The first conference road game of the season will be in Lubbock, Texas against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. It should be the first time this season that the competition is not quite at the same level as what’s been faced already but the road element can be a big equalizer. On top of that, Texas Tech is a team that throws the ball… alot. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege has thrown for over 1700 yards already ranking 8th overall and averages 341 yards in the air per game. Continue reading to see how K-State can take care of this and what else needs to happen for another Wildcat victory.
Offense – While Tech’s passing game is possibly bad news, their rush defense is incredibly good news. The Red Raiders rank 115 of 120 teams in rush defense giving up 220+ yards per game on the ground. That hasn’t been to the greatest of teams either. That should be a huge advantage for K-State who is currently averaging 200+ yards per game rushing against teams like Miami, Baylor, and Missouri. To secure 6-0, Colin Klein and John Hubert simply need to continue doing what they have been. Against Missouri, the playbook remained pretty vanilla but it still worked. Klein threw just enough to keep the opposing defense honest and that’s all that’s necessary. If Klein can complete just 10 passes that will open up the box which you know Tech will be stacking with 7 or 8 guys consistently to stop the run. One added bonus would be seeing Klein making better decisions on his runs. Against Missouri, Klein tried to stretch the field and get outside a little too much. Not only does he lack the speed for that to work, but he missed some great lanes that opened up between the guard and tackle. Im sure that was addressed in film this week so hopefully there will be much more north and south running from Klein. Here’s to a game of epic rush yard statistics!
Defense – As noted, Texas Tech is ready to put the ball in the air against every team they play. Their quarterback is accurate with a completion percentage over 70% and they average 47 pass attempts per game. Prior to the Mizzou game, this would have been a much bigger concern. But last Saturday showed K-State’s ability to trust the front four defensive lineman to get pressure and allow 7 to drop in coverage consistently. Against the Red Raiders, the defensive scheme needs to remain the same and see just as much success. It would be nice to see a few more blitzes mixed in coming from the cornerback or safety positions to add some confusion as Tech tries to read the coverages but in Cosh we trust. The main goal has to be keeping everything in front of the defense and playing sound assignments. If that is achieved by the Wildcat’s defense, they can sit back and allow Tech to make the mistakes which has worked plenty of times so far this season.
Special Teams – This unit played their most complete game on Saturday which was great to see. The kickoffs were deeper and better placed. The punt team flipped the field and pinned Missouri on their own 1. And most importantly, the kick coverage on punts and kickoffs was solid and didn’t allow a big return at all. The guys covering punts and kicks stayed in their lanes and forced every return to the middle fo the field which was huge. Tech doesn’t have any huge threats on their special teams which is nice and as long as K-State remains sound, it should be good in this area.
Prediction – 6-0 it is. While a conference road game is always tough, the Wildcats have already taken their show to Miami and come out with a win so Lubbock shouldn’t be too difficult. I believe the defense is going to stand strong and the time of possession that K-State has been dominating is going to keep Tech’s passing game from flying high. If it all goes as planned, this season will just keep getting better and better and another bowl game vacation will be in order!