clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TCU vs. Texas Tech: Q&A With Viva the Matadors

New, 81 comments

Jamie chats with Ryan from Viva the Matadors to learn more about the Red Raiders.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

There are a ton of questions surrounding the TCU-Texas Tech game Saturday, and if you're anything like us, you want to know as much about this new and improved Red Raiders team as possible. So, I sat down with RSmith1 of Viva the Matadors to get some info on the 2015 Tech squad. I also answered some questions for him, which you can find on VTM later today.

1) Texas Tech has scored in bunches to begin the season, how improved is Pat Mahomes, and is his improvement the reason for the uptick in offense?
Honestly, Mahomes game hasn't changed. Earlier in the year last year before Webb was injured, he didn't get a lot of practice reps so his play call sheet was pretty limited. Since the OU game last year, he's really just been allowed to play. If there is one difference for the increase in explosiveness is Mahomes can extend the play after it breaks down where Webb is more of a pocket guy and Mahomes likes to push the issue down field where Webb is more likely to check. Both have their strengths, but Mahomes' ability to do those two things allow us to score with greater frequency.

2) Tech's defense has allowed 89 points through the first three games. How will this unit hold up in the Big 12, where they'll see better offenses than they encountered in non-conference play?
I'd be lying if I said they'd hold up fine. I do think this is the first year we've had the depth we need on that side of the ball since Kingsbury arrived. In 2013, a bunch of seniors playing who were recruited by Leach; In 2014, we had a bunch of True Freshman and Juco fill-ins and this year we are finally seeing depth across the board. I don't think we'll set any marks for total defense, but we do have a renewed focus on takeaways... 8th in the nation right now and I don't see any reason why that wouldn't continue.

3) Obviously Tech fans remember the 82-27 score from a year ago, and Kingsbury acknowledged last week that he hasn't forgotten about it. How big of a motivating factor is that for Tech players coming into this game?

Publicly, they say its not a big factor. They remember it, but it's not what's driving them this year. Although, I have heard one report on campus where a Tech offensive player was asked by another student about it and his reply was "83". So individually it may be bigger than what they might tell to the media. I think some might want to send a statement, but who knows.

4) Give us a few Tech players to keep an eye on in this game.
True Freshman Breiden Fehoko (DT) and Jah'Shawn Johnson (FS). They are going to be huge on how we play on defense. Everyone knows about some of our Seniors, but those two especially will kind of tell how the game is going. I'd also keep an eye out for Nigel Bethel (CB). He's been out with an injury so far this year, but he's got track star speed and would be the one lined up with Listenbee. I think he's our only guy that could go 1 on 1 with him. If he's not, you're going to see safety help over top all day.

5) What are the things Tech needs to do in this game to come away with a win?

Play a clean game first off. It's been a big point of emphasis that we shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties more than we were outmatched (TCU game notwithstanding). The last two games we've had a total of 8 penalties, which if we continue to play cleanly we should be in the game. Another key is to make Boykin uncomfortable and turn the ball over. I don't think TCU an win this year, based on seeing last week's SMU game, if they turn the ball over twice or more.

6) Score prediction?
Don't hate me TCU fans. I went to Tech during the golden era of Leach were we took things personally and responded the next year. See OU 2009. So before the season I predicted 63-28 win. And it may not play out, but for stirring the pot I'll stick with that.

BONUS QUESTION: What are your thoughts on Kingsbury's roasting of Bielema?
It was definitely out of character, but I didn't mind it as much as you hear Bielema say things. Bielema reminds me of Trump... he can say anything he wants, but is offended when it comes back at him haha. You also like to see a little fire and not so much PC from your coach every now and then.