Mid-Season Report: Texas Tech

Tech plays its eight game of the season on Saturday at Oklahoma. What's the second half of the season hold? Here are a few thoughts.

First Half MVP: Patrick Mahomes

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

If there were one reason to tune into Tech games this year, beyond the fact that points are abundant, its so you can watch Pat Mahomes. Mahomes is good, bordering on great. In a season where Trevone Boykin, Seth Russell, Greg Ward Jr, and Mahomes are all in the top 10 in total offense, speaks to the offensive renaissance that we are enjoying. Mahomes is right in the middle of it all and could be the most explosive player in the Big 12 once that guy in Fort Worth graduates.

Now, development is never assumed, and as Bill Belichick points out, the best evaluations are ones vs. ones, the work isn't over. Mahomes has some big work left to do. The OU is big, have we mentioned that yet? He'll need to be healthy and productive from here on out for Tech to have a chance. 

Mahomes is dynamic but big boys win big games and that will be his legacy, more than anything else. (The body language critic in me hates the head tilted pout that Mahomes goes to when things aren't going so well. The bicep flex is also a bit tired. Maybe pop out a bicep flex after an interception, I might feel better about the whole thing. Just sayin'.)

Mahomes is the Tech season personified. It's been pretty good, there's a chance it can be great. Have we mentioned they might need to be OU?

Biggest Win: Arkansas

I know the Razorbacks are the 7th best team in the SEC West, but it still takes a lot to go to Fayetteville and beat that team and that brand of football. It was Mahomes' best game as a Red Raider even if his yardage numbers didn't jump off the page. 

Kliff Kingsbury was in rare form after the game and to be honest Tech needs brash, bold, fearless Kliff. 

Worst Loss: TCU

When you have an elephant on the ropes you'd better finish the job. Tech almost did. What would have been a signature win vs a top 5 opponent was instead a heartbreaker. 

The game also highlighted the age old Tech tradition of poor defense. The annual Texas Tech defensive carousel needs to stop and land on one guy. Tech has to hope that guy is David Gibbs. The results haven't been exactly awe inspiring. 

YearTeamGYds/PlayYPGPts. GameFum RecOpp IntTurn Gain
2015Texas Tech76.65553.636.97815
2014Texas Tech126.24512.740.99615

Tech has made incremental improvement in points per game and are creating more turnovers equal to that last years total, but the defense still gives up a lot of yards, points, and the dreaded yards per play. TCU and Baylor both seem unstoppable against Tech. The good news is Tech didn't seem very stoppable either.

What Now?

Tech had the difficult task of starting Big 12 play with the two front runners. Then Tech had the more enjoyable task of playing the two bottom dwellers of the Big 12. Result? Tech is 2-2 in conference. But it's all still out in front of the Red Raiders.  

Oklahoma is a huge game and could set Tech up for a nice run to finish the season strong. A win against OU means that the Raiders will be in a commanding position down the stretch. A loss and well, it's a rough road. They should be favored in two of their final four, but all four are tight matchups. 

Whether momentum exists or not, a win in Norman could propel the Raiders to a 9 win season. A loss and it's could be a scramble to get past six wins. 


Posted on October 22, 2015 and filed under Southwest Round-Up.