Rush defense remains an issue
The last four weeks, Tech has allowed 183, 277, 281 and 291 rushing yards. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury acknowledged the Wildcats were moving the Red Raiders’ defensive front. K-State senior John Hubert finished with 157 yards, nine short of his career high. Tech coaches said last week they expect teams to challenge the Red Raiders with the run until they show they can stop it. Baylor and Texas have the personnel to do just that.
Who’s the quarterback now?
Freshman quarterback Davis Webb was pulled after four series, his last two being three-and-outs. Baker Mayfield came in with Tech trailing 28-10 late in the first half and finished 34-of-44 for 276 yards, but committed three turnovers.Several times this season, Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has been straightforward about which of the two would start. After Saturday’s loss, he said the coaching staff will have to evaluate again.
Turnovers a weekly issue
Texas Tech lost the turnovers column 3-0, and that’s nothing new. The Red Raiders have lost it in six of their seven conference games, going minus-1 three times, minus-2 once and minus-3 twice. They finished ahead in turnover margin only in a victory over Kansas. Kansas State converted two of the turnovers into touchdowns, one after Baker Mayfield fumbled at the Tech 32-yard line and another when safety Ty Zimmerman returned an interception for a clinching TD.
Penalties in red zone hurt
Two of the most penalized teams in the nation are No. 4 Baylor and No. 6 Oregon, but Tech has a harder time overcoming them. The Red Raiders were flagged 10 times Saturday for 80 yards, with three being particularly costly. On separate first-half series, a pass-interference penalty and a personal foul moved Kansas State to the Tech 5-yard line, setting up touchdowns. Late in the third quarter, the Red Raiders were preparing to go for a fourth-and-7 from the KSU 9. Then Tech committed a false start and had to settle for a field goal.
Seniors leaders still out or limited
Safety Tre Porter, who aggravated an ankle injury against Oklahoma State, returned to play a full game and make seven tackles. But the defense missed lineman Dartwan Bush for the fourth game in a row, and linebacker Terrance Bullitt played only a little bit, coming in in the second half with a padded cast on his broken hand.