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Five Burning Questions with Viva the Matadors


Sept 15, 2012; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Seth Doege (7) drops back to pass against the New Mexico Lobos in the first quarter at Jones AT

As we prepare for Oklahoma’s date with Texas Tech tomorrow, Seth C., editor of Viva the Matadors, was kind enough to give us some perspective on this year’s Red Raider football team. As a Sooner blogger, I can only say so much about OU’s opponents, so Seth is here to answer five burning questions regarding Texas Tech.

Regarding Texas Tech’s five game losing streak to end the 2011 season, what happened to the Red Raiders following their victory over Oklahoma?
Seth: There are so many rumors swirling around what happened after that game. There are rumors about the old defensive coordinator somewhat turning on the players and then the players quit on the team. It is all sorts of messed up. There may not be a bigger aberration in college football last year than Texas Tech losing to OU.

Has Texas Tech’s 2012 defensive performance been a result of the teams the Red Raiders have played or are they for real?
Seth: It’s probably a combination of both. I think the defense is better, but I don’t think it is so much better to warrant a no. 1 ranking much longer. The non-conference was very easy, there’s no debating that, but to everyone’s eyes, we were seeing a defense that seemed to know what they were doing. New defensive coordinator Art Kaufman has preached technique and alignment this year and thus far, he’s had really good results. I expect the Texas Tech defense to fall from the rankings much sooner than later. The Big 12 is an offensive league and I cannot imagine this lasting much longer, but I do think the defense is better.

Where would you rank Seth Doege among Big 12 quarterbacks?
Seth: Hmm. If I am basing my answer off of statistics alone, I’d probably have Doege third, behind West Virginia’s Geno Smith and Baylor’s Nick Florence. Statistically, those two are having terrific years. Florence doesn’t have any track record other than when he continued the whipping against Texas Tech last year and the first four games this year. Smith seems to be just figuring things out, which is scary. But we have to factor in the fact that Collin Klien just wins and there is something to that. I think that Doege is right there with guys like David Ash and Landry Jones. Ash isn’t a guy that is asked to too much for his team, so he has a lot to prove. Jones has struggled to find his mojo without Ryan Broyles. Doege was pretty much awful the last half of the season. So right now, I’d have Smith as #1 with Klein #2 and Florence, Doege and Jones all tied for third.

Who is a Texas Tech player Oklahoma fans should keep an eye out for other than Doege?
Seth: The receiving corps is pretty deep, it feels deeper and more varied than last year. There are receivers that can beat you with their physical frames — Darrin Moore, Bradley Marquez and Eric Ward — and then there are some receivers that can beat you with some serious speed — Jakeem Grant and Javon Bell. Tight end Jace Amaro is a really tough match-up for most teams as he’s a very fluid 6-5/257 athlete that’s very good catching the ball. At running back, Eric Stephens is still finding his way a bit, but Kenny Williams has been very good this year.

What is a reasonable post-season finish for the Red Raiders at this point?
Seth: Even though this team has had a really nice first month, it’s going to get incredibly difficult the rest of the way. Texas Tech plays 5 ranked teams in a row starting with OU. It’s not going to be easy. I think the Big 12 is pretty wide open this year and no matter who wins will have two conference losses. Realistically, I think I said I’d be okay with 7 or 8 wins and I’m still comfortable with that being about where Texas Tech eventually finishes.