ISU 47 – Texas Tech 7
Amazing game! Where to start. I guess I should start by saying that in the history of college football, it is very common for a team to have a letdown after a huge win. Tech upset the mighty Sooners last week in Norman, which may have been one of the biggest victories in the history of the program. The game was set up for Tech to not play nearly as well. To be honest, I thought this might be the case and theat if we can out focused and started strong we had a chance to stay in the game and possibly pull out the upset in the fourth quarter. Well, we did just that, but what I had not planned on was how we totally dominated the game and just destroyed the Red Raiders. This was so unexpected and so needed at this critical juncture of the season. Please do not underestimate this victory. It was one of the best victories in the history of our program.
I would say that this was the best overall played game by ISU in the Paul Rhoads era. The 41-7 victory was the 2nd largest margin of victory for a road game in the Big 12 era at ISU going back to the 42 point victory over Kansas down in Lawrence back in 2001. It was the largest margin of victory ISU has ever had against a ranked opponent. It was also the first victory ISU has ever had in Lubbock and the second straight victory we have had over the Red Raiders going back to last season in Jack Trice. We seem to have their number.
All the different parts of the ISU football machine performed very well, and certainly, if we can continue to play this way, we are capable of winning the remainder of the games on our schedule. I want to pinpoint one part of the game that we dominated that made all the difference in the game and in my opinion, allowed us to dominate this game. That was that we were able to run the ball effectively. This took the pressure off our young QB who was making his first career start. It allowed us to pass the ball when we wanted to and not when we had to. It allowed our offense to stay on the field and dominate the time of possession for the game having kept the ball 40.09 which was huge. This kept our defense off the field and allowed them to stay fresh and to sustain dominance over the Tech offense throughout the game. What a great game and what a great day to be a Cyclone!
Let me start with who I thought was the MVP of the game. I think that Jared Barnett, played like a fifth year senior in his 30th start rather than a red shirt freshman in his first career start. Let me tell you that Lubbock is a difficult place to play and for a quarterback making his first start, the proposition of having a good game is even tougher. Barnett was 14 for 26 passing for 144 yards. He threw for one touchdown and through no interceptions. No interceptions might be the very best part of that stat line. He also was all over the field scrambling for 92 yards. Barnett seems to give our offense a spark and we seem to be a different offense with him at the helm. He came back in the second half after sustaining a very big hit out-of-bounds by a Tech defender that was very borderline unnecessary hit. The poise he showed and the way he led that offense during this game gives every indication that he can develop into an outstanding QB and be the starter for years to come here at ISU.
I thought the offensive line played by far their best game of the season. They made a decision that they were going to dominate the front line of Texas Tech and they did just that. They knocked them off the line and we ran the ball at will on Saturday. We ran the b 67 times for 368 yards which the most we have rushed for in a game since the 368 yards ISU rushed for against Indiana State in the first game of the 1999 season. Just for the record, I was the starting left tackle on that line. That was my senior year. Has it really been that long ago? Lol. When we did pass the ball, our line did a good job of giving Barnett the time he needed to make good decisions.
Our running backs played an outstanding game. It had been one whole year since we had 2 running backs rush for over 100 yards. In fact, you have to go back to when we played Texas Tech last season in Jack Trice and Alexander Robinson and Shontrelle Johnson accomplished the feat. White had an outstanding game rushing for 138 yards. He made big run after big run throughout the game. The only bad part came when White fumbled the ball down on our goaline when we were getting ready to go in and score. Obviously, turnovers can really hurt. Luckily, despite letting Tech drive all the way down the field, our defense was able to step up and stop them from scoring by stopping them on 4th and short. It was our only turnover of the game and the fact that we did not turn the ball over was a big reason why we were able to dominate this game. Hollis played an outstanding game in the first game he had a significant amount of carries. He had a 71 yd run for a TD on the first offensive series of the 2nd half that was huge. He ended the game with 101 yds rushing. Woody also had some very strong runs inside. He ended the game with 36 yds and easily had his best game of the season. Having 4 different running threats in Barnett, White, Hollis, and Woody and is huge.
The receivers played well as well. They were not as dominant because we simply did not have to pass the ball as much as we usually do. ISU ended the game with only 144 yards passing. Josh Lentz played very well and had several key catches. Lentz ended the game with 74 yds receiving. Aaron Horne also stepped up and had a few big catches.
We also did much better in the area of penalties. We only had 4 penalties for 30 yards. When you are not making stupid penalties, you are always giving yourself a chance to win.
Another huge area was how we started the game very fast. We finally broke out of our first quarter slow start funk and scored 21 points in the first quarter. We had 191 yds of offense in the first quarter alone which is outstanding! It is huge starting the game fast and even more so when you are playing on the road. We took the opening drive on offense to start the game 67 yards on 8 plays and Barnett scored on a 12 yd TD run. Great start to the game.
Our defense has played outstanding at different spots in other games this year, but this was the best defense played over the course of the game all season. The only other game I can recall where we played as good of defense as in this game was at Lincoln in the 09 season when they shut down the Cornhusker offense on a day they had to pull out the upset. This was a very special game played by the defense.
The defense held a team that was averaging 43.4 points a game and we held them to 7 points. Amazing. We started quickly in the game and held them to 3 first downs in their first 4 possessions on offense and allowed no points scored in the first quarter. The stop on 4th and 1 near there goaline in the first quarter was huge! Benton and Klein were there for the stop. The defense allowed only 290 yards for the game and only 71 yards in the second half. They did not allow Tech to score in the second half. That is even better than outstanding. That is simply Awesome.
The defensive line had another outstanding game. They got consistent pressure on Doege, the Tech QB, and limited him to 16 for 32 passing for 171 yards passing and 0 TDs. This broke a 69 game streak Tech had of scoring at least on TD on a pass in a game. Keep in mind that Doege had over 400 yards passing against Oklahoma last week and is one of the best QBs in the country this year. Jake Lattimer had one of his best games as a Cyclone and provided a lot of pressure from the outside and even deflected a pass. Our defense seems to play the way our line plays. If our DL has a good game, the rest of the defense tends to as well. Great job guys!
The LBs played fast and were making big hits all game. AJ Klein had another outstanding game. He had some really huge hits.
I thought that the defensive backs played their best overall game of the season. Jeremy Reeves played his best game of the season and had an interception in the 1st quarter. Leonard Johnson also played an outstanding game. Ter’Ran Benton had his first career INT in the first quarter. He just missed having a third interception for the defense. The early turnover the defense forced were very big in our getting the Tech offense off the field early and allowed us to gain momentum.
Special Teams A-
Another outstanding performance by the special teams. The kickoff and punt cover teams played outstanding. They were getting off their block and did not allow Tech to get any field position off big returns.
The kicking game was very solid which was nice to see. Zach Guyer had an outstanding game kicking the ball . He was 2 for 2 on FGs making 42 yarder and then following it up with a 23 yd FG in the 4th quarter. Zach has made 4 straight FGs now which is a real confidence builder. Zach also made all his extra point attempts.
Grant Mahoney did an excellent job kicking the ball deep on kickoffs. He also attempted a 50 yd FG attempt, but he missed it.
VanDerKamp had a good night punting the ball punting 5 times for a 42.6 yd average.
I am very proud of the resiliency shown by the players and coaches. Despite 4 straight losses, they came out and prepared hard and they were clearly ready to play. The confidence that can be gained from a performance like this can be huge. If we can play like this, we can beat any team in the country. Seriously! Is it possible to get to 6 wins this year and go to a bowl game? Absolutely, but we have to play like we did Saturday to do it. We have one game out of the remaining 4 games that we will be favored in. We should win that game, by we are going to need at least one more upset this season to be able to go to a bowl game. I think they can do it.
Kansas at ISU (11:30 am)
kKansas is coming into jack Trice this Saturday having a 6 game losing streak. They only gained 46 yards of offense in a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Longhorns in Austin last Saturday. They statistically have the worst defense in the country. Texas rushed for 441 yards against the Jayhawks. One player to watch is LB Steven Johnson who is leading the country averaging 10.1 tackles/game. Ok, so we are favored in this game and on paper, we should beat them rather easily. Now we have to be sure we come out and start fast again so we don’t have a big letdown like Texas Tech did against us. If we don’t play well, we are very capable of losing this game. I personally don’t think this will be the case. I think we will play a strong game and win this game by at least 3 touchdowns. Go Cyclones!