Texas Tech’s offense came out clicking on all cylinders as they scored on six of their first seven drives in the first half, and the Red Raiders went into the locker room with a 38-17 halftime lead. After last week’s game, Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury opined that his team lacked a killer instinct. This week his team had no such problems as it was a bad day for the Miners. Tech lit up the scoreboard like they hit the jackpot on a Vegas slot machine. The ‘Wreck Em’ crew did what they were supposed to do in this one, and finished off the Miners 69-20.
|3rd Down Eff||6-18||5-11|
|4th Down Eff||1-2||1-1|
|Yds Per Pass||5.8||10.6|
|Yds Per Rush||4.9||7.6|
KEY POINT IN THE GAME
UTEP lost Aaron Jones, their best offensive weapon, late in the second quarter when the score was still a respectable 31-17. Jones was giving the Raider defense fits, but without his presence the Miner’s struggled. They looked like a completely different team. Their lack of another offensive weapons was exposed, and the Tech defense was able to buckle down.
Prior to losing Jones the Miners gained 258 yards on six drives with two of those drives resulting in touchdowns. On the nine drives after Jones left the game UTEP only gained 161 yards with only scoring drive in the fourth quarter when the Miners kicked a field goal.
POSITIVES FOR TEXAS TECH
The Rushing Attack – Texas Tech got exactly what they needed from their lead running back today. Washington rushed for 138 yards on 12 carries including a 51 yard touchdown run. Washington shined brightest in the second half where he gained 95 yards on four rushing attempts. If Tech gets ahead in many games this season they’ll need Washington to produce at the same level as he did today.
Patrick Mahomes – What can you say about a player who continues to produce and make plays when his offensive line protection breaks down. Mahomes accounted or six touchdowns, and threw for 361 yards on 18 of 33 passing. He’s a gamer, and quickly becoming on of the best QB’s in the conference.
Positive Turnover Margin – Throughout Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure Texas Tech has struggled with winning the turnover battle. In 30 games under Kingsbury, Tech has only won the turnover battle on five occasions. The good news is that have won the turnover battle in both games this year.
NEGATIVES FOR TEXAS TECH
Pass Protection – The Red Raiders struggled to keep the outside blitz from penetrating into the backfield on passing plays. Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes kept the offense rolling along by extending plays with his legs which greatly decreased the impact of missed assignments. Going forward Texas Tech will need to fix their pass protection because the Red Raider offense cannot afford to lose Mahomes to injury from bad pass protection.
The Drops – Texas Tech has had well documented issues with dropped passes and today didn’t give Red Raider fans much reason to think that the issues have been resolved. On multiple occasions Patrick Mahomes was left shaking his head after making great passes that were dropped. At some point this season it is going to cost Tech a game if their receivers can’t hold on to passes that hit them in the hands.
The Defense – In the second half the Red Raider defense looked like they were a completely different unit and that has everything to do with the injury that Aaron Jones sustained late in the second quarter. Jones gashed the Tech defense for a 91 yard TD run and a 24 yard TD reception. Prior to the Jones injury UTEP’s offense was averaging 7.67 yards per play afterwards they averaged 3.5 yards per play. If Jones hadn’t been hurt and UTEP continued playing at the same level the Tech defense would have given up over 600 yards.
TEXAS TECH PLAYER OF THE GAME
Patrick Mahomes – This might be the same answer for every one of Texas Tech’s games this year. Mahomes is the driving factor behind Texas Tech’s potent offense and each week he makes plays that no other QB on the Red Raider roster can make. At this point the six touchdowns and 400+ yards of total offense is almost a normal Saturday for Mahomes.
WHAT THE WIN MEANS
Texas Tech has started the season exactly the way they wanted to, they’ve won their first two games and they’re winning the turnover battle. Today the Red Raiders pulled away and won the way they were supposed to against a team who plays a similar style to their next opponent, Arkansas. Taking care of business and beating the teams you’re supposed to is a good first step toward sustained success for seasons to come. With the easy part of the schedule over we’ll all get to see what Texas Tech is really made of in the next three weeks.
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK
Texas Tech is now 16-6-1 against UTEP.
This is the 11th season in a row that Texas Tech has opened the season 2-0.
UTEP is now 10-33-2 against Big 12 Schools.
Texas Tech had their highest point total since 2007 when they beat Northwestern State 75-7.