For the second game in a row Texas Tech statistically dominated an opponent yet found a way to lose the game. Critical, killing mistakes best explain the Red Raiders' nonpareil ability to snatch defeat from victory. They also bulk large in this week's report card.
Quarterback: Seth Doege threw for a ton of yardage (461 yards), and completed a high percentage of his passes, but he made four devastating mistakes. Doege threw three interceptions (one a pick six), and turned the ball over on a fumble when he didn't feel the backside rush coming. Tech's loss of the turnover battle was a huge factor in losing the game, and Doege was the primary factor in losing that battle
Running Backs: Eric Stephens was not in the fold, but the running game rolled merrily on. New starter Aaron Crawford was effective more often than not, churning for 91 yards on 21 carries. His 51-yard touchdown jaunt was a thing of beauty, but a three-yard tote on 3rd-and-two where he ploughed under two Wildcats with second and third effort was the best run of the game for either team. Neal Brown used DeAndre Washington and Kenny Williams well as change-of-pace backs.
Wide Receivers: This group dropped a few balls, but also made several outstanding plays. Alex Torres continues to tear it up as he led the team with 12 grabs for 104 yards. He's sheer murder on the fade. Eric Ward, Cornelius Douglas and Adam James had solid games yet again, while Tramain Swindall and Marcus Kennard came off the bench to make important contributions.
Offensive Line: Seth Doege was sacked only once and felt little pressure in the first half, but the Wildcats managed to generate more heat in the second half. Both Terry McDaniel and Mickey Okafor struggled at right tackle, and Deveric Gallington simply got whipped for much of the night. Penalties were a problem for the line in general. Run blocking, however, was of winning caliber.
Defensive Line: As prophesied, Scott Smith and Leon Mackey upgrade the defensive end position dramatically. Both of those players are excellent bull rushers who can cause problems for any tackles they face. Such was the case against Kansas State. Dartwan Bush also had a very nice game. The problem is in the interior where Donald Langley is not much of a factor and Kerry Hyder has become more ineffective the higher the level of competition. If Chad Glasgow can't find answers here, the defense will face tough sledding for the remainder of the season.
Linebackers: Perhaps Glasgow has finally settled on Blake Dees and Cqulin Hubert as his starters. Both certainly had solid games against K-State. Dees was active sideline-to-sideline and led the team with nine stops including one for loss. Hubert had three tackles, including one for loss and a couple of quarterback hurries. He is becoming Tech's designated blitzer, and most of those blitzes are of the delayed variety. Depth here is worrisome as Daniel Cobb and Sam Eguavoen got very few snaps.
Secondary: The Kansas State passing attack is something you shouldn't have to worry about, yet the hitherto errant Colin Klein connected on 12 of 18 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Those aren't staggering numbers, but they were enough to make the KSU ground game even more effective. Wildcat receivers got behind Red Raider defensive backs too often. An interception from this group could have changed the outcome of the game. Alas, it never happened.
Special Teams: This unit was an almost unmitigated disaster. For the second week in a row Donnie Carona had a field goal blocked, and although it was not returned for a touchdown this time, it set up a touchdown. Additionally, the kickoff coverage unit, formerly a strong suit, gave up a 100-yard return for a touchdown. And to make matters worse, Ben McRoy was injured, and kickoff returns suffered without him. In light of all that mess, Carona's 47-yard field goal and some fine punting by Ryan Erxleben are practically inconsequential.