10 Points: Texas Tech Hammers Iowa State


Texas Tech bounced back in a huge way on Saturday following consecutive weeks of disappointment in losses to Texas Christian and Baylor. The 66-31 victory against the Iowa State Cyclones was just what Texas Tech seemed to need after the offense struggled to keep pace with Baylor a week ago. Similarly, the defense bounced back to put in a fairly good performance; at least by the standards set so far this season. Overall, the defense did enough to allow Mahomes and company the chance of pulling away from the Cyclones by the second quarter.

There was some concern regarding just how effective the Red Raider offense would be with three of its four starting receivers out with injury. However, lead by senior Jakeem Grant, the younger wideouts didn’t seem to miss a beat. The trio of Tony Brown, Ja’Deion High, and Jonathan Giles stood out for the Red Raider offense as they hauled in a total of 159 yards.  In total, Texas Tech chalked up an incredible 776 yards of offense with Patrick Mahomes II having another great outing. The sophomore quarterback threw for 428 yards on 33 of 46 passing, and five touchdowns.

Oct 10, 2015; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (21) looks for running room against the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Justin Stockton and DeAndre Washington brutalized the Cyclones on the ground, racking up nearly 200 yards rushing, and combining for a pair of touchdowns. Another running back Texas Tech fans should get used to seeing over the next few years is freshman Demarcus Felton. The Houston native rushed for 66 yards on three attempts, including a touchdown, his first of the 2015 season.

While Texas Tech’s defense was likely never going to shutout the Cyclones, they began the day strong, picking off Sam B. Richardson on Iowa State’s first offensive play. The defense held Iowa State to 5 of 15 on third attempts and would haul in a total of three interceptions by the end of the game. Texas Tech has struggled against good rushing teams in the past, particularly Iowa State.

However, while the Red Raiders limited the damage the Cyclones were able to inflict, David Gibbs’ rushing defense still needs plenty of work. Iowa State running-back Mike Warren torched Texas Tech between the tackles, routinely bursting through for huge gains. Similarly, Gibbs’ secondary continues to struggle against large receivers, although that group may be limited to what they can do with undersized corners.

Overall, Texas Tech was able to bounce back against the Iowa State and come away with a critical victory as they seek at least the six wins necessary for a post-season bowl game.

Ten Points from Texas Tech vs. Iowa State:

  1. Patrick Mahomes II — Texas Tech’s QB1 continues to be a magician out of the pocket. Mahomes’ ability to improvise and extend plays has helped the offensive attack in critical situations, allowing the Red Raiders to really put their foot on the gas and break away from the opposition. His elusive play also brings a much needed multi-dimensional aspect to Texas Tech’s offense by forcing the opposition to defend all areas of the field.
  2. Picked Off — Texas Tech’s J.J. Gaines and Tevin Madison accounted for a total of three interceptions on the day. Madison’s INT came on Iowa State’s first offensive play of the day, and most likely helped establish the tone of the game on Saturday. In a similar fashion J.J. Gaines’ INTs helped stymie Iowa State as they fought to regain some steam late in the game.
  3. “The Dream” — Jakeem Grant has been a constant force in Texas Tech’s receiving corps throughout the 2015 season. The senior had a lackluster 2014 campaign but has come back in a huge way this season, with his experience and explosive play having an effect on the younger receivers as well. Grant currently leads all Texas Tech receivers with 648 yards receiving on 44 receptions and 4 touchdowns.
  4. Defensive Line — Texas Tech’s defensive line once again struggled against the run on Saturday as Mike Warren routinely burst through the middle for huge gains. However, Mike Smith’s group shored up in the second half, pressuring the Iowa State quarterbacks. Rush defense should remain a concern for Texas Tech as they still have yet to play teams such as Kansas State and Oklahoma.
  5. Explosive Plays — Texas Tech currently leads the FBS in 40 + yard plays this season, and on Saturday that position was further solidified. Texas Tech’s offense found success nickel-and-diming Iowa State with quick throws to the flat. However, what really broke the game wide open were long touchdowns by Texas Tech’s skill position players. Jakeem Grant’s 75- yard reception and Reginald Davis’ 33- yard reception helped establish the long ball early, while 50+ yard runs by both Justin Stockton and Demarcus Felton put the game out of reach for Iowa State.
  6. The Backfield — The tandem of DeAndre Washington and Justin Stockton continues to provide a great one-two punch on the ground. Their complimentary running styles have been essential in short-yardage situations and as well as explosive plays. Furthermore, with Demarcus Felton and Corey Dauphine waiting in the wings, the Red Raiders should be set at running-back for years to come.
  7. Penalties — Texas Tech was flagged for seven times on Saturday, accruing a total of fifty yards in penalties. While that number may not be ridiculously high, what is more troublesome is the timing of these penalties. Texas Tech’s biggest offensive detriment has often been their ability to kill their own drives. On Saturday Tech somehow managed to force themselves into a 3rd & 30 after consecutive penalties. The third down was converted successfully, but that may not always be the case against tougher defenses.
  8. Underrated — Texas Tech’s ability to bounce back from the emotional toll of a heart-breaking loss and absolute beatdown in consecutive weeks. Kingsbury’s team had every reason to come out flat against Iowa State on Saturday, but managed to bounce back. The Red Raiders essentially did to Iowa State what Baylor did to them, albeit at a 2:30 p.m. homecoming game.
  9. Overrated — The aforementioned 2:30 p.m. time slot, on homecoming, in a power five conference, in October. Ridiculous.
  10. Final Thought — Texas Tech’s blowout victory against Iowa State should do wonders for their confidence level heading into next weeks’ match up. The Red Raiders will be seeking their second consecutive Big XII conference victory as they travel to Lawrence, Kansas where they will take on the Jayhawks at 11:00 a.m..

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