My thoughts on Saturday’s Iowa State-Texas Tech matchup in Lubbock. Texas:
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech is fortunate that it has a proven, confident backup quarterback.
It’s something a lot of teams don’t have and it’s something the Red Raiders need given how often starting quarterback Alan Bowman is hurt, including this week against the Cyclones.
Jett Duffey has played in four of Texas Tech’s six games and has passed for 910 yards and five touchdowns, completing 64.4 percent of his throws.
“They’re really fortunate to have a guy like Jett Duffey,” Campbell said. “There’s a guy that played so much last year and you could tell he was a confident football player a year ago. I remember as we were preparing a year ago for Texas Tech and (Duffey) had went in and they beat TCU at TCU and Jett was kind of the catalyst to that. I was like, ‘Man, this guy’s a really impressive football player.’
“Now, it’s turned back over to him, it’s been really fun to watch him. You can tell he’s obviously a dual-threat quarterback; he can use his feet to extend plays. He’s got this arm that can make all the throws. He’s got great weapons to get the ball to. I think he’s a super talent, so it’s one of those great challenges for us, again, where that dual-threat quarterback can hurt you in both areas.”
Duffey hasn’t been all that successful this season, rushing for 74 yards — when taking out sacks — and a touchdown. But last season, Duffey was Texas Tech’s leading rusher with 369 yards and four touchdowns.
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The Cyclones haven’t had a ton of success handling dual-threat quarterbacks and middle linebacker O’Rien Vance, who usually is a spy on mobile quarterbacks, could be out for the game.
“That’s a guy that can really make you miss in the run game, but also has got the ability to really attack you in the passing game,” Campbell said. “I think he’s done a really good job and I think they’ve done a great job putting him in position to be successful.”
Iowa State Cyclones
Texas Tech plays a very aggressive, opportunistic style of defense. Douglas Coleman leads college football with six interceptions and as a team, Texas Tech is third in the conference in sacks with 21.
With that aggressiveness, the Red Raiders are prone to giving up chunk plays.
Texas Tech has given up 81 plays of at least 20 yards. By comparison, Iowa State has given up just 32.
Louisiana Monroe’s defense also was opportunistic, and Iowa State put up 72 points after turning the ball over on the first two possessions.
In theory, Texas Tech has better players than ULM so the Red Raiders should provide more of a challenge but Tarique Milton and Deshaunte Jones have both shown the ability to make big plays in the passing game.
It’ll be interesting to see if offensive coordinator Tom Manning can exploit Texas Tech’s aggressiveness like he did ULM’s.
Defensively, Iowa State needs to focus on stopping the run. It’s especially important when facing a dual-threat quarterback like Duffey and a good running back in SaRodorick Thompson.
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“I think our run defense is growing there this year,” Campbell said. “I don’t know if we started off exactly where we wanted to early in this season, but I think we’re getting better as the weeks go on.
“I think a little bit of that is a credit to our guys starting to settle in to their roles and responsibilities, but obviously it’s something we’ll have to continue to do and great challenges lie ahead. A great challenge lies ahead this week. They have a really talented running back and a veteran offensive line, so they’ll really test and challenge that early in this football game.”
Iowa State 31, Texas Tech 28
Iowa State will take advantage of a few explosive plays on offense and do just enough on defense to walk away with a win.
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