The run game is gaining steam
Texas Tech ran the ball 45 times for 251 yards, both season highs. DeAndre Washington, Sadale Foster and Kenny Williams all had between 80 and 90 rushing yards, but Williams deflected the attention to the guys blocking. “Speaking on behalf of Sadale and DeAndre, I think we have to give a lot of credit to our (offensive) line,” Williams said. “They came out today and blew the (defensive) line off the ball and made our job really easy.”
By starting 6-0, Texas Tech is the first Big 12 team to achieve bowl eligibility this season. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury downplayed it, saying he just wants to see his team improve each week. However, for upperclassmen who were part of the 2011 team that finished 5-7, it’s evidence of a turnaround. Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder said now the Red Raiders want “to keep stacking the chips” to have the best postseason possible.
Special teams needs to get on same page
The special teams struggled against Iowa State. The Cyclones’ Jarvis West returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and miscommunication by Tech’s punt-return team led to a turnover that set up another Iowa State TD. Junior tight end Jace Amaro was not too shy after the game, saying the freshmen on special teams need to improve. He also said older players have to stress the importance of those units.
Both freshmen QBs are good
With Baker Mayfield watching from the sideline, Davis Webb was 35-of-56 for 415 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Webb’s 415 yards were the fourth most by a Tech quarterback in his first career start. The only better debuts were by Steven Sheffield in 2009 (490 vs. Kansas State), Sonny Cumbie in 2004 (470 at SMU) and Cody Hodges in 2005 (454 vs. Florida International).
The Tech defense likes third down
Tech limited Iowa State to 5-of-16 on third-down conversions, a category that’s been a strong suit all season. Tech ranks No. 11 in the nation in third-down defense, holding opponents to a conversion rate of 28.2 percent. “We call that the money down,” senior defensive lineman Kerry Hyder said. “We’re always trying to get off the field on third down.”