This Breakdown was completed by Russ Morris and Ethan Nieporte
Bye Week #2 Breakdown
Texas Tech returns home this week after a heart breaking loss at Kansas. The loss is only the 2nd to the Jayhawks since 2001. Since that time, the Red Raiders rode a 12-game win streak, but a few of those games were nail-biters and some would say in 2011, 2012, and 2014 that Tech deserved to lose, but found a way to win. Offensively, Tech lit up the score board and played well enough to win, but defensively, aside from three or four players, the secondary was a huge let down. Guys were out of position, getting beat off the line, over running coverage assignments, and most of all, not playing with discipline. Fortunately, though, Tech has a bye this week. This week will allow the team to take a good look in the mirror and learn something about themselves. As far as Kansas goes, credit Les Miles for getting his guys ready to play. For those that are unfamiliar with the “mad hatter” …Miles was at Oklahoma State from 2001-2004 as the Head Coach of the Cowboys. In the late 90’s, Miles was part of the staff that coached when Mike Gundy was the QB. Les has a lot of history in this conference. When Miles took over the “Pokes” in 2001, they were a lot like Kansas with the losing seasons but turned them around in four years. Historically Miles has had Tech’s number and with their games against BC and UT, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Isn’t it amazing what happens when a school hires a coach with a national championship to his name…notice how the attitude around the program changes? Just saying….
Texas Tech is off this weekend as they have an extra week to prepare for the rebuilding West Virginia Mountaineers. The bye falls at the right time in terms of getting guys back from injury. Adrian Frye should have his hand healed up and ready to go, Sa’Rodrick Thompson played sick on Saturday so he should be 100%, Alan Bowman’s shoulder looks like it’s healing ahead of schedule, and Desmond Smith should be coming back from injury. His lack of presence has been noticed in the secondary and his size/length will be beneficial these next few weeks. This week will focus on an attitude check and as Wells noted on his radio show, “We will be touching up on little things. Fundamentals such as alignment and assignment and take off technique. This week frees us up for some heavy recruiting with the first signing day taking place in six weeks.” He also said that they are also having the guys rest and stay right mentally. With the game not turning out the way we all wanted, mental doubts could start to sink in if allowed, but this week, bottom line, serves as a mental check. With four games left, Tech needs three to become bowl eligible, so mental preparation is a major focus this week.
Noticeable Games Around the Country
The College Football Playoff Rankings debut next Tuesday evening. There are a few games this week that offer playoff hopes for a one-loss team, a possible second SEC team in, and the best team of the Group of 5’s hope for the Cotton Bowl this year. Those games are: #6 Florida vs #8 Georgia, #7 Oregon vs USC, and #15 SMU vs #24 Memphis. Florida vs Georgia is possibly the biggest game of the day, apart from Oregon vs USC. Both Florida and Georgia are fighting to be in the conversation for the 2nd best SEC team when they get to Atlanta for the SEC title game, however their hopes rely on what Alabama and LSU do after their game next week. More than likely the choices for the #4 spot in December will be decided by LSU/Bama, pending their game, and the loser in the SEC title game. Oregon vs USC is big because Oregon is trying to represent the PAC-12 in the Playoffs. They have a strong case if they win out including the PAC-12 title game. Their rivalry game with the Trojans is big for them this week because USC is trying to save their season and both teams need this game. Lastly, SMU vs Memphis is another big game this week. SMU is trying to make it to the Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1982. The way Sonny Dykes has coached this team is very impressive. Memphis is trying to win their division for the third straight year and win the American conference since UCF is out of the picture. If you like high scoring and little defense, this is your game.
We’re debuting a new section of the breakdown that will (obviously) be focusing on Tech’s football recruiting. This section will cover recent recruiting news, cover players already committed, and highlight players stellar performances. Since we're late to the party on this we’ll do a quick roundup of all the guys who have committed to the double T.
Starting off with the 2020 class (in no particular order) we have Ja’Lynn Polk (WR), Tahj Brooks (RB), LB Moore (WDE), Derrick Lewis (ILB), Myles Price (ATH), Philip Blidi (SDE), Nate Floyd (CB), Quin Bright (ATH), JJ Sparkman (WR), Ryan Frank (CB), John Holcomb (TE), Caleb Rogers (OT), Larry Moore (OT), Jonathan Davis (S), Je’Vaun Dabon (S), Kobee Minor (S), and Donovan Smith (ATH).
We’ll finish up with the two guys in the 2021 class Cale Sanders (ATH) and Behren Morton (DUAL).
One last bit of actual news this week Tech has offered Dionte Gipson, a 3-star SDE from Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.