Coaching to Lose: There is more than enough blame to go around for the Iowa State loss. Seth Doege had an awful game, and the entire team was as flat as any team can possibly be. But the coaching staff certainly didn't do the players any favors either.
As the Cyclones inexorably extended their lead, and the Red Raider offense continued to stagnate, it was obvious for all to see that business as usual would not lead to a comeback. Specifically, punting the ball away on 4th-and-short and 4th-and-medium in the middle of the field was not going to get it done. Tech would have to bit the bullet and go for it on fourth down to have any chance to win. Instead, Tech went on fourth down only once (4th-and-1 at the Iowa State 2 in the second quarter), and punted nine times. That's not exactly exhibiting a powerful will to win.
Another move Tommy Tuberville could have made would have been to give Jacob Karam a shot when the game was still within reach. It was painfully apparent that Seth Doege had nothing for the Cyclone defense and that the offense desperately need a jumpstart. Backup quarterback Karam is renowned as a leader as evidenced by his repeatedly being named a team captain, and he has always performed well in practice. If Tuberville wanted passionately to win, why not see what Karam could do?
I was left with the conclusion that the coaching staff was as flat as the football team. And they coached this game to lose
A Loss for the Ages: Rare in Texas Tech football history have the Red Raiders lost so comprehensively to so weak an opponent at Jones Stadium. Indeed, one must go all the way back to 1983 to find a loss comparable to Tech's 41-7 shellacking at the hands of the Iowa State Cyclones.
On October 22, 1983 Jerry Moore's 3-2 Red Raiders were destroyed by the 4-3 Tulsa Golden Hurricanes of the Missouri Valley Conference by a score of 59-20. The Red Raiders failed to win again in 1983, their best result being a 10-10 tie with TCU. Hopefully history will not repeat itself.
No Love for the Tunnel: Where was the tunnel screen with which Alex Torres and the Red Raider offense tortured the Sooners last week in Norman? Perhaps Neal Brown concluded that this play would be ineffective against the Cyclone defense and simply did not include it in the game plan. If so, he adhered too rigidly to the script, particularly considering the abject failure of the game plan.
It seems to me that when your team executes a play well, you run that play regardless of the type of defense you face. Toward that end, I hope to see the tunnel screen in every game Tech plays from here on out.
Mad Call: Tech's craziest play call of the name came in the second quarter with the Red Raiders trailing 24-7. Tech had scored a touchdown on its previous possession, cutting ISU's lead to 21-7. The Cyclones responded with a 42-yard field goal. Still, if the Red Raiders could have scored a touchdown they would have trailed by a very manageable 24-14 count and would have had the momentum on their side.
But on 3rd-and-5 from the Tech 35 yard line Seth Doege threw a deep out all the way across the field. The ball short hopped to the receiver and Tech was forced to punt. Tech trailed 24-7 at the break and had absolutely no momentum.
Why throw a pass that had such a low likelihood of success in such a critical situation? Unbelievable.