Keys to the Game

RaiderPower takes an in-depth look at the keys to the game for the Texas Tech - SE Louisiana matchup, while avoiding the usual common sense analyses. What must the Red Raiders do to get back to top form? Come inside to find out.

1. Give Jarrett Hicks the damn ball.  The guy has earned a few extra passes being thrown his way for having to deal with all of the B.S. the past few weeks.  For the first time, I don't care if we actually do run up the score and throw to Hicks twenty-five times for 9 TDs.  I have nothing against SE Louisiana, but they might have to deal with a Red Raider team that is seriously pissed off, and it could get ugly.  That being said, I'm going send a bit of a message to the team with some of the keys to the game today.

2. Spread the ball around.  Okay, I realize that this sounds contradictory to #1.  While I want Hicks to stay in for much of the game and lead all receivers in yards and catches, I want to see the rest of the receiving corps get some PT and work out the kinks in the offense.  Use the whole field.  I want to see flawless execution.  I want to see zero drops.  I want to see passes hitting our guys right between the numbers.  I want to see the Tech offense that I am used to seeing.  No more dragging ass out there on the field. 

3. Get both sides of the ball working together.  It is not secret that the offense and defense haven't gotten on the same page with their performances.  Let's see some cohesion out there.  Help each other out.  The offense needs to play like the defense won't be able to stop anyone, and the defense needs to play as if the offense isn't going to score a point.  There is a difference between believing in the supporting cast and relying on them to carry you in a mediocre effort.  We're not going to win ball games without both sides of the ball coming to play every week.

4. Make things easier on Graham Harrell.  This goes for everyone.  We need better blocking, crisper routes, and less drops.  Harrell is a young player, and will only be the great QB that we know he can be if he is given the chance.  The last thing that needs to happen is for Graham to lose faith in himself and/or his supporting cast.  I don't want to see Harrell get beat up and frustrated again like he did against TCU.  Graham is a better player than that, and his supporting cast is fully capable of giving him more support than that.

5. Get motivated, learn from mistakes, and prepare for A&M.  The Red Raiders that I know and love play their hearts out every snap, and maximize their potential.  We need to use the failures of last week as a lesson and reminder of what happens when the opponents want to win more that we do.  This is a tune-up game before we start conference play, so we must make the most of it by working hard out there and improving on the game.

The Red Raiders should win this game easily, but shouldn't treat it like it's a damn bye week.  The team needs to do whatever it takes to prepare for conference play.  They need to put the TCU game behind them, but don't forget what they learned from it.  We need the team to show up and play like we know that they can.  Texas Tech is far better than last week's performance, so let's see them prove it out there on the field.


-Trent Wycoff

(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at

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