Iowa State football vs. Texas Tech: Pregame analysis, prediction

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Ben Visser, correspondent

AMES — A closer look at Saturday’s Big 12 football game between No. 24 Iowa State (2-1, 2-0) and Texas Tech (1-2, 0-2) at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. (ABC).

Iowa State offense

In Iowa State’s two conference games, the rushing attack has gotten stronger as the game has gone on.

Against TCU, Breece Hall and Kene Nwangwu combined for 129 rushing yards in the second half and, against Oklahoma, Hall rushed for 100 yards in the second half.

“I think the last two games you’ve got to give a little bit of credit to the coaching staff making the right adjustments to put the guys in the right situations to be successful,” ISU Coach Matt Campbell said. “Then I think you’ve got to give a lot of credit to our kids. I think they’ve done a great job preparing to play four quarters. I think their mentality and their ability to play four quarters has certainly given (us) an opportunity to find success within the scheme.

“I think that’s more of a collective whole and we’ll see if that continues as the season progresses.”

Iowa State defense

The Cyclones’ front seven continues to play impressive football. Oklahoma averaged just 3.5 yards per rush. TCU was at 2.3 and Louisiana averaged 3.4.

The front seven demolished TCU’s offensive line to the tune of six sacks and it followed that up with another impressive performance against Oklahoma. Iowa State recorded two sacks against the Sooners while going against one of the best offensive lines in the Big 12 and facing a mobile quarterback in Spencer Rattler.

The area of concern for the ISU defense is in the secondary.


In three games, the Cyclones have surrendered 19 big passing plays, which are passes that go for 15 or more yards.

If Iowa State can shore up that area of concern, it’ll have one of the most formidable defenses in the Big 12 once again.

Texas Tech offense

Texas Tech’s offense under head coach Matt Wells has undergone a bit of a shift. The Red Raiders were one of the pioneers of the air-raid offense, but Wells has brought a more balanced approach.

Texas Tech has rushed the ball 101 times and completed 103 passes.

The problem for Wells this week is starting quarterback Alan Bowman got hurt against Kansas State last Saturday and, on Monday, Wells said Bowman was day-to-day. Backup quarterback Henry Colombi filled in admirably for Bowman.

“I think the young man (Colombi) that came in the game was outstanding,” Campbell said. “(He) was recruited to Utah State with Coach Wells. Came then to Texas Tech (and) you could tell was really confident in the offense. They have a lot of confidence in him and I think that’s the one thing when you’re playing this Texas Tech team, they do such a great job running the football that they really allow the efficiency of the quarterbacks to show through.”

Texas Tech defense

To put it simply, Texas Tech’s defense is not good.

The Red Raiders have given up the second most points in the Big 12 and have surrendered the most yards.

In terms of yardage, Texas Tech ranks No. 70 out of 74 FBS teams that have played a game so far, giving up 493 yards per game.

Giving up yards can be acceptable if the defense is being aggressive and forcing turnovers, but Texas Tech only has two interceptions this season and one fumble recovery.


Final thoughts

During Monday’s teleconference, Wells said he hopes to get his program to where Iowa State’s is now. When a coach openly admits his program isn’t as good as the opponent’s program, believe them.

Prediction — Iowa State 34, Texas Tech 21

Comments: [email protected]

Ben Visser, correspondent

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