Texas Tech Week 11: Contain Breece Hall

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A healthy and refreshed Red Raider team squares off against the Iowa State Cyclones this week. Stop me if this sounds familiar as the Texas Tech week 11 game plan. The team needs to remain focused on the opposing team’s running back. Texas Tech is going to have to do something it hasn’t done in two previous matchups: contain Breece Hall.

Fourth Time The Charm?

Texas Tech has been presented with a similar challenge three times in the Big 12 play. They had an opportunity against Texas and failed miserably. TCU came to Lubbock for homecoming with a chance of redemption, and to say they fumbled it would be putting it lightly. With their first crack at securing bowl eligibility, the defensive performance contributed to getting Matt Wells fired. But with the news breaking of Texas Tech hiring Joey McGuire to take over the program, this defense has an opportunity to show out in front of their new coach.

Hall Aiming For Three-Peat Performance

The former four-star running back from Wichita, Kansas has carved up Texas Tech in his previous two meetings with this defense. His game logs have popped off the stat sheet against the Red Raiders:

  • 2019: 19 carries, 183 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 73 yards receiving on 3 receptions in a 34-24 victory
  • 2020: 27 carries, 135 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 14 yards receiving on 1 reception in a 31-15 victory

If Hall’s numbers aren’t staggering enough, Texas Tech has yet to limit Iowa State to under 31 points since 2013. This is a Cyclone team that also is coming to town fresh off of a thorough beat down of Texas. But as big of a challenge that lies in front of the defense, is the offense going to get a boost this week?

Who Is QB1?

Tyler Shough has been back a practice since the bye week, but there hasn’t been any indication yet from interim head coach Sonny Cumbie that Shough will be ready this week. Shough has been out since breaking his collar bone back on September 25th against the Longhorns. While Shough’s progress has been good news, the question still remains will it be Henry Colombi or Donovan Smith starting against the Cyclones?

Colombi has been serviceable in his role as the backup quarterback. But the offense has demonstrated a clear ceiling with Colombi at the helm. Smith has been slowly working into the offense for the last month. But he was finally thrust into action against Oklahoma after Colombi was knocked out of the game in the 2nd quarter. The 6′ 5″, 230 lbs freshman quarterback has given Red Raider fans glimpses of dynamic playmaking ability. With Colombi being a senior, it might be time to give Smith the reigns until Shough returns (if he is able to be medically cleared this season).

If it is Smith, the game plan needs to ensure he is targeting Erik Ezukanma frequently and often. It would also behoove this Texas Tech week 11 offensive attack to get SaRodorick Thompson and this rushing attack cranked back up again. The Red Raiders were held to a measly 3.3 yards per carry on 32 rushing attempts against the Sooners. The was their second-lowest per carry average in a game all season.

Texas Tech Week 11 Prediction

There is tremendous momentum building on the recruiting trail already with McGuire taking over. But that isn’t going to help on the field this week. A Texas Tech week 11 victory is going to require a physical and disciplined effort on defense for four quarters. However, that type of performance simply hasn’t been demonstrated all season. Iowa State certainly could be peaking ahead to traveling to Oklahoma. It might allow for Texas Tech to jump out early, possibly shifting the ball out of Hall’s hand. But there is a good reason why Iowa State is a 10.5 point road favorite. It will show before this one is over.

Iowa State 38, Texas Tech 24