In a week where many teams across the nation struggled with lessor competition, Texas Tech took care of business against Montana State. Tech fans had been anxiously waiting for the first game of the season and they weren’t left disappointed.
There was a lot of good to talk about from this game, but what Red Raider Nation really wanted to know is what would their offense look like? After all, it is how program has defined itself as long as most can remember.
We are officially in the era of Yost’s “Hair Raid” offense. We expected the offense to become more balanced with the revival of a true tight end. However, we didn’t know to what extent. We now have a better idea.
Tech ran 55 pass plays to 40 runs plays against Montana State. That’s roughly 58 percent pass to run ratio. That should feel familiar. In six years under Kliff Kingsbury, the offense averaged 48 pass plays and 34 rush plays per game, or 59 percent pass to run.
Speaking of things that feel familiar, Alan Bowman finished with 436 yards through the air. He leads the nation in that regard.
The stat line is impressive, but what about the tempo?
Yost told us this team would move fast, which is great. We have seen fast. We are used to fast. However, the Tempo we saw Saturday seemed to be on another level. Many times in the first half, the Tech offensive line was set before the referees had the ball down and ready for play.
Texas Tech averaged just over 86 plays per game in 2016 with Pat Mahomes leading the Red Raiders. This marked the highest plays per game average during the Kliff Kingsbury tenure. Bowman and company ran 95 plays against Montana State. This was aided by playing an FCS school and a great defensive performance, but should lead to exciting football all season long.
We have more of the same from the Red Raiders so far, and that feels like a good thing. However, there was one aspect of the game that stood out as different, and it’s a good thing.
Matt Wells has preached discipline since his arrival, but we’ve heard that before. Texas Tech fans are all too accustomed to leading the FBS in penalty flags and yards, so this was taken with a grain of salt. Then, four plays into the game, the Red Raiders were flagged for a personal foul penalty. Fans started wondering if anything had changed. Our questions were answered by halftime. Tech did not commit a single penalty the rest of the half and finished the game with four penalties for 29 yards.
On top of that, one of the penalties was a delay of game in the fourth quarter that resulted from the coaching staff taking their time deciding to send out the punt team. Limiting the type of mistakes Tech is used to could go a long way in close conference games.
It is important to remember that it was Montana State, and it’s easy to look good against an FCS school. However, if you were worried about not having an offense the Red Raider’s can identify around, you had to like what you saw on Saturday.