Football

10 Things: TCU 52, Texas Tech 31

Thank you in advance for reading.

1. Game Links:

Recap
Box Score
Game Book
Quotes

2. Ehhhhhh. I have to write these sorts of posts more than I like. I always struggle with the intro. Not exactly sure how to start and the idea of writing 10 actual things about a football game that wasn’t close for your side is usually daunting, even though I sort of cheat with things #1 and #10 being sort of easy ones for me to complete and now I’m cheating with #2 as well. I sort of hoped that the Texas loss would be the outlier, but an opponent with a strong rushing attack seems to be something to be concerned about and as opponents are previewed they should probably be viewed in this light.

3. That’s Kryptonite. The defense sucked. Absolutely sucked. I tend to wait a bit until I read the quotes or listen to the post-game press conference, but typically when a team gives up 400 rushing yards in a single game, there will be talk about “fits” “alignment” “communication” and we will all say, “yeah, no shit”. TCU seemed to have a plan to just run the hell out of the ball, I don’t think the first two drives had a pass at all (I’m too annoyed to go back and look) and the Horned Frogs ran for 394 yards and averaged 8.4 yards per rush, while the defense gave up 5 rushing touchdowns. TCU’s first 6 drives were: TD, TD, TD, TD, FG, TD (this does not include the kneel down at the end of the half). That’s a good way to have your ass handed to you.

The fact that we talk about fits, alignment, and communication so much on defense is that when teams figure out that they can man-handle you on defense, then they know that there’s just a physical advantage. The offense has 5 guys normally at or over 300 pounds while the defense has 3 that are of similar size. When the scheme is so dependent on players being in exactly the right spots in order not to have these results then maybe there are some issues with the scheme.

It’s not particularly difficult math to ponder. I know that Keith Patterson has talked about how the prior staff didn’t recruit a 4-man front and if he played with a 4-man front, there’s just not a lot of depth after that. Or I think he’s also mentioned that after the Texas game, he pulled back on the number of snaps that each linebacker was playing and relied more on the starters.

We’ll see what happens this week.

4. Third Down Woes (and Fourth Down Too). This is probably the biggest stat, which is that at some point, TCU was 8 for 11 on third downs and then 1 of 1 on fourth downs, meaning that TCU simply didn’t have to get off the field because they were so efficient at doing whatever they wanted, the Texas Tech defense could never get them off the field, and were oftentimes never in a third down situation. Meanwhile, the Texas Tech offense was 4 of 13 on third downs and 3 of 6 on fourth downs. The fourth down figure was one where it is probably a bit misleading as Texas Tech was having to go for it late in the game to try to keep it close and couldn’t convert, but it is what it is. I wish that the offense had gone for it on fourth down in the first half because they brought a box cutter to a knife fight and it didn’t work out too well.

5. Early Offensive Struggles. The offense wasn’t terrible once they got going, but as stated above, they weren’t ready to have to score on each and every drive and the game snowballed at some point. Colombi’s pick-six didn’t feel like it was really his fault as Myles Price didn’t catch what looked like a catchable ball and then it was off to the races after that. I was in fact quite proud that Colombi didn’t get upset and encouraged Price after that. Once Colombi found his rhythm, he was able to complete really long passes and did a pretty good job of moving the offense, but it felt like it was way too late for that. The running game also got going in the second half but the same thing happened, just too little too late.

6. Defend Your Teammates. There was a lot to be disappointed about during this game, but the one thing that maybe disappointed me more than anything else, was the play where Colombi was sacked in the third or fourth quarter and the TCU defender, maybe it was #95 or #97, and roughed up Colombi while he was on the ground to the point where his helmet was ripped off (really seemed unprovoked) and it also seemed like this should have been an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Not one Texas Tech player came to Colombi’s aid to stand up for him. This seems like a big deal, to not have a teammate stand up for you, but it was the offensive line just standing around and watching things happen. Would love an explanation of this, but I think this is probably too meta of a situation to ask about.

7. Nit-Picks and Pick-Me-Ups.

  • Henry Colombi passed for 344 yards, completing 56% of his passes, and 8.4 yards per attempt without a touchdown and the aforementioned pick-six. Definitely not as efficient as he was last week and that’s probably to be expected to an extent playing TCU, but he needed to be better earlier.
  • The rushing defense ran 37 times for 214 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per attempt. SaRodorick Thompson ran 18 times for 118 yards, averaging 6.6 yards an attempt and 3 touchdowns while catches 2 of his 4 targets for 79 yards. Xavier White ran 9 times for 51 yards, 5.7 yards a run, and a touchdown while catching all 3 of his targets for 26 yards.
  • Kaylon Geiger was the leading receiver again, catching all 6 of his targets for 98 yards. The disappointing thing happening is that Erik Ezukanman is not getting the ball a ton, only 4 targets and 3 catches for 23 yards. No receiver other than Geiger had more than 36 yards receiving. Those receivers were essentially shut out.
  • There was 1 quarterback hurry for the day, so absolutely zero pressure and a gajillion yards given up. There were 6 tackles for a loss and Colin Schooler and Jaylon Hutchings led the team with 7 tackles. There were also zero pass break-ups. The loss of so many defenders caught up with the secondary for sure as any sure-tackling seemingly went out the window, but if we’re relying on the safeties to stop running plays, then there are bigger issues, but that’s what was happening.
  • TCU only threw for 104 yards.
  • Time of possession is largely meaningless: Texas Tech 31:06; and TCU 28:54.
  • Texas Tech out-gained TCU in total offense 558 to 498, but TCU was able to gain 498 yards on just 57 plays while Texas Tech had 78.

8. Nothing. I don’t think I really have anything else. I’ve looked at the box score for over an hour. Oh, and if you don’t check out the game book whenever it is actually posted by the various programs (it is usually the home team that does it), that’s the better thing to look at rather than the box score The game book will give you breakdowns by quarter. For example, TCU had 227 total yards compared to Teas Tech’s 82, and of the 10 passes for TCU, they had 4 of them in the first quarter, which means that for the remaining 3 quarters they only attempted a pass 6 more times. Shudder.

9. Quotes.

Opening statement:

“Not a good performance by the Red Raiders tonight. We’re not at the point of this program where we can stack success and that’s something we have to continue to get over the hump. You play a good game and you have success. I thought we had a good week of practice, but we didn’t play well. The bottom line is we didn’t’ stop the run, and when you don’t do that against almost probably anybody, it’s going to be a long night. That starts up front with the d-line and the linebackers whether it’s a scheme issue or not. We have to look at that (on) tape, but I know this: it was three-down to four-down to five to blitzing. I think bottom line is we didn’t get off blocks. We didn’t shed blocks and there wasn’t block obstruction. Tonight, we didn’t tackle very well. Offensively, we moved the ball at times. Not very smooth early in the game to be able to try to match scores. We did run the ball, and they moved it and we scored points. The series at the beginning of the third quarter where we didn’t come away with points hurt us because there at the end it would have been a one-touchdown ballgame when we scored to be down 14. Then, we don’t’ give ourselves a chance with the onside kick, so we have to execute that obviously better. Great crowd. Disappointing homecoming loss to play like that here at home for us. We’ll own it. We’ll get back, and the bottom line is there’s too many highs and too many lows right now for this season for me. The one thing we can do is to stay together, continue to be coachable as players. As coaches, be better teachers. We’ll do a better job and see if we go on the road next week and get win No. 5. We’re at the halfway point of the season and see if we can win No. 5. It’s a long season, guys. I tried to just tell our team that. We have a lot of season left, and we have a lot of goals still in front of us. We’ll own it and go back to work.”

Q: On why Texas Tech was unable to stop the rushing game

“I don’t know, and that’s concerning. Whether its schematical or effort or it’s just flat technique and not being able to get off or were they just that much better than us or is it a little bit of everything. Credit to them. Their backs ran well and their o-line blocked well. We did not get off blocks very well. When you can see a back getting through all the way to your linebackers very, very quickly, that’s fairly evident.

Q: On goals moving forward

“I think the big goal right now is to get our guys off the mat and go back to work tomorrow. Find ways to improve and figure out what went wrong, first of all. Own it. Fix it as coaches, first and foremost. Then, as the players, go on the road and win. There is one goal and that’s to go win next week and get to (win No.) five and figure out the next week’s plan.”

10. Players of the Game

Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: I’ll go with SaRodorick Thompson here, 118 rushing yards and 79 receiving yards with 3 running touchdowns is a pretty good day.

Swiss Army Do-It-All Defender of the Game: Yeesh, not completely sure here as the defense was pretty terrible. Twisting my arm, I’ll go with Tony Bradford, Jr. with 5 tackles and 2 tackles for a loss.

Player Finding His Way: I like the way that Trey Cleveland is play, but he needs to work on continuing to catch those targets, just 3 of 6 (not saying that those missed targets are all his fault). Also enjoy watching Mason Tharp and forget he’s a true freshman.

Road Grader of the Game: I’m not totally sure here, but will go with Caleb Rogers without a ton of thought going into this.

Eraser of the Game: None.

Lighting a Fire The entire team needs the fire lit.

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