1. Can we keep the momentum going? It was great that we got back on track with the good win against Iowa State. I'm proud of our boys, but they better not start patting each other on the back just yet. We have our biggest game of the year this weekend. Not only is it a huge rivalry game, the Longhorns are probably the highest-ranked opponent that we will face this season. If there was ever a game where we will need a 100% effort out of everyone, this would be it. Texas is an extremely talented team, but so are we. Sure, we may not have as many blue-chips, but we have players who are capable of executing their roles as well as any team's players. Great execution is the key. If everyone does their job, we will beat Texas. Don't be afraid of Texas; they are no better than us unless you let them be.
2. Can the special teams step it up? The special teams tried very hard to lose the game against Iowa State. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh. Still, the errors were extremely costly, and will lose us the game against a team like Texas. Danny Amendola needs to do a better job of fielding the punts, as there have been two straight weeks with a muff that cost us a possession. Also, this is a game where we will need every point that we can get, so the kicking game may become extremely important. Furthermore, Quan Cosby proved to be a dangerous return man in the game against Nebraska, so we need to do a good job of containing him so we can win the field position battle. Reyes' punts and Toogood's kickoffs can assist in this as well. Please, oh please, be "gold star" special this weekend to help us out.
3. Can we figure out the three-headed UT rushing attack? As much as I hate to admit it, UT has one of the best backfields in the country. Jamaal Charles has incredible speed, Selvin Young is an all-purpose back, and Henry Melton is a bruiser. The scary part is that all three of them are capable of tearing our defense a new one by themselves. With rotation, all will be able to stay fresh. If Texas is able to establish the running game early, then the secondary is going to become so worried about stopping the run that the receivers will be able to beat us on the deep ball and Colt McCoy will look like the nation's best passer for hitting a few wide-open guys. Also, we must spy on McCoy, as he is a decent runner. Still, I think if we can pressure Colt and put the game on his young shoulders, we can win the game.
4. Can we handle the UT defense's speed? Make no mistake, UT will be the fastest and likely most talented defense that we will face. Gene Chizik is a heck of a coach, and his unit plays aggressive and hits hard. They also blitz well, so our offensive line will have to play well if we expect to get our offense going. Also, our receivers must run good routes, because they won't be able to simply outrun the Texas secondary. I believe that UT's defensive weakness is at linebacker. It seems that our best chance is to run the shorter crossing routes over the middle and get Shannon Woods involved as a receiver before we start going deep with the ball. Screens and shovel passes will be the way to deal with the blitz. Our offense must focus on fundamentals this week and work on flawless execution to defeat Texas.
5. Can we remember what we're playing for? Our players need to keep up the support of one another, and our fanbase needs to keep the same spirit that we had in backing up the players last week. I think it was a combination of the "air out" meeting increasing team cohesiveness and our fans encouraging the team with the cards that made the difference for the game against Iowa State. The team plays for each other and us fans, so let's do our part and cheer our hearts out for our Red Raider football team. It's all about the Texas Tech spirit, but if that's not enough, then think about taking UT down a peg or two. Do whatever it takes to get pumped for this game, as we will need everyone to show up for this game. We can win this one. I have seen us do it. So, let's get it done once again!
(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)