3 Essential Keys to Victory: UTEP

Texas Tech takes on UTEP 10 p.m. Saturday at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso. The following are three things the Red Raiders must do in order to emerge victorious.

Hold UTEP under 200 rushing yards
Texas Tech’s biggest weakness remains the rush defense. UTEP’s bread and butter is the rushing attack. Sophomore running back Aaron Jones is the third leading rusher in the country. He’s has a fine backup too in Nathan Jeffery. Those two rushers alone were able to churn out over 300 yards on the ground a week ago in a win over New Mexico.

Be Aggressive
Last week by the time Texas Tech’s linebackers knew Central Arkansas had called a run play, the ball carrier was being tackled by the defensive backs. The past few years, Texas Tech has experienced major injury losses to the secondary. Why? Quite simply, the front seven gets blasted and the big bruising rushers pound the defenders who are meant more for pass coverage. The defensive line struggled in key moments against Central Arkansas. This must change or Texas Tech could be in for a dogfight Saturday in El Paso.

Cut Down on the Penalties
Texas Tech racked up 114 yards in penalties against Central Arkansas. This included multiple personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. These are the mistakes that cause upsets. It hands momentum to the opposing team and allows less talented teams who are more disciplined to stay in the ball game. Texas Tech is better than a 42-35 victory over Central Arkansas. UTEP is better than Central Arkansas. If Tech continues this trend, it will be a long season.

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