5 Questions: Texas Tech

TCU opens Big 12 conference play as they head to Lubbock for a battle against Texas Tech.

TCU opens Big 12 conference play as they head to Lubbock for a battle against Texas Tech. What are some key elements about Texas Tech the TCU fans should watch out for? We visit wit RaiderPower.com's Joshua Koch to get the breakdown.

1. Tech is off to a 2-0 start, what is the emotion like in Lubbock right now for the game against TCU from the coaches, players and the fans?

Lubbock is buzzing after a complete beatdown of Stephen F. Austin. The fans are definitely ready for the game, they are ready to see more Baker Mayfield.

When it comes to the coaches and players it is business as usual. They know this is a big game for them to make some noise in the Big 12. The players remember the triple overtime victory last season in Dallas and know TCU will be coming in with a chip on their shoulder for this game.

So this is going to be an exciting environment on Thursday night at Jones AT&T Stadium and it is expected the stadium will be rocking.

2. Tech's offense has scored 102 points in two games, how much of a boost has it been for Jace Amaro to be healthy this year?

Well it has been a boost, but Amaro has only played two quarters. Played in the second half against SMU and then only in the first half against the Lumberjacks. But when he is healthy people have seen what he can do - eight catches for 142 yards in the a half of football.

Amaro is dangerous and will be a big key against TCU, but when it comes to the points it has been spread across a lot of different players. Eric Ward, Jakeem Grant, Bradley Marquez, Amaro and the list can go on and on.

But the simple answer is having Amaro healthy is huge.

3. As well as Tech's offense has played, the defense has looked better. What's been the biggest improvement on the defense this year?

They are more aggressive.

The defense wants to go out and hit people and force turnovers. In the game against SFA they were able to force two turnovers, which was almost unheard of in a single game from the Red Raiders last season.

But arguably the biggest and most noticeable improvement has been the tackling. Open-field tackling has been very impressive thus far and will need to be done against TCU.

Overall the defense is 10 times better this season and it will be interesting to see how the unit looks against a team like TCU. First big test of the season is here.

4. Baker Mayfield is one of the best storylines in college football so far this season; are folks in Lubbock even surprised to see him do so well early on? Does he seem to have a chip on his shoulder?

I think a lot of people in Lubbock are still trying to figure out who this kid is. That's what he is a kid playing out of his mind for a Big 12 school.

Mayfield has been on campus since July and in the matter of two games has been lifted on everyone's shoulders and been being pumped up. After the show he has put on in the first two games, why not.

What we have hear from the coaches is that he is just playing because he loves the game. Not really a chip on the shoulder mentality but rather he is just playing because he loves playing football.

It will be interesting to see how he does against TCU.

5. What are your keys to victory for Texas Tech?

1) Stop Boykin and Catalon


Catalon is an explosive back
The two guys in the backfield for the Horned Frogs, Trevone Boykin and B.J. Catalon, will the be the guys to stop. Boykin can hurt you with his arm and legs. This will be the first full game that Boykin will play this season and I believe he is going to be out to prove something and what better stage than to do it against Texas Tech on national television.

Catalon is a dangerous guy out of the backfield and kickoff return. I think Tech will be trying to be sure to blast the kickoffs out of the back of the end zone each time just to make sure Catalon doesn't have a chance to take one back.

Keeping your eyes on Boykin and Catalon will be key for Tech.

2) Keep Rolling and Scoring

Baker Mayfield has lit up the stat sheet and scoreboard this season thus far. So what to do against TCU? Just keep scoring and putting up big numbers.

Mayfield cannot look at this game as the first Big 12 game of the season, that it's against TCU and that it's on national television.

Well Mayfield has already been on the national stage - the first game of his career on ESPN, against SMU on a Friday night.

Well now Mayfield has to face the first truly good defense of the season in TCU, so he just has to keep a good head on his shoulders and just do what he has done in the first two games.

If Mayfield just does what he has done in the first two weeks in this game and doesn't show any emotions that it being TCU makes a difference he will be fine and roll on to 3-0.

3) Defensive turnovers

Finally turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

The Texas Tech defense got the monkey off its back last week against Stephen F. Austin where they forced two turnovers.

Now they cannot stop there and call that a victory for the season. They need to continue churning out the turnovers and get at least two off TCU and score on those opportunities.

Defense will be key and facing TCU will be a nice test for them and new defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt.


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