Skip Holtz will have his team as ready as possible. 8 new starters on Defense. Who is going to be QB and RB? A new offensive coordinator. La Tech had three players drafted, QB Jeff Driskel, RB Kenneth Dixon and DT Vernon Butler. They have a solid veteran Oline, but they lost a lot on defense and most other position groups except wide receiver (They have 2 Biletnikoff candidates at WR). They will have a potent offense IF they can get a QB and RB. We have them before they get their timing and chemistry for the first game, which is so important in a spread offense quick passing game. Their defense is going to struggle with 8 new starters (They lost all their linebackers and 3 starters in the secondary). We should be able to run to set up the play action and the LaTech pass defense should be weak in the first game. Our green QB and Oline will get experience instead of getting exposed terribly. Our defense may have some trouble with them, but our Offense should be able to chew up the clock to limit their posessions. It will not be a blow out, but it should be a comfortable win.
Many people pick TCU in the top 10 but I think they are a more physical Texas Tech. 7 starters are gone on Offense but 7 starters return on Defense. The Horned Frogs had a mediocre run defense last year in their 4-2-5 alignment which gave up 4.22 yard per carry. The offense lost all star WR Josh Doctson and return only 1 starter (LT) on the Oline. Will Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill beat Foster Sawyer and how comfortable will he be in the 2nd game after sitting out a year?
Austin Allen gets some easier experience and confidence. We get to play a lot of back ups to create experienced depth and further boost morale.
vs. Texas A&M Arlington, Texas (AT&T Stadium)
aTm has a stud defensive line that scares me, thus I hope our new Oline will have gelled by this game. Their Defense looks solid against the pass again but will the stud DLine improve their weak Rush defense? They have a veteran QB from OU but he will be a first time starter in a long time. He has great WR talent if he can get them the ball, but his RB talent is average or less. This game will hinge on both QB’s period.
Alcorn State Little Rock, Ark. (War Memorial Stadium)
Just like Texas State. Austin Allen gets some easier experience and confidence. We get to play a lot of back ups to create experienced depth and further boost morale.
We could be 5-0 going into the Bama game and with serious confidence. It will be interesting to see how we handle early success for the first time in years.
Our defense should be very strong and should dominate LTU’s offense which will take some pressure off of our offense, so they can develop as a unit while gaining confidence. How long it takes the O to develop will be the key to how successful we will be the 1st 5 games. 5-0 start is very possible. I have a feeling that this will be year that we break that losing streak to Bama, regardless if we are 5-0 or not.
Very good read here, I didn’t know tech lost all that, so that makes me feel better about that game, and the TCU game will come down to can we run the ball and contain there receivers, which they lost their next go to guy with an injury. I can hope we can finally get over the A&M hump this year and put them away and not let them get back in the game…
The TCU game is tough to call, because 7 starters return on Defense. They are not accustomed to playing teams that run like we do and chew up the clock/possessions. Just look at last year’s schedule and you will see NO teams like us. The Horned Frogs had a mediocre run defense last year in their 4-2-5 alignment which gave up 4.22 yard per carry. Their pass defense is going to hurt us, so the run game should save us early and set up play action later.
I can understand the concern about A&M and TCU, but not LaTech with all of their losses. LaTech has a new offensive coordinator. They have a solid veteran Oline and are strong at wide receiver (They have 2 Biletnikoff candidates at WR). They will have a potent offense IF they can get a good QB and RB but it is not likely they have another SEC caliber transfer like Driskol. We have them before they get their timing and chemistry for the first game, which is so important in a spread offense quick passing game.
Their defense will have 8 new starters (They lost all their linebackers and 3 starters in the secondary). We should be able to run to set up the play action and help our green QB and Oline get experience. Our defense may have some trouble with them, but our Offense should be able to chew up the clock to limit their posessions.
Its not the other teams experience/ability that concerns me. No,its our QB and our OL…not even our receivers/tightends/RBs. I think the learing curve has to be huge in the LaTech game with AA and the OL struggle a little in the first half and then pull away late 3rd qtr and win by 14pts. The D looks like it will be as good or a little better than last season. HOGS YA’LL.
Hog treat…I also think that its possible say 50/50 that we are 5-0 coming into bama game. If we lose one it will either be TCU/A&M and close by say 3pts. I say we start slow against LaTech and then finish strong winning by about 14pts or so. HOGS YA’LL.
I understand your point, but it is relevant to acknowledge the opposition’s ability to impact learning curves. You are very correct in my eyes about the concern for Oline and QB.
The other pieces around players matter. There are also posters that think Kevin Murray will hurt us like he did at A&M, but KM had one of the best Offensive Lines in the Nation protecting him. KM will not have an Oline at TCU anywhere close to what he had at A&M, so he will be running for his life instead of running for extra time for WR’s to get open.
The key is for the offense and kicking game to avoid big mistakes in that starting stretch. Defense is going to make plays and produce turnovers because of pass rush. That will help this offense as the quarterback and running backs mesh. I think left tackle is a big key. Interestingly, Curt Anderson thinks right guard is the mystery position. Could be filled by any number of guys – Wallace, Raulerson, Heinrich, Rameriz, Rogers. That’s the spot they want to see develop quickly in camp. He feels better about the left guard and left tackle spots.
I learned many years ago it is a little foolish to try to predict any given games result well ahead of the game itself. Too many pitfalls etc. So frankly I try not to analyze any given game but hope to get a general idea of the overall record. And normally that is usually not an accurate method either. So I hope we do well and if we win 7 or 8 games I will consider it a good to great year. I frankly doubt if we will be 5-0 to start but if we are, we are in very good shape of course. But we do have a number of unknowns and therefore we can end up IMO either five wins or eight wins depending on mistakes, injuries etc. and if we do our very best we could actually win 9 games, but I see no way for us to win more than nine.
Call me crazy, but I don’t have the slightest doubt that AA will play well or will need to be babied along. What worries me most is the defense. Particularly the secondary. Just because you get a head coach to coach them doesn’t mean they get more talented. I do think the defense will be better. Probably much better. Mostly due to depth at linebacker. We finished last year with 4 - count 'em, 4 - available linebackers! In the SEC West! I think we’ve made some good moves on the D-line, too. I think we get pressure. That always makes a secondary look good.
I understand that predicting games/records is almost impossible prior to the beginning of the season but it’s still fun. But, what I see a lot of people doing is counting us out against some teams because we have a new QB, a few new OLs, RBs and TE, which is usually understandable; however, when I look at the teams we are playing, specifically TCU, I’m looking at a team that’s replacing far more than us on offense (only 2 starters returning). On the one hand, people aren’t giving us a chance because what we’ve lost, but they expect TCU to pick up where they finished last year. I’m not buying it, CBB built this team to be able to run the ball and I have confidence although we lost Collins and Williams, that our running game will be just as powerful. I also like the talent we have on the offensive line (the guys moving in have talent), so that doesn’t concern me either. One word about TE…Sprinkle!
In the end, my biggest concern is the QB (a lot say AA has more talent than BA) and to be honest, with our WRs, the ability to establish the run, and our offensive coordinator (same guy that made BA look unstoppable), it’s just a small concern. I think TCU should be more concerned and I think we go in there and we get a win. I’m sticking with my prediction…5-0 when AL comes to town. One small thing I left out…don’t like playing against a duel threat QB (TCU), but I think our DL will be the difference and Trevor Knight (transferred from OU), had 1 good game in his career…against AL in the Sugar Bowl…the rest, stunk!