Texas Tech football: Red Raiders that must step up vs. Cyclones

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Sep 26, 2020; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Alan Bowman (10) celebrates a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech football needs the following players to step up if today’s game against Iowa State is going to be a victory.

A look at the individual statistical leaders for the Big 12 shows numerous Red Raiders.  But the problem is that the game of football isn’t nearly as geared towards individual achievement as other sports given that there are 22 players on the field at once.

Still, it’s nice to see some Red Raiders near the top of some of the Big 12 leaderboards.  And as you can imagine, most call the offensive side of the ball home.

Despite leaving last week’s game against Kansas State in the first quarter with an ankle injury, quarterback Alan Bowman is in the top 4 in a number of categories.  He is No. 3 in passing yards per game (261.3), No. 4 in total offense (268.3  yards per game), and No. 6 in pass efficiency (138.7).

His backfield mate, SaRodorick Thompson is No. 4 in the conference in rushing yards per game at 89.3 yards per game.  He is also tied for No. 4 in the league in scoring among non-kickers with an average of eight points per game.

Also tied with him in that category is inside receiver KeSean Carter.   What’s more, Carter leads the league in receptions per game at 7.0.  At No. 6 on that list is Erik Ezukanma (5.3 receptions per game) and at No. 10 is T.J. Vasher (4.7).

Not surprising is the fact that punter Austin McNamara is near the top of the league standings in yards per kick.  With an average of 45.0, he’s just 0.1 yards per punt behind the league leader, Joe Rivera of Iowa State.

Though the Tech defense is among the worst in the Big 12 in most categories, there are some individual Red Raider defenders on the league leaderboards.

For instance, middle linebacker Krishon Merriweather is tied for third in the league in tackles per game at 9.0.  Meanwhile, safety Thomas Leggett is tied for No. 14 on that list at 6.7 per game.

Merriweather is also in the top 20 in the league in tackles per loss.  Averaging 0.83 per game, he’s currently No. 16.

In the secondary, Zech McPhearson is tied for 4th in the conference in passes defended.  With four total, he’s averaging 1.3 per game.  Also on that list are linebacker Brandon Randle and corner Alex Hogan who are both tied for No. 7 with an average of 1 pass defended per game.

But there need to be more Red Raiders among the various leaderboards before the tide starts to turn for Matt Wells‘ program.  And there are some significant contributors that Tech needs more from.  So let’s take a look at which players need to step up their games against Iowa State today.

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