|Matchup Preview | 11 a.m., October 12, 2013|
|Iowa State Cyclones|
(1-3, 0-1 in Big 12)
|#20 Texas Tech Red Raiders|
(5-0, 2-0 in Big 12)
Much of the talk around Lubbock this week has centered on Texas Tech's quarterback situation.
And why not? It makes for great discussion.
Any one of three quarterbacks could end up trotting out with the starting offense and the other two could also (if healthy enough) see the field Saturday whether No. 20 Texas Tech (5-0, 2-0) struggles to move the ball against Big 12 foe Iowa State (1-3, 0-1) or is up by 50.
It may not really matter who trots out with the starting offense; whether it be a banged up Baker Mayfield, who has started and won all five games this season, Davis Webb, who has come through in some of the Red Raiders' most critical of times, or Michael Brewer, the presumed starter heading into the season who saw his first action last week in garbage time.
"Yeah, I think Coach Kingsbury has done a great job with whoever is out there. Regardless of the quarterback, it's just whoever is out there is going to make the same plays as the next guy," said tight end Jace Amaro, who leads the team in both receptions (38) and receiving yards (483). "I think we've done a great job of that to adjusting to whoever is out there. It's not such a big adjustment because it's the same scheme. It's the same type of - I mean, it's not missing a beat. We run the same plays. We do the same exact thing whether Baker is in there, Davis is in there, or Michael. So it's not anything that anyone should worry about."
Tech fields a defense full of playmakers who believe in first-year defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt's scheme and are executing at a high level.
The Red Raider defense is holding opponents to 13.8 points (No. 8 in the country) and 107.3 rushing yards per game (No. 17). They are creating turnovers, getting sacks, controlling the line of scrimmage and most importantly, getting off the field.
"I really feel it on every drive. We're going out there and we just know we're going to stop people. We can feel it," said senior defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, who has tallied 18 tackles, seven for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. "It's an energy now. No matter where the ball is at, we feel like we can go out there and play defense and get it back for the offense."
Tech has put up points with both Mayfield and Webb this season, and there's no reason to think a middle of the pack Cyclones defense, which has given up 393 yards a contest to some mediocre offenses, will be able to shut down the Red Raiders.
The defense, a solid special teams performance and another raucous atmosphere at Jones AT&T Stadium should be more than enough for the Red Raiders to move to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since 2008.
"We expect to win every game," said Kingsbury, who can become the first Texas Tech coach to ever start 6-0 with a win Saturday. "Like I said since I got here, we're trying to get better each and every day. It wasn't a goal to be 5-0 or 6-0. Just every time we took the field we want to get better. That's still how we're approaching it."