Reviewing Texas Tech's Last Two Games: The Right and Wrong Ways to Play

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Reviewing Texas Tech's Last Two Games: The Right and Wrong Ways to Play
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Truth be told, that is what Texas Tech needed against Kansas State.

Although a quarterback controversy has emerged from that game, Tech needed a strong showing on both sides of the ball for a full game.

Tech won Saturday night 66-14 in impressive fashion and actually seemed to play its first complete game of the year. Tech was able to make play after play on both offense and defense and walked away from Kansas State sending a message to Nebraska.

The message? The offense just started clicking.

Hell, Steven Sheffield, the backup QB making his first career start for the injured Taylor Potts, had a record-setting day, going for 490 yards and seven TDs. Along the way he managed to get the offense in the end zone on the seven of the eight possessions in the first half. The other possession? It merely ended up in a field goal.

Tech found its rhythm early and this time actually followed up with strong possessions, scoring 38 points in the first half.

The game played Saturday night was a 180-degree turnaround from what type of game was played against New Mexico a week ago. If there was an instructional video on how to play a complete game, these two previous games would have both been used to illustrate right from wrong.

Right: Keep the tempo high by scoring on consecutive possessions. Tech was able to score on their first eight possessions of the game against Kansas State.

Wrong: Failing to score on six straight possessions after scoring a TD on the opening drive. Tech was not able to follow up a two-play drive that resulted in a TD to open the game against the Lobos. Tech punted the ball four times and had two interceptions following the TD by RB Baron Batch.

Right: Get the stable of RBs involved and give each multiple carries and touches throughout the game. Against the Wildcats, Tech had 21 rushes for 175 yards and a TD. The trio also caught 12 passes for 77 yards.

Wrong: Failing to keep control of the ball on offense. Tech gave the ball up five times against New Mexico. Three interceptions and two fumbles led to only 14 points, but against a better opponent it would be disastrous and difficult to walk away with a win.

Right: Effectively get pressure on the opposing QB throughout the game. The Raider defense was able to get to Kansas State’s QBs Grant Gregory and Carson Coffman five times, sacking Gregory three times before the end of the first half and getting to Coffman twice in the second half.

Wrong: Giving up points on multiple possessions in one quarter. The Tech defense surrendered 21 points to the Lobos in the fourth quarter of last week's game. The Tech offense did manage to get 13 points of their own in the same quarter to keep the margin the same.

Right: Controlling the clock by converting on third down plays. Tech only had eight third down plays on Saturday against the Wildcats and converted five of them. This allowed the Raider offense to hold onto the ball for more than 31 minutes.

Wrong: Getting penalties resulting in third and longs. Tech had 11 penalties for 99 yards against the Lobos, resulting in only converting one third down play out of seven chances. This resulted in the Tech offense holding the ball for 15 minutes less than the New Mexico offense.

Either way, Tech finds itself 2-0 after these last two weeks and has improved its record to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in Big XII play.

During the last two weeks the Tech offense has seemed to find itself under Sheffield, going for 104 points and over 1,200 yards of offense. The defense has also impressed, causing four turnovers and only giving up a combined 38 points. A TD was scored by the Wildcats defense on an interception runback.

In a lot of ways Tech is still battling obstacles in the middle of their season but have definitely seemed to hit their stride right before their hardest stretch of the season.

Upcoming for the Raiders are Nebraska, Texas A&M, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Four out of the next five opponents are ranked in the Top 20.

Tech will need to play the "Right" way like they did against Kansas State to have a shot at a good bowl game. If they play the "Wrong" way, then Tech fans may not have to make any travel plans around Christmas this year.

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