Roundtable: Texas Tech’s Offensive Production


We all know about the defensive struggles this season and how it has had a major impact on the Red Raiders starting 2-2 this season, but what about the offense? Here are a few questions for y’all concerning the Red Raiders offense so far in 2014:

1. For as much negative media attention Texas Tech’s defense gets, its offense hasn’t been what it has been in years past, averaging just 33.75 points per game (not bad, but not great either). Do you think the offense just isn’t as prolific this year?

Weston: I think Texas Tech’s biggest problem is that they’re missing bigger, more physical receivers. Jace Amaro and Eric Ward were both guys that overpowered the large majority of cornerbacks and could go up and get the football. This year’s team has speed, but lacks physicality.

Robert: A lack of points is mostly a product of that Arkansas game, where they didn’t get the ball very much anyway and squandered what few possessions they had. The result was a mere 28 points.

Shelby: I think they’re lacking spark — so no, they’re not as prolific. I just don’t think this team is as good as they’ve been previously.

Patrick: The quarterback play hasn’t been up to par. Webb turns the ball over way too much. When in the pocket he locks on to his target and tries to force the ball in a tight window. He needs to focus on multiple reads and looking the safety off. The mid range throws leave something to be desired and these receivers have to catch the ball.

Yasmin: I think the offense has plenty of power to be prolific but they turn they ball over. Webb has so much potential and will be the best quarterback to play at Tech thus far, he just has not found his groove yet.

Louis: The offense would get a lot more yards and points if it stopped making mistakes with penalties and turnovers. Clean that up and the numbers would be just as good.

2. What do you think the offense is missing this year that has made red zone scoring so hard to come by?

Weston: In addition to Amaro and Ward being gone, turnovers in the red zone have been extremely costly this year, penalties have also plagued their chances when they’re in scoring position.

Robert: Guys like Eric Ward and Jace Amaro are tough to replace. Their ability to make plays with defenders draped all over them is something no one in the current receiving corp can give you.

Shelby: Jace Amaro. Also, options. Last year they had Amaro, Williams, Grant, Ward, Marquez, Foster, and even that isn’t an exhaustive list. They just had way more experienced options. This year’s team doesn’t have that.

Patrick: They are missing big time weapons from a year ago. Jace Amaro and Eric Ward were a big part of their success last season. Also seems as if there is a lot of pressure on Webb to be the man.

Yasmin: Tech is missing its powers Jace Amaro and Eric Ward. They relied on those two heavily last year and now they are starting from near scratch.

Louis: Reliable go-to receivers in the end zone. Lots of dropped passes and miscommunication this year.

Sep 13, 2014; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Quinton White (37) carries the ball against the Arkansas Razorback defensive in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

3. Which offensive players have disappointed? Which have been a positive surprise?

Weston: The easy answer here is Davis Webb, he has seemed to regress this year. Webb may be disappointing, but to me, Sam Eguavoen, Pete Robertson and Kenny Williams (linebackers) have been disappointing as a whole. Reginald Davis has emerged as a No.2/3 receiver for this team, which has been a pleasant surprise.

Robert: I’ve been really disappointed with Webb most of all. After that bowl game the sky was the limit and it was exciting to think about what all he’d be able to do with another year in the system. His lack of development is the biggest problem with the offense right now.

Shelby: Webb has disappointed. Everyone has put so much faith in him, and he hasn’t met any expectations. He played better last year as a true freshman than he has been this year. Stockton and Cantrell have been a positive surprise. Not that I expected them to be bad, they’ve just been productive and I appreciate it.

Patrick:  Webb has been the disappointment. My surprise this season has to be the freshmen running back Justin Stockton. He has shown that he can be relied on and I would look to get him more involved.

Yasmin: Webb has disappointed me many times. He was so great in the bowl and spring game but has not matched the same level of play. Dylan Cantrell has been a great surprise to me. He has not played a ton but last week he made some clutch catches and I want to see more from him this week.

Louis: Webb has disappointed, but it’s not all his fault. The Holiday Bowl made everyone believe he was past all the growing pains. He’s still a young quarterback and learning as he goes.

4. Texas Tech has yet to score 45 points or more in a game this year, the last time the Red Raiders failed to score 45 points or more in a year was in 1999, Spike Dykes last year as head coach. Will Tech score 45 points this year against a Big 12 opponent? If so, who?

Weston: Squandering red zone opportunities has been huge in a lowered points per game stat this year for Texas Tech. I do think they are improving as the year progresses though. I think they put up 45+ against Kansas, West Virginia and possibly Iowa State.

Robert: I wouldn’t worry so much about scoring more than 45 points per game as holding opponents to under 45 points. Good teams don’t have to win shootouts in 40s and 50s.

Shelby: Yes. Definitely Kansas. Why? Because it’s Kansas.

Patrick: Kansas is still on the schedule and I would be surprised if they don’t drop 50.

Yasmin: It is hard to say who Tech will score 45 or more points against this season. It depends on the quarterback situation. If Webb comes back I can see him scoring that much  on West Virginia, Kansas and Iowa State.

Louis: Tech will score more than 45 against Kansas and Texas, but that won’t guarantee a win.

5. Texas Tech’s rushing attack has been noticeably more effective this year, do you think Kliff will lean more and more on the run down the stretch? Why or why not?

Weston: I think Kliff has wanted to run the ball more since he came back to Lubbock, they just didn’t have the offensive line or running backs last year to do it. I think we will continue to see a stronger running game down the stretch to keep pressure off of Webb and let Washington, White and Stockton do their thing.

Robert: Unfortunately I think the success in the running game is a product of the passing game. Lean too much on the rushing attack and those eye-catching numbers start to vanish. That said, Kliff should continue to balance out the offense whenever possible.

Shelby: Yes. Because Webb hasn’t been as productive as he should be. And it’s harder to throw an interception when you’re passing off to a running back instead of throwing it (I say somewhat sarcastically).

Patrick: Yes. Kliff has shown that he will ride the hot hand. If Webb is struggling in the passing game they have a trio of backs to carry the load. Run to set up the pass.

Yasmin: I believe Kliff should rely more on his rushing game because it is not what opponents expect from him. I think it also depends on the opponent. Kliff will call what he thinks fits best for the situation.

Louis: Tech should rely more on running. It would take a lot of the pressure off two struggling quarterbacks.