It’s Orange Friday, folks. Today, we will get to know the Texas Tech Red Raiders a little bit better. I reached out to Kyle Jacobson, Managing Editor of SB Nation’s Viva The Matadors, and asked him some burning questions I had about their team.
Thanks to Kyle and VTM for taking the time to give us some insight. Here is our conversation:
1) How has the season for Texas Tech gone compared to preseason expectations?
Well, a lot of us thought we would be 6-0 when Oklahoma rolled into town, and instead we left that game 3-4. After a 7-5 season last year, I think many were expecting a step forward. Instead, we’ve taken an obvious step backwards.
2) We all know about the Tech offense. What about the defense? There are weaknesses in key areas, but where are the strengths of the Tech defense?
The strength of the defense right now are the young guys. Almost everyone who has emerged as an important contributor is in their first or second year with the program, whether via transfer or as a freshman or sophomore. There are signs of hope for the future, but we’re definitely experiencing the growing pains right now.
3) A great win on the road against TCU last weekend was offset by a loss at home to Texas this weekend. Against TCU, the Red Raiders only gave up 24 points. What was the key for that, and why did it not carry over against Texas?
Against TCU we avoided giving up the big play and did relatively well against the run. We did neither of those things against Texas, giving up 341 yards on the ground to D’Onta Foreman. Again, there were some good signs, such as two forced turnovers and 4th quarter stops that gave the offense a chance to win, but not enough for 60 minutes to hang your hat on.
4) Outside of Patrick Mahomes, who are the players to watch on offense and defense for the Red Raiders?
On offense it’s inside receiver Jonathan Giles. He’s been a bit feast or famine lately, but when he gets the ball he’s dangerous. He’s in the top 10 in the country in many statistical categories.
On defense, an emerging star appears to be true freshman Douglas Coleman. He made a brilliant interception in the end zone against TCU two weeks ago and stripped D’Onta Foreman at the goal line last week, returning it 100 yards for a touchdown. Those two games were the first he received significant playing time in, and apparently he’s quite the playmaker.
5) Prediction time. How do you see this game shaping up? What is your score prediction?
I have no reason to believe it will go any differently than any previous Texas Tech game this season. The Red Raiders will probably rack up a bunch of yards but lose in a fashion that will leave fans thinking we could have won. Three of our five losses are by one touchdown, and a fourth loss was by 13 on the road (which, with our offense, feels pretty close).
I think Oklahoma State will win 45-35 when the final whistle blows.
Thanks again to Kyle. You can follow him on Twitter at @_KyleJacobson. Check out his site, Viva The Matadors.