“Typical Tech”: A familiar phrase for all Red Raider fans
(14) Texas Tech (6-1) at (3)K-State (7-0)
Saturday 2:30, ABC / ESPN2
Bill Syder Stadium, Manhatten, KS
Line: K-State -7
Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders say it when they’re discouraged and so do opposing fans when they want to rub Tech’s nose in a loss. Depending on the context, the phrase can mean a lot of things but as it applies to the football team, it means the inability to handle or build on success. You heard it in 2008 when undefeated Tech beat both Texas and Oklahoma State but were then blown out (65-21) by Oklahoma in the following game. It happened again in 2011 when Tech upset # 3 Oklahoma but then lost 41-7 the following week at home to Iowa State. I don’t know when the phrase started but I’ve followed Tech football for more than thirty years and I’ve always heard it.
Two weeks ago in Lubbock, Texas Tech put itself on the radar (and in the Top 25) by completely dismantling #4 West Virginia 49-14. Tech has struggled to protect their home field advantage under Tommy Tuberville and the win against West Virginia gave the team a chance to make 2012 a special season…as long as all the Typical Tech demons stayed in the closet.
This past weekend Texas Tech played TCU in Fort Worth in what may end up as the game of the year in college football. Tech appeared flat from the start while TCU came out with pepper in their jocks and completely gashed Tech with their running game. Previous Tuberville teams would have rolled over after TCU began to dominate but this Red Raiders team is different. Tech made the proper adjustments and the defense began to bend instead of break while the offense started to cook. Tech not only fought their way back (took 21-20 halftime lead) but seemed to put the game on ice when a Kenny Williams 47 yard scamper gave them a 36-26 lead with four minutes left. Just when Tech fans thought it was time to put their feet up and pop another cold one, TCU got off the mat and scored ten points to put the game in overtime. Every single Typical Tech demon in existence flew out of the closet at that time, filling Tech fans with angst and disgust while opposing fans across the conference gave each other knowing nods. The only people apparently not affected were the players on the field, particularly Tech seniors like Seth Doege, Cody Davis, Darrin Moore and Alex Torres. Although it took three torturous overtimes, Tech walked out of Amon Carter Stadium with a stunning 56-53 victory in their pocket.
This weekend Tech visits Manhattan, Kansas to take on “Grandpa Bill” Snyder and his #3 ranked Kansas State Wildcats. There is not a college coach who does more with less than Snyder. Think of him as the anti-Mack Brown, a coach who does more with less. There’s nothing special or gimmicky about the scheme Kansas State uses. They’re fundamentally sound, disciplined and play smart. They hog the time of possession, win the turnover battle and know the scoreboard will take care of itself. What Kansas State does is admirable on so many levels, namely because their program embodies the “Moneyball” approach to college football. If you’re efficient, disciplined and smart, your program can knock off a great team like Oklahoma and find it’s way to the Top 5 in late October. That said, Texas Tech has a helluva chance to pull off an upset this weekend.
The reason Texas Tech fans should feel optimistic about their chances this weekend is because Kansas State is not one of those teams, like an Alabama or an Oregon, that is an 800 lbs. gorilla with a chainsaw for a penis that’s going to physically overwhelm you with speed, size and strength. If Tech plays smart (good special teams play, runs the ball, lets their defense get off the field) and doesn’t turn the ball over, they have a very good chance to win.
Both teams are very similar, in terms of personnel, to what they were in 2011. Kansas State is still led by Collin Klein, John Huber, and Tyler Lockett while Tech is still led by Doege, Williams, Eric Ward and Darrin Moore. The Wildcats still do what they did last year but this year’s Red Raiders team has a running game (three running backs who have rushed for more than 300 yards) to go along with an explosive passing attack and a much improved defense (seventh in total yards).
In 2011, Kansas State beat Texas Tech 41-34 in Lubbock although the Red Raiders led 28-20 at halftime, outgained the Wildcats by 241 yards (580-339) and made twice as many first downs (32-16). Tech dominated the game statistically but Kansas State won because they blocked two Tech field goals, returned a Pick 6 for a touchdown and returned a kick-off for a touchdown. Kansas State didn’t turn the ball over while Texas Tech gave it away four times.
Tech dominated this match-up last year in just about every important category other than the scoreboard but this year they have a chip on their shoulder and more importantly, a good defense. I bought in last weekend and for at least this year, Typical Tech is dead.
PREDICTION – TEXAS TECH 34 KANSAS STATE 24