He Texas Tech football season opener It’s in the books the Red Raiders losing to Wyoming 35-33 in double overtime on Saturday night after leading 17-0 in the first quarter and 33-27 in the second overtime. Every week this season, we’ll be holding a Q&A session with readers.
Let’s do it.
Q: I’m not sure how to phrase a question about McGuire’s negative body language and staff standing idly by in difficult situations. stresses me out What about the players?
DW: If I were a player, I would want them to be in control of their emotions and the situation. If they seem cool in a close game, I imagine that will rub off on the players. That’s how I am. Perhaps others feel otherwise.
Q: What was preventing the coaches from including Morton in the game? ought He never looked comfortable even when Tech took the lead early, certainly from then on.
DW: I don’t agree that Shough never seemed comfortable. He completed his first six passes, two of them for touchdowns with a couple of good throws. He might not have seemed comfortable for a while after that, but who did?
Joey McGuire isn’t going to decide after three or four series to make a trade after Shough won the long-term job on his working set. Some of that was what he did in the last four games of last season. When Tech announced Shough as the starter in June, McGuire also documented that he was ahead of Morton in terms of knowing where to go and getting the ball out on time, though he said Morton made big strides in that area this spring.
Q: Don, can you ask McGuire why (linebacker Trent) Low #50 was on the field during the crucial fourth down when he played close to 0 snaps?
DW: He played a lot over the course of the game and Tech is short on inside linebackers. The Red Raiders lost both starters after last season and lost new starter Jacob Rodríguez to a foot injury in the first trimester. There weren’t many proven guys to offer at the time. Second-team member Ben Roberts is a redshirt freshman who missed many preseason practices with a back strain.
LowHe’s a fourth-year man from Midland Lee, a former walk-on, and Saturday was the longest playing time of his career. Without knowing the details, that probably means he’s been doing well in practice lately and has gained some confidence, or at least a chance, out of him.
Q: It seemed like everyone knew where Wyoming would throw the ball on their last TD in overtime. Why not cover the TE like the morning dew? Hit me with anything but that 10-yard TE curl.
DW: I don’t know how everyone knew where Wyoming would throw the ball when there were five receivers in the pattern. The tight end opened up underneath as Tech brought in inside linebackers and free safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, who had a clean lane to the quarterback and hit Andrew Peasley on the throw.
The tight end became the hot read at the time. Joey McGuire agreed with you, however, noting that if they had covered the tight end for even a moment, the likely result would be a sack or incompletion. I’m not sure if it was safety Tyler Owens’ fault, or if Owens just ended up looking like the beaten defender because he made the tackle too late.
Q: How many deflected passes were there? I thought the Tech QB was 6-5.
DW: Wyoming defenders were credited with nine pass breakups, which is a pretty good number. Some of them were on the field, but quite a few made it to the line of scrimmage.
Q: I didn’t notice anyone being an “athlete” and breaking tackles.
DW: That’s an area where the Red Raiders have to prove themselves to get where they want to go. Tahj Brooks has been a solid back up to this point in his career, but not a prolific one. A lot of people seemed to think that the Red Raiders could lose SaRodorick Thompson and not feel it. That never made sense with all the times he didn’t convert for 15 yards. Could the Red Raiders have used something from that Saturday night, when they averaged 2.8 yards per carry?
Jerand Bradley and Loic Fouonji are the most physically impressive receivers, and each finished strong last season, Bradley with his 8-catch, 173-yard performance against Oklahoma and Fouonji with his 7-catch, 100-yard night against Ole Miss. The Red Raiders need them to produce like that every night now.
Bradley had eight receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown, but I’m with you. Even during the game, I told myself that there is no Michael Crabtree on this team, no James Gray, Bam Morris or Byron Hanspard.
This article originally appeared in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Texas Tech Football Q&A: Readers Reach Out After Red Raiders 35-33 Double Extra Loss in Wyoming