Welcome to the latest edition of the Rapid Fire in which the Inside the Red Raiders staff discusses Texas Tech sports and recruiting plus extra topics such as food, drink, movies and other pop culture in a roundtable style format. In this edition the staff discusses their takeaways from Tech’s Big 12 opener at Oklahoma and look ahead to the upcoming game against Oklahoma State.
1. What now? Seriously, if you were Matt Wells what would you do moving forward this week? What would be your plan of attack for this team?
Steven Chapman (DbltFarmer), Photographer: First I would announce to the world that Jett Duffey is starting Quarterback for the foreseeable future (until Bowman is ready). Then I would have a team meeting and hold everyone accountable in that meeting including the coaches. Then we go out on the practice field and the defense works on tackling drills while the offense works on fundamentals in their respective position groups. Coach Wells has to be the CEO and hold everyone accountable while also reinforcing the principles he wants to instill in the program. Finally, put a game plan together that will give Texas Tech the best opportunity to win.
Bradley Fernandez, Staff: I would definitely assess each problem individually. I’d try to convince each player to give their maximum effort and if that’s successful and they still play woefully, then we can look back and accept that maybe this team just isn’t as talented as we perceived them to be. Finally, I’d invest most of my time in figuring out the offense as it’s been an absolute mess.
Jarret Johnson (Wreckem98), Publisher: Give Jett all the QB1 reps and work on getting the play calls to him faster. Simplify the offense, not just for Jett, but for all the offense which has failed so far to be on the same page with any consistency. I’d also shake things up on the offensive line personnel wise. On defense, I’d be sure we were focusing on tackling. Drill over and over.
Kenny Romero (okieredraider01), Staff: You have to go all in with Jett as your quarterback which means Jett gets all first team reps and he needs to be allowed to run the entire playbook as far as he is capable, there is no reason to be conservative at this point. As far as the other QB’s I would honestly redshirt Bowman this year, move Xavier Martin to second-team and have Tyner as an emergency only guy.
Joe Yeager, Senior Writer: The Oklahoma game was unwinnable. You try to convince the team that they are capable of beating every other team on the schedule. You also give Duffey every single rep with the ones moving forward. Enough with the Tyner nonsense.
2. Has your preseason record prediction changed? If so, explain.
Chapman: Yes. I think Tech can still get to five wins but to get bowl eligible it will take a lot more improvement than we have seen in the last two games.
Fernandez: Well, I had them at 2-2 after the first four games and 7-5 overall, so I’m perfect so far. However, I don’t think they’ll beat Oklahoma State, Baylor or Iowa State, and they’ll likely lose to Kansas State and TCU, so I’ll have to adjust my prediction to 4-8. They may even go 3-9 considering the flashes we’ve seen from West Virginia and Kansas.
Johnson: I originally pegged this as a six-win season, but now see only two or three more wins on the schedule at best.
Romero: Definitely has changed now. I predicted based on a healthy Bowman which honestly he just hasn’t looked that great even when healthy. I think four wins now is best case scenario
Yeager: Yes. I originally predicted 5-7, and that was overly optimistic. But I wasn’t expected Bowman to go down in game three. Tech will probably win one or two more games.
3. With all the doom and gloom with the last two weeks, give Texas Tech football fans a reason for optimism (other than the kicking specialists).
Chapman: I don’t believe we will see another team as good as OU the remainder of the season except maybe against UT. With that said, Tech players are still learning the system and I think we will see improvements throughout the season. What we have yet to see is consistency on both sides of the ball. We have seen some good drives by the offense against OU and Arizona but not consistency. The defense has gotten some stops but again with little consistency. I think developing this consistency is part of the process of changing the attitude, discipline and culture of this program. OU may have been a step back as players regressed with the adversity but there is plenty of time move forward.
Fernandez: We have a clear answer for who the starting quarterback will be. Tyner played absolutely terrible, allowing Duffey to snatch the spot. Given time, I think Duffey will reasonably succeed in this offense.
Romero: I think the running game can be a bright spot for this team the rest of the year especially if you take the restrictions off Jett and let him run the zone read.
Yeager: There’s no real reason to be optimistic for the remainder of this season. But the good news is that this season should be the floor. I believe Tech will start to rebound next season, although it will be a slow, gradual process.
4. What Texas Tech basketball game are you looking forward to most this season?
Chapman: It is difficult for me to pick just one game so I will say the opener on Nov. 5. It has been interesting to watch how the team and players have developed in each of the last two seasons. The teams drastically changed from game 1 of the season until the end of the season. I can’t wait to watch that development this season.
Fernandez: While the final game of Big 12 play against Kansas could easily decide the race for the conference title, it’s gotta be the SEC/Big 12 challenge game against Kentucky. I don’t think there’s been a program like Kentucky that’s played in Lubbock. It’s another step forward for the men’s basketball program and man, the United Supermarkets Arena is going to be rocking x10.
Johnson: My first thought is to say Kentucky for the novelty of it, the spectacle. I AM really excited for that one, but imagine if that last game of the regular season against Kansas at The USA is for the Big 12 championship? That could be one of, if not the biggest, basketball games in Lubbock ever and what an atmosphere it would be!
Romero: It’s an easy one for me, I cant wait until Kentucky comes to Lubbock.
Yeager: Kentucky. If Tech proves as good as we expect, there will be a frenzy surrounding that game akin to what we saw with the 2008 Tech/Texas football game. And, unless you are in the SEC, you don’t get the chance to see the Wildcats in person very often, if ever.
Guest stars: Mark Adams, Avery Benson, Davide Moretti, Chris Clarke, Andrei Savrasov, Russel Tchewa.
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) September 29, 2019
5. Tech basketball went on its annual retreat this past weekend. Where should/would the Inside the Red Raiders staff go for a retreat?
Chapman: Has to be a place that has great food, premium beverages and internet. I can see a new video with Jarret, Joe, Kenny, Bradley and me walking down the strip by the Bellagio with the fountains in the background. Of course Joe would have on his Fedora, shades and Hawaiian shirt and the rest of us with our Inside the Red Raiders polos.
Fernandez: I’d say the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, just relaxing in the indoor springs as I listen to Joe and Jarret tell some great stories.
Johnson: My first thought was Vegas, like Dbltfarmer said, but then it occurred to me young Bradley likely couldn’t hang with us. Then I thought perhaps us olds couldn’t hang with him. Lol. For those reasons, I’ll say Ruidoso. Good food, a couple cool bars, laid back, far enough away to be a retreat and not too far to be a huge hassle.
Romero: I think Red River, NM would be a great place for a retreat.
Yeager: Anywhere but Arizona. Heck, I think I’d rather go to Afghanistan.