off in Lubbock, it will still be interim head coach Sonny Cumbie’s goal to get this team bowl eligible. What is it going to take for the Red Raiders to knock off the Cyclones?
When Texas Tech Is On Offense
Cumbie confirmed that quarterback Henry Colombi will not be available against Iowa State. Coming off the bye week, the biggest question was if Donovan Smith was going to get an opportunity to take all the QB1 snaps for two weeks in preparation for this week’s game. But Tyler Shough‘s rehab on his broken collar bone has gone so well, that he was practicing this week and could be in line to make his first start since he was injured against Texas. Even if Shough does end up getting the start, expect Smith to still get rotated into the game.
The offense really needs to find a way to make a statement in this game. It would go a long way in providing some continuity as McGuire takes over the program. Cumbie still has two years remaining on his current contract with Texas Tech. He has not been shy about expressing his desire to remain as the offensive coordinator:
“I would love to stay here as offensive coordinator. I would love to help coach McGuire win a lot of football games. I would love to help these players win a lot of football games, and I would love to continue to build on what we’ve already started this year. With the flow of this season, it’s really been hard on everybody from the standpoint of getting into a rhythm and getting our feet underneath us, so I would love to have the opportunity to do that.”Credit: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
It is going to be a difficult ask for the Red Raider offense to give the scoreboard operator a heavy workout. Iowa State ranks 14th nationally in points per game allowed. They are only surrendering an average of 18.22 points per game. They rank even better in total defense, allowing 282.4 yards per game, which is 4th best in the nation.
When Texas Tech Is On Defense
The defense is getting some key contributors back this week. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson confirmed defensive lineman Tony Bradford and safety Reggie Pearson are back from injuries this week. These leaders on the defensive side of the ball have another tall task against an ultra-talented rushing attack. Breece Hall is the Cyclones do-it-all running back that Texas Tech has never had an answer for in two previous contests. Hall ranks 8th in the country in all-purpose yards on the season. He is averaging 149.11 total yards of offense and 1.67 touchdowns per game.
Texas Tech’s rushing defense was stout in non-conference play. But since Big 12 play has started, some of the best running backs in the conference have had their way against the Red Raiders. They have yielded an average of 187 rushing yards per game in Big 12 play. To make matters worse, Hall has not gone for less than 135 on the ground in two meetings against Texas Tech.
Texas Tech vs. Iowa State Prediction
The Red Raider fan base has been re-energized with the hiring of Joey McGuire. Will the fans bring that same energy to the Jones on Saturday? Hard to tell, but if they can, it could be a boost to a Texas Tech team fighting for bowl eligibility. Iowa State has a huge match-up next week against Oklahoma and is coming to town after stomping the Longhorns. Could the Cyclones get caught looking past the Red Raiders? It’s possible, but not likely. Matt Campbell and company have demonstrated this is their time of year when they are playing their strongest. And while Iowa State is all but eliminated from the Big 12 championship game, they will make it six straight victories over the Red Raiders.
Iowa State 38, Texas Tech 24