The Texas Tech Red Raiders hit the road for their second to last game of the regular season, to take on the (2-8) Iowa State Cyclones. Tech comes into this game at (4-6) on the season, and on the verge of not making it to a bowl game. So here are my 3 keys to victory for Texas Tech to beat Iowa State and stay in bowl contention.
Establish a running game: This one is pretty basic, Tech simply has to get the running game going. Last week against Oklahoma State, Tech struggled to get the ground game going. (Now there were some injury issues at the running back position last week.) With Deleon Ward back for the Red Raiders this week, Tech really needs to get the ground game going for multiple reasons. FIRST: It will help keep the defense off of the field. As we saw in the TCU game, Tech ran the ball more than they passed the ball (Ran the ball 49-times, passed the ball 40-times). And by them doing that, it really helped the defense and kept them fresh for overtime. SECOND: When you run the ball efficiently, it will open up so many options down field for Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Red Raider offense.
Play Defense: I know, I know, defense is one of the keys every week but sadly it has to be one every again week. If the Red Raiders can play “decent” defense this week against Iowa State, Tech has a great shot of winning this game. As of right now, Iowa State ranks 8th in the Big XII for their total offense. They also rank 8th in pass offense, and 7th in rushing offense. Now they will look to improve those numbers this week when they face the Texas Tech defense (the 10th ranked total defense in the Big XII). A name you will hear a lot in the game for Iowa State, is Allen Lazard. He is their standout wide receiver (58- receptions for 778-yards, and 6 TD’s), and they will look to give him the ball every chance they get. But if the Red Raider defense shows up to play, the Iowa State offense is definitely stoppable.
Special Teams can’t make mistakes: It seems like every week, that Texas Tech has a new mistake on special teams. For example: a bad hold on an extra point, a dropped snap on a punt, or a kick off that the other team takes the house for a touchdown. Those kind of plays have a big role in the outcomes of games, and has had a role in the outcome of multiple games this season for Tech. So if Texas Tech wants to beat Iowa State, they have to cut out the special team mistakes.
Final Thoughts: The team knows the importance of this game, its win and keep bowl eligibility alive or lose and the postseason is pretty much over. So Texas Tech knows what they have to do on Saturday, and if they can do these 3 keys. I’d look for them to go into Ames, and beat the Iowa State Cyclones on the road.
Copyright 2016 KCBD. All rights reserved.