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2018 Season

5 Takeaways From Texas Tech’s Rout Of Kansas

Things were tight for most of the first half, but eventually Texas Tech raced away from Kansas. What can we take away from that?

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Despite any potential for a hangover for Texas Tech after last week’s big win, the Red Raiders overpowered an almost hapless Kansas Jayhawks squad in a 48-16 rout.

The game was close for about a quarter and a half. Both teams struggled offensively out of the gate, and the Red Raiders hung onto a 10-3 lead until Alan Bowman hit T.J. Vasher in the end zone with 4:26 left in the second quarter.

Kansas was fairly solid defensively throughout most of the game, but overall the Jayhawks just looked outmatched, trailing by as much as 39 points at one point. Let’s look at what all we learned from this game.

LETTING GO OF DOUG MEACHAM MAY NOT REALLY MATTER

Watching this Kansas offense, I wasn’t sure if the offensive staff changes were a net positive or negative. The Jayhawks were able to move the ball somewhat, and play-calling didn’t seem to be an issue, but this team’s problems probably run deeper than that.

Kansas was repeatedly given either a short field or the ball close to Texas Tech’s goal line, and they came away with either nothing or field goals in those situations.

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Also, at some point, you have to wonder if Peyton Bender is really going to be “the guy” that you’re all in on to lead this offense. Bender’s a junior now in his second season at quarterback for Beaty, but on Saturday he looked like a true freshman with a lot of passes that were absolutely off-target.

Bender falls short frequently when big plays are needed, but he also doesn’t make a lot of costly mistakes, something that is probably high on Beaty’s list of priorities. Kansas came out in the first quarter able to run the ball fairly well, but eventually their inability to throw the ball brought the punt team back on the field:

KANSAS MAY SET RECORDS FOR TURNOVERS, BUT NOT WIN ANOTHER GAME

The Jayhawks, once again, managed to turn a team over multiple times in a game, and once again, it seemed to not affect the outcome. Kansas can run the ball on offense, but outside of Khalil Herbert and Pooka Williams, there’s not a lot of potential for big playmaking.

Defensively, the Jayhawks seem to be pretty well coached. Other teams may be more talented than they are, but this side of the ball is pulling its weight for Kansas. Players like Joe Dineen Jr., Mike Lee, Bryce Torneden, and Corione Harris stood out in Lubbock, but the Red Raiders just had too much firepower at the end of the day:

THIS TEXAS TECH OFFENSE HAS SOME BALANCE TO IT

Texas Tech came into this game running plenty of formations that aren’t traditional for an Air Raid offense, including some single set back formations with Bowman under center.

They may not be a “power” running team per se, but the Red Raiders wanted to come out and establish themselves as the more physical team in Jones Stadium, and for the most part they did. Texas Tech only ran for 112 yards on the day, but from the opening whistle, the Red Raiders looked like they had come to play at home.

Kingsbury’s offense can throw the ball around, for sure, but the running game is not a weakness for this team:

WELCOME BACK, ALAN BOWMAN

If he can stay healthy, Alan Bowman will be the best passer in the Big 12 headed into next season. Bowman’s ball placement and timing look more like that of a veteran than a freshman, and he’s got some tall targets to throw to in Antoine Wesley and T.J. Vasher.

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Watching Texas Tech against Kansas, that’s what really sticks out – this team’s length. Anytime Bowman sees man-to-man, he’s looking for one of his tall wideouts and throwing it up for grabs. And almost every time, the Red Raiders are coming away on the positive side of that play:

THE RED RAIDERS ARE GOING PLACES, THE JAYHAWKS PROBABLY AREN’T

David Beaty is doing his best to get Kansas to a respectable place, but despite starting the season 2-1, the Jayhawks may not win another game for the rest of 2018. That’s a real shame, because this is an improved team over last year’s squad. Unfortunately, that progress isn’t showing itself in terms of wins, losses, or even points.

Everyone knew headed into this season that Beaty was under a lot of pressure and very likely was not going to be the football coach at Kansas in 2019, and it’s looking more and more like that will be the case. There are pieces on this team that might allow the Jayhawks to compete for bowl eligibility every year, but Beaty just might not be the guy to put those pieces together right now.

The guy whose hand Beaty shook at midfield, however, is probably on his way to another contract extension. Kingsbury’s had his share of critics despite everything that’s happened at Texas Tech, but things seem to be looking bright – the defense is making progress by fits and starts, and the future looks extremely bright on offense.

That’s exactly the kind of on-the-field product that fans at Texas Tech thought they would get with Kingsbury six years ago, and their patience looks like it could really pay off in 2018 and beyond.

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