The Texas Tech Red Raiders started the season winning seven straight games to rise to No. 10 in the BCS standings. Since then, however, Tech has been run off the field in three straight games and ran their losing streak to three on Saturday against the Kansas State Wildcats in Lubbock. While Kliff Kingsbury has brought an exciting brand of offense to Tech this season, his run defense continues to lose games for the Red Raiders.
Back-to-back losses to the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys had sent Tech tumbling down the rankings to No. 25 coming into the game against K-State. In both losses, the Red Raider defense was unable to slow down the running games of the Sooners or Cowboys giving up 277 and 281 yards respectively with five combined rushing touchdowns. It was obvious that the Red Raiders needed to fix whatever was keeping them from defending the run or they wouldn’t stand a chance against the Wildcats.
But Tech was apparently unable to solve the problem as Kansas State ran it down the Raiders’ throats all game long. John Hubert led the way with 157 yards and a touchdown while the quarterback combination of Daniel Sams and Jake Waters combined for 119 yards rushing and four touchdowns between them on the ground. Never mind that the Wildcats completed just seven passes on the day for 76 yards as their dominance on the ground made the passing game completely unnecessary.
Texas Tech remains a young team with a lot of potential, but their inability to stop the run on defense has created a black mark on what was a promising debut season for Kingsbury. If the Red Raiders don’t find some way to slow down opposing teams in the running game, they will not win another game this season with the Baylor Bears and Texas Longhorns (No. 1 and No. 3 rushing attacks in the Big 12, respectively) left on the schedule.