Keys to success for Texas Tech against #13 Oregon
Well, Week 1 was a rough one, wasn’t it?
Texas Tech dropped a heartbreaker to Wyoming in double OT, in a game that quite frankly shouldn’t of been close at all. This week the Red Raiders welcome in college football power Oregon, so the road doesn’t get much easier from here.
Oregon quite honestly could be the best team Texas Tech sees all season. A legitimate playoff contender with elite QB play and a stout defense. Tech is going to need to bring their A-game, here are the top keys for each side of the ball.
First and foremost, RUN THE BALL:
Last week, I was disgusted at the lack of running game displayed against Wyoming. It was pitiful. Tahj Brooks has earned more than 11 carries in the season opener. The fact that Tyler Shough led the team in carries at 15 is just sad. Giving an injury prone QB more touches than a proven senior RB is just bad play calling and bad football. Brooks has proven in the past that he has the ability to be an elite running back, he just needs the carries. Let Brooks cook against Oregon and I will personally GUARANTEE that Texas Tech will be in this football game to the very end.
Secondly, Use the middle of the field in the passing game:
Against Wyoming, I was just shocked at how much Tech was using out routes and the outer portion of the field to attack the Cowboys. The middle of the field was used very rarely, and it showed in the passing game. After the first quarter, Tech got extremely stagnant and a main reason was because they wouldn’t use the middle of the field. I do not care if it’s one of your many talented tight ends, one of your very athletic receivers, or even a running back. Someone needs to get to the middle of the field and attack defenses.
Lastly, Good QB Play:
Being brutally honest here, Tyler Shough was just not good enough last week. He under threw a lot of out routes, didn’t have enough zip on the ball and he was staring down a majority of his receivers. He looked fantastic the first couple drives, then things went south fast. He’s got to do a better job at reading defenses and being efficient throwing the ball. There were a lot of balls that could’ve been picked last week, and those are passes that will be picked off against a team like Oregon. For Tech to win, QB1 is going to have to show up and be ready to play winning football.
Main focus, contain Bo Nix:
Bo Nix could arguably be the best QB the Red Raiders see all season. Last season, he was on of the top dual-threat options in the nation and was in the running for the Heisman. He elected to return to Oregon for one last season, and he’s ready to make noise. Last year, Nix threw for over 3,500 yards and 29 TDs, while also running for over 500 yards and added 14 TDs on the ground. You cannot let this guy get out of the pocket, or he’s gonna kill your defense all night. Last season against Stanford, Nix had a game where he ran the ball 6 times for 141 yards and 2 TDs, that’s just a small example of what he can do if he gets out of the pocket. If he starts to have success running like Peasley did last week, the Tech defense is going to be in for a long night.
Next up, bring consistent pressure:
Last week, Techs pass rush was average at best, and that’s being generous. 2 sacks is not going to get it done against this talented Oregon offense. If you leave Nix time to find his receivers, he is going to shred you. You need to get in there early and often, don’t give them time to breathe. Where was Syracuse transfer Steve Linton last week? We heard a lot of talk about how he was suppose to take a big step this year, but outside of a fumble recovery and 1 TFL, his game was forgettable. Tech needs some dudes to step up, who’s it gonna be?
Finally, FORCE TURNOVERS:
Last week Tech was able to force 2 fumbles and recover both. They will need more of that and then some this week. Oregon is a different beast, you need to take advantage of any and all mistakes. Be aggressive, get after the ball. Bo Nix as good as he is, will leave opportunities out there for some plays, even if those opportunities are small. He likes to take shots and make big plays, make him pay for those shots he takes. All it takes is one interception or fumble for the entire game to change, make plays and you’re gonna give yourself a chance.
Listen, by no means is Oregon going to be an easy game. Hell, Oregon could win this game by 50 if Tech comes out like they did last week. These keys are what I believe will give Tech the best chance to win. It’s going to be a fun game, enjoy it if you’re attending. I’ll be back with a preview later this week.