Baucum's Bits: Texas-Texas Tech

There is a palpable deflated feeling in Lubbock after the Red Raiders' loss at the hands of Texas. Though this was certainly an ugly game, there are still some positives to take from it. Here is staff writer John Baucum's third edition of Baucum's Bits.

Good: Jarvis Phillips

Two interceptions (one returned 87 yards for Tech's first points of the game) and a forced fumble is an excellent individual effort.  Aside from the two interceptions, Phillips also had a pass breakup on another play. That gives Phillips three interceptions for the season—he also had one in the opener against SMU.

Not so good: 3 for 13 on third down

There weren't a whole lot of positives for the Texas Tech offense. Third down conversions are something that a good football team usually does well. Time will tell if this was a case of poor offensive execution or a credit to a good Texas defense.

Good: Scott Smith

Like the selection of Phillips, this one was also obvious. Smith wreaked havoc on the UT offensive line all night. And, when his 6-6 266 pound body wasn't disrupting the line, he was able to read the quarterback, tip the pass and intercept it. Smith's pick was the first interception by a Tech defensive end since Adell Duckett had one against Kansas State in 2004.) Smith also had a forced fumble and was generally a problem for Texas all night long.

Not so good: 14 total rushing attempts

Texas Tech did an excellent job to hold Texas to 93 rushing yards; that is outstanding. However, letting Texas' defense completely dominate your running game is not going to work. Texas Tech must get better at running the ball and it must be done in a hurry. The mystifying thing in all of this is that Texas Tech is talented at running back. As a matter of fact, I'd put Tech's top four tailbacks up against any other Big 12 squad's group any day of the week. Offensive line coach Matt Moore, RB coach Chad Scott and offensive coordinator Neal Brown have a little work to do.

Good: The bye week

Fortunately for Texas Tech, September 25th is a bye week for the Red Raiders. While some think it would be great to have a game on Saturday to erase the bitter feeling of the Texas loss, the bye week can be good as well. It will allow the staff and players to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, and also give players time to heal before heading to Ames, Iowa on October 2nd. Expect to see more Alex Torres the next time the Red Raiders take the field.

Not so good: 144 total yards of offense

Texas Tech's offense will need some fine-tuning if it expects to compete against the other stalwarts of the Big 12. Of course, if 144 yards is all a team can muster, the cellar dwellers might just give you reason to worry as well. There is quite a bit of parity in the Big 12 this year. With an improving defense, the Red Raiders only need some offensive consistency to challenge the Big 12's elite. Stay tuned to for all your Texas Tech sports news.

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