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Five key developments

Erxleben, Jones, Smith, Marquez and sacks all of note

Posted: November 29, 2013 - 11:50pm  |  Updated: November 30, 2013 - 1:22am
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Becoming one-dimensional

Punter Ryan Erxleben, on the strength of his surprise 51-yard touchdown run, was Texas Tech’s leading rusher Thursday. Then again, no one else had much of a chance. Running backs Kenny Williams, DeAndre Washington and Sadale Foster had only eight carries among them, netting a composite 56 yards. Kliff Kingsbury admitted he abandoned the run, either because Texas loaded the box or because the run game wasn’t taking advantage when it had numbers.

Corner goes down

Texas Tech’s bowl chances won’t be helped if CB Bruce Jones misses practice or, come late December, the final game. At least Jones will be OK, according to Kliff Kingsbury and Tech officials. The Red Raiders were nervous after Jones slammed into UT RB Malcolm Brown’s thigh and collapsed to the turf, motionless. Tech officials said Jones was treated for a concussion and not taken to a hospital — a relief after the sight of medical staff immobilizing Jones’ upper body and placing him on a backboard.

Protection problems

Tech has trouble handling pressure during its five-game losing streak. Kansas State DE Ryan Mueller had three sacks against the Red Raiders, and Baylor CB K.J. Morton had four hurries. That was nothing compared to Thursday when the Longhorns racked up 14 quarterback hurries and nine sacks. Three sacks came from Jackson Jeffcoat, a DE lined up at DT or inside LB. Some of the blame’s on the offensive line, and some’s on QB Baker Mayfield showing some lack of awareness and uncertainty in the pocket.

Don’t blame Will

Though Texas rushed for 281 yards, ILB Will Smith seemed to be everywhere. Smith was in on 18 tackles, four behind the line, including a sack and added a quarterback hurry. He had 16 tackles the game before against Baylor. Those are Tech highs since Dwayne Slay’s 18-tackle game against Baylor in 2005. Too bad Smith’s Tech career ends with the bowl game. He won’t be easy to replace.

Another quiet night

Tech flanker Bradley Marquez was a big component to Tech’s 7-0 start, getting to 33 catches, 454 yards and five touchdowns during that stretch. He hasn’t reached 40 receiving yards in any of the last five games, however. Tech coaches gave Marquez the start Thursday at Jakeem Grant’s inside receiver spot, but he fared no better. Marquez finished with three catches for 23 yards.

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Marquez Underused !!!

It aint on Marquez that his numbers have gone down. The problem is you dont have a Seth Doege or a Graham Harrell or even to date a Michael Brewer at QB. Those guys were experienced enough to usually be able to go to their second receiver in the progression and maybe even the 3rd or 4th. What we have seen is normally a QB that eyes one receiver or maybe two (rarely) and they are Jace and Eric. Bradley has been a 3rd choice or lower all season. It is a dang shame as well cause being from Midland I've watched the guy alot and he IS NORMALLY OPEN!!! We just dont LOOK AT him. If he was at TCU or KSU he is all-conference!! It is a crying shame to waste his talent this year. I just hope he comes back for his sr yr. You will remember he turned down a bonus offer from the Mets last August to give up football and stay with the Mets. He chose his Red Raiders over $125,000 cash bonus!!! And then we cant even find him on the football field to throw to him. NOT SMART !!! AND NOT FAIR to Bradley !!!


QBs Need Vision

Kingsbury will need to set his priority on recruiting a larger and stronger offensive line and getting his inexperienced QB's to do a much better job of quickly going through their progressions. Too many times they were homing in on one receiver (covered) and failing to check down to others who were open. Granted it is difficult to get to the second and third options when the pocket is collapsing, but even when they had time they were failing to locate the open receiver. Accuracy was also becoming a problem when pressure was felt. Passes were short on long balls and high on short middle of the field routes. The passes were being completed due to some very athletic catches by our talented receiving corp.; Leach's practices used to concentrate a lot on QB's checking down. KK is a former student of a Leach, so I believe he will have his QB ready for next season...whoever that is.

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