Texas Tech football: Red Raider fans aiming criticism at wrong coordinator

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts during play against the Oklahoma Sooners at Jones AT&T Stadium on November 17, 2007 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts during play against the Oklahoma Sooners at Jones AT&T Stadium on November 17, 2007 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Patterson is failing to adapt his scheme to fit his personnel

The story of the Iowa State game was the fact that the Cyclones averaged 11.8 yards per pass while Tech averaged just 4.5.  But in reality, the story was that one Red Raider coordinator adjusted his game plan to give his players success and one did not.

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If you don’t believe that this coaching staff lacks the ability to trust Jett Duffey to fully implement all of the offense, you have not been paying very close attention.  That was part of the reason that Yost had Duffey throw 16 wide receiver screens on Saturday, a number that bothered many Tech fans.

Yost believed that Duffey would have been less successful and more prone to disaster had he asked his QB to throw the ball in the tight windows the ISU defense would have given him over the middle.  Reading defenses is not Duffey’s strength so asking him to avoid the floating Cyclone defenders that patrol the middle layer of the ISU 3-3-5 cloud defense would have been unwise.  In other words, Yost did what he could to help his QB avoid critical mistakes and still move the ball at a rate of over 5 yards per play (which is what Tech averaged on its wide receiver screens).

As for Yost’s reluctance to use Duffey’s legs, that’s not going to happen because if Duffey is hurt we will get round two of the Jackson Tyner experience and no one wants that.  Until Bowman is ready to return, Duffey is the team’s only healthy scholarship QB and he simply can’t be exposed to extra punishment. Unfortunately, that takes away his only elite asset but it is the reality of the situation.

But while Yost was altering what he asked his players to do in order to maximize their skill set and ability to compete against the Cyclones, Patterson repeatedly set his defense up to fail.  That’s because he continually insisted on putting his defensive backs on an island and the Cyclones feasted.

On both of Iowa State’s first two touchdown passes, Patterson asked his corners to play man coverage against 6-foot-6, 252-pound Cyclone TE Charlie Kolar.  Neither the 5-foot-11 or 6-foot-1 Coleman was able to stop the big ISU TE from going up high for his two touchdown receptions.

By the time Patterson stopped running so much man coverage, ISU’s Brock Purdy had thrown for 290 yards on his team’s first five possessions and only three missed kicks prevented the Cyclones from putting up 27 points before halftime.  Why did he wait so long to try something different when his original plan of attack proved to be laughable to the opposition?

Whether it has been against OU’s lightning-fast receivers or ISU’s towering pass catchers, Patterson has inexplicably put his players in a coverage scheme that they are not equipped to execute.   Meanwhile, on the front end of his defense, he’s counting on his linebackers and defensive linemen to apply consistent pressure on the QB to help their DBs despite the fact that they have proven incapable of doing that with the exception of the Oklahoma State game.

Then there was the final drive of regulation against Baylor when he did the opposite.  Dropping his safeties and corners more than 10 yards off the ball against a receiving corp that did not have one big play over the top all game, he gave weak-armed Baylor QB Charlie Brewer the part of the field that he makes a living in as Brewer drove his team to the game-tying field goal in the final two minutes.

We may not always like what Yost’s scheme looks like.  It is more simplistic than Kingsbury’s and not as pass-happy as that of Mike Leach.  But it is more logical, especially given the limitations of the players at his disposal, than what Patterson is doing.

Next. Why Tech lost to ISU. dark

Whereas Yost is asking his offensive players to do what they are best equipped to do, Patterson is asking his defensive backs to ply a coverage that most have not played much of for the majority of their careers and which they continue to prove incapable of executing properly.  Which idea seems like it deserves more criticism?