Following the Texas Tech football team’s loss to Iowa State, concern continues to grow about the Red Raider offense so let’s take a look at what is troubling that side of the ball.
Texas Tech football fans are not accustomed to worrying about their team’s offensive production. Over the last two decades, the one constant we could count on was a high-octane offense giving us at least a puncher’s chance in most games.
But thus far in Big 12 play, the Red Raider offense has been far from potent against three of the better defenses in the conference. Three of Tech’s four league opponents so far have featured a top-4 defense in the league with OU coming in at No. 3, Baylor coming in at No. 2, and Iowa State at No. 4 in scoring defense.
Those three teams are allowing an average of 19.9 points per game this year. Against them, the Red Raiders were able to manage 23.3 points per game, which is slightly better than the average team. But in Lubbock, where the football team has been putting sevens on the scoreboard with ease for twenty years, the Red Raider faithful expect to see point totals at least in the high 30s on a weekly basis.
That’s not been what this offense has produced yet. And it’s not what we were promised when the new coaching staff took over.
The first assistant hire Matt Wells made known to the public was offensive coordinator David Yost. And Tech fans were quick to be shown the success Wells and Yost had last year with the Utah State offense, which was second in the nation in scoring at 47.5 points per game.
The rational fan, (which is an oxymoron) would have to admit that the Texas Tech offensive coaches didn’t just forget how to coach over the offseason. What’s more, we have to understand that the scheme Yost is running should be able to put up points in a Power 5 conference given that almost all of the principles of it were derived from Yost’s time at Missouri, Washington State, and Oregon.
Still, something has yet to click on that side of the ball this year. Tech has scored over 30 points just once against a Power 5 team this year (45 points against Oklahoma State). And in the team’s other 30-point showing against a major conference opponent, ten of the 30 points it scored against Baylor came in the two overtime periods where each drive begins on the defense’s 25-yard-line.
There’s no question that this offense has problems. It’s not fun for Texas Tech fans to admit. It cuts right to the core of what we’ve come to know as our identity. If we aren’t lighting up the scoreboard, what are we?
Certainly, we are not going to be known as a defensive program after two decades of being a laughing stock in that regard. So like the kid in middle school trying to find his place in the crowd, we find ourselves not knowing what to cling to as the one certainty we can count on during this season.
Let’s look closer at the side of the ball that has disappointed most this season. As we do, we will see just why this offense is just 5th in total offense in Big 12 play and 7th in scoring and perhaps we will understand where the improvement needs to come from in order to get back to what this program has come to be known for.