Keeping the Red Raiders' 4-0 start in perspective - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Keeping the Red Raiders' 4-0 start in perspective

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Texas Tech is 4-0 for the third straight season and two games away from their 36th bowl appearance in school history.

That being said, 4-0 has truly said nothing about Tech in the past two seasons.

As a Red Raider fan, you've seen this movie before. A quick start to the year taking care of business at home, then showing their true colors in conference play, lacking consistency.

A year ago, Tech was 6-1 before playing the heart of the conference and came within some late game heroics against Kansas, the worst team in the Big 12, of losing five straight to end the season. 

The year before, the 4-0 Red Raiders proceeded to lose seven of eight before missing the post season.

Despite taking steps back this week offensively due to inconsistent quarterback play, Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury remains generally optimistic:

"We're excited to be 4-0 at this point, especially the last two weeks not playing very well on offense. It says a lot about our team and the other sides of the ball rising up when we need them to."

Tech will play two of the bottom feeders in the conference, Kansas and Iowa State, after their bye week, to start the meat of the Big 12 schedule. They are capable of winning those games with defensive spectacles like we've seen this season, but offensive performances like we witnessed Saturday aren't going to work at Oklahoma, in Austin, or even at home against Oklahoma State.

Coach Kingsbury commented on the sluggish offense against TCU and Texas State:

"We had two turnovers and two fourth down stops in the first half and just didn't get a rhythm for the second week in a row, so I have to do a better job game planning and getting those guys ready to go."

The tone the defense has set this season is one Tech hasn't seen from its program in some time, but one has to assume they can only bail out the offense so many times in a season. Freshman quarterback play and an inconsistent rushing attack are equally to blame.

Senior Wide Receiver Eric Ward talked about starting games offensively with a sense of urgency:

"We are a young team in certain aspects of the game. You don't want to panic and be behind at the same time, so we need to come out and get on the board a little quicker and be more productive at the beginning of the game."

No matter the opponent, winning on the road in the Big 12 is difficult and something the Red Raiders historically haven't been good at.  You could argue that this bye week is the most defining week of Tech's 2013 season. 

The Red Raiders average 3.6 yards per rush which ranks 9th in the Big 12 and 94th overall in the country. Tech must find a way to run the ball and take some pressure off their freshman quarterbacks or this season could begin to look familiar.

ESPN says Tech is currently projected to play Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl, slotting them 5th in the Big 12. The defense has done its job and Tech has found way to win sloppy games, but let's not get ahead of ourselves and put this team in the upper echelon of the conference just yet.

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