Last week in the 52-45 win over Kansas State, the Cowboys loaded up to stop the Wildcats powerful running quarterback in Collin Klein only to see Klein show he could throw the ball a little. The Cowboys used a lot of man coverage to get extra help on Klein the runner, but then later used more zone to keep in check Klein the passer. The result was young linebackers in more run-pass conflict (a Todd Monken favorite term) than at anytime this season. That wasn't the only defensive correction from the K-State game.
"I don't think there's any question. I think I over-coached our defensive tackles when they were on the guard," explained Young. "They were getting too high and trying to fight the double team too fast instead of fighting the guy they were on. Unfortunately, you don't see those things too easily in the game, but when you see it on film on Sunday, it's real easy to get that corrected. That was just a small thing, but there's several things we need to improve on."
It would be great if the education for the Cowboy defenders just stayed in sequence, but it doesn't and Texas Tech will look nothing like Kansas State. What they look like is what the Cowboy defenders see everyday in practice.
"It will be a long game because their offense is exactly the same way as ours," said Young. "You can see the umpire running off of the ball when they're snapping it. Just to continue on Saturday in Lubbock would be a good thing."
For Bill Young it would be a very good thing.
"As soon as the officials place the ball, they're getting it snapped as quickly as they can, and therefore, there's not that much time on that clock," he said. "They don't use up much. When they throw a pass, it's either caught for a first down or an incomplete and stops the clock."
Young's biggest fear is seeing an offense that struggled because of it's own mistakes (penalties and turnovers) in a loss to Iowa State and because of Texas ground gobbling and clock eating nearly 500-yards rushing all of a sudden get themselves back in gear like they were when they upset then top-ranked Oklahoma nearly three weeks ago.
"Them getting into rhythm and us getting out of kilter and not playing sound football because they go so fast that you have to get the call in there fast, you have to get it communicated, you have to get lined up and you can get a little bit frustrated as a defense if they continue to keep converting on second and third down."
Third downs have been a problem for Texas Tech on both sides of the ball and seeing that problem and that's something the Cowboys hope to exploit in both areas.