With Oklahoma State headed into Lubbock this week, Micah Allen went to our sister-site Viva the Matadors to get some insight into this Red Raiders. Thanks to editor Jeramey Gillilan for taking the time to answer our questions!
Micah Allen: When you talked to Joel on the Air Raid Podcast, you mentioned some tension amongst the Tech fanbase regarding offensive coordinator David Yost. What were the expectations of him going in? Have people been down on him from the get-go?
Jeramey Gillilan: The transition from last year’s regime to this year’s regime hasn’t been smooth. Wells wanted to introduce a stronger run-focused scheme for the offense but promised that the “Air-Raid” would still be very much our identity. Since this fanbase has been treated to high-flying and number-boosting offenses for the better part of the last decade it wasn’t a hard sell that “we will still throw the ball a lot… we’re just also going to run the ball a lot, too.” Not so, however. David Yost’s play calling has been conservative to say the least. A heavy reliance on the short/screen passing game and stretch running plays are limiting our team’s talents and slowing this “Air Raid” to more of a ground-trudge. Currently we are ranked No. 63 in total offense. For Texas Tech that’s an obvious regression. I don’t think anybody was expecting Yost to come in and come up with the level of play-calling that Kingsbury offered, but we were certainly expecting a much more adamant approach in a league dominated by offensive masterminds. The fans’ confidence in Yost decreases each week, it seems.
MA: What matchups in this game peak your curiosity the most?
JG: There are two that come to mind:
• the dual of the Mr. Texas Football award winning QBs - Duffey (2015) and Sanders (2017) have demonstrated similar raw talents while exhibiting similar issues in decision making. If everything goes perfect for both teams it will come down to which of these two will step into their own on Saturday. It’s also possible that these two will be the worst part of their teams this Saturday; that just seems to be the gamble with these “award-winning” QBs
• Jordyn Brooks vs Chuba Hubbard. Brooks is one of the best run-stopping linebackers in the Big 12 (by the numbers) and Hubbard is one of the (if not THE) best running back in the Big 12. Immovable object meets unstoppable force?
MA: Tech is allowing 4.36YDS/Rush and 179.8 YPG, which seems not great. How do you expect the front seven to corral Hubbard?
JG:Chuba Hubbard demands respect & Keith Patterson needs to game plan the inevitable rush-heavy attack from Oklahoma State. If I were the DC looking at tape, I’d hone in on the game against Texas where the Longhorns filled the box nearly every snap and were quick to take angles. Texas Tech has the weight and strength along the line/linebacker groups, but if the scheme isn’t right then Hubbard is going to make some fools of our lackluster tackling. Tech’s strength right now in the rushing game is swarming the ball; so long as Hubbard is getting 1-on-1 matchups on the outside he will be making it to the deeper levels.
MA: Duffey is QB1 for Tech this week. What are his strengths and weaknesses?
JG: Now that we’ve got actual tape on 2019 Jett Duffey we can analyze how much he’s actually progressed since last year. Duffey’s strengths are his dual-threat capability, his speed, and his ability to hit the long ball. A lot of gripe against Duffey coming into this year was that he was a poor passer, but in our game against Oklahoma he proved that (at least right now) he’s a more than capable passer that gives Tech a chance. The turning point between strength and weakness is still his decision making. There were points in the Oklahoma game that Duffey made correct decisions under pressure, and there were points where he scrambles for a first down and fumbles the ball at the end. He’s much less of a liability than he was last year, but Duffey certainly has room for growth as a QB.
MA: For OSU fans headed out the Lubbock what are the spots in town they need to hit?
JG: Lubbock is one of the stronger contenders in the collegiate list of “most restaurants per capita,” so there’s certainly something here for everybody. My go to’s for home-game weekends are:
• Yellow House
• The Coffee Shop
• Two Doc’s Brewing
• The Brewery LBK
• The Garden/Little Woodrow’s
• Evie Mae’s
• Tom & Bingo’s
• The Shack
• Taqueria Autlan
• Taqueria y Panaderia Guadalajara
• Raspados Colimas
• Aloha BBQ (Hawaiian food… get the spam rice)
• Royal Indian (best Indian In Texas)
• Craft House (gastropub with new menu every week)
MA: Score prediction?
JG: One of our linemen, Travis Bruffey, said in an interview this week that they “embarrassed the Double-T” against Oklahoma. I’m hopeful (and expectant) that his comments illuminate some kind of change in our team’s effort and heart on the field. Does that mean we’re about to come out and roll through the conference? Absolutely no. We may see a stronger Texas Tech team this week, but I’m not convinced we’ll see one put together enough to keep Oklahoma State from outscoring them.
Give me Oklahoma State to beat the 10-point line, 45-30
Be sure you check out our Texas Tech preview podcast:
And be sure to check out our own Joel Penfield on the Air Raid Podcast: