Iowa State (4-2, 2-1) hits the road again this week to face Texas Tech (3-3, 1-2). Here are 5 Things to know about the Red Raiders.
1. Wells, Wells, Wells, look who we have here
Texas Tech fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury in the offseason after three consecutive seven-loss seasons. Kingsbury then failed upward and landed a head coaching position in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals for his ability to coach prolific offenses.
Kingsbury was replaced by Utah State coach Matt Wells. Wells became the third Matt to coach in the Big 12 along with Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Baylor’s Matt Rhule.
Wells led Utah State to a bowl game in five of his six years there and had an overall record of 44-34. Last season he led the Aggies to an 11-2 record and was named Mountain West Coach of the Year for the second time.
The only other coaches to receive the award twice were Sonny Lubick, Rocky Long, Urban Meyer and Gary Patterson — back when TCU was in the Mountain West before it joined the Big 12.
Wells’ offense fits in well in Lubbock, Texas, a place known for prolific attacks. Last season, Wells’ Utah State team averaged 47.5 points per game, which was second nationally behind Oklahoma.
Wells’ offense hasn’t completely transferred to Lubbock as Texas Tech has the seventh-ranked scoring offense in the Big 12, averaging 31.6 points. But there are signs that it could get going. The Red Raiders are No. 3 in the Big 12 in total yardage at 494.4 yards. They just need to figure out how to convert the yards into points.
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2. Duffey and the Jetts
Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman went down with a shoulder injury in the third game of the season, forcing backup quarterback Jett Duffey into action.
Bowman had an impressive freshman season for the Red Raiders, passing for 2,638 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games. He missed part of the season with a collapsed lung.
Duffey also played in eight games last season and threw for 1,221 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing 79 times for 369 times and four touchdowns.
In four games this season in relief of Bowman, Duffey has passed for 910 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Duffey has run the ball with less success this season, rushing 24 times for 29 yards and one touchdown.
3. Opportunistic defense
To put it nicely, Texas Tech hasn’t been known for its defense in recent years.
And while the Red Raiders are still giving up bundles of yards — 444 per game — they have proven to be an opportunistic defense.
The defense is led by defensive back Douglas Coleman. Coleman is second on the team in tackles with 38, but that’s not where he shines.
Coleman has an astonishing six interceptions. He also has two pass breakups.
Texas Tech leads the Big 12 in interceptions with nine.
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It also has the third most sacks with 21, led by linebacker Jordyn Brooks, who has three. Ten Red Raiders have at least one sack.
4. Breakout running back
Texas Tech, normally known for its air-raid offenses, has found an impressive young running back.
Redshirt freshman SaRodorick Thompson has carried the ball 76 times for 412 yards and five touchdowns. He’s also caught the ball 17 times for 90 yards.
Thompson played in four games last season before he redshirted. He had 25 carries for 105 yards and three touchdowns in those four games.
Wells also mixes in backup running backs Armand Shyne, who has 44 carries for 289 yards and three touchdowns, as well as Ta’Zhawn Henry, who has carried the ball 38 times for 185 yards and one touchdown.
5. Vashing through the snow
Just kidding, there’s no snow in Lubbock. But there is a receiver named T.J. Vasher, and he’s very good.
Vasher has almost double the receptions of the second-leading Red Raiders receiver. Vasher has 30 catches for 404 yards and four touchdowns this season.
R.J. Turner, Texas Tech’s second-leading receiver has 16 catches for 232 yards.
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