Texas Tech has to make Clayton Tune one-dimensional
There’s no way to completely shut down a QB as experienced and as good as Houston’s Clayton Tune. However, he can be limited and that’s what Tech must do today.
Tune is a strong passer (though many of his throws are short check-downs) and that’s a worry given Tech’s struggles against the pass last season and the two 50-yard passes surrendered to Murray State last week. Yet, the bigger concern with Tune might just be his ability to break contain and pick up yards on the ground.
Make no mistake, he’s not a run-first QB like Michael Vick or Lamar Jackson. He prefers to throw the ball.
Still, he is a high-level athlete who can do damage when he tucks it and takes off. Just ask UTSA.
Last week, Tune was Houston’s leading rusher with 51 yards on 15 carries. He even scored a huge overtime TD and an even bigger OT two-point conversion with his feet.
However, it was on third down where he did so much damage on the ground. In fact, on Houston’s final drive of regulation, and 18-play march that would end in a field goal to put the Cougars up 24-21 with less than a minute to play, Tune would convert back-to-back third downs with runs of 15 and seven yards respectively.
Tech will be aware of Tune’s legs and will likely have a spy on him for most of the afternoon. Still, the defense can’t afford to let him keep drives alive on unscripted runs.
This is where the pass rush must be disciplined and stay in its lanes. Lose contain and Tune can change the game with a scramble.
Tune is a strong player and an improved passer. Still, Tech must make him win this game with his arm and not his feet. If he is forced to throw the ball to beat the Red Raiders, he very likely will throw an interception or two and that could flip the game in a huge way.