Texas Tech game to be offensive battle

Emily Arthur

If there’s one prediction that can be made before Iowa State and Texas Tech meet on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium, it may come on the offensive side of the ball.

Both head coaches will be trying to slow down each other’s offensive attack.

While Iowa State is averaging 441.83 yards per game — ranking the Cyclones second in the Big 12 Conference — Texas Tech is averaging 467 yards per game, good for first.

“No one’s been more productive offensively, especially in recent weeks. You don’t stop Texas Tech,” ISU head coach Dan McCarney said. “I haven’t seen anybody do that. We’ve got to find a way to slow them down and when it’s all said and done, have one more point than they have.”

Both teams are led by Heisman Trophy candidates at the quarterback position.

For Iowa State, Seneca Wallace is at the helm. Wallace ranks 10th nationally in total offense with 294.67 yards per game and sixth nationally in pass efficiency.

But if there’s been anyone more impressive statistically than Wallace, it may be Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury.

Kingsbury leads the nation with 2,134 yards passing, 22 touchdown passes and more than 33 completions per game.

Despite his fast start to the season, Kingsbury isn’t taking anything for granted.

“You can be high one week and get knocked down the next in this league,” he said. “Iowa State has done a great job so far. There is no rest for the weary in the Big 12 and you have to bring the ‘A’ game every week.”

Texas Tech defensive lineman Josh Page said although the Red Raiders are worried about trying to stop Wallace, it’s not their main focus.

“We just need to focus on ourselves and worry about what we have to do as a unit to accomplish the goals that we set for this year,” Page said.

“[Wallace] is a great quarterback and we [watched] some film this week to see what he likes to do in certain situations so we can see how to defend him and make sure we have the right personnel on the field.”

Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach said he has a lot of respect for what Wallace has done this season.

“I have always had a lot of respect for him,” Leach said. “There has been a lot of talk about quarterbacks in this conference and he has been one of my favorites. He is a great player and will be playing for years to come.”

Although the offensive side of the ball may provide much of the excitement, the game could be decided on defense.

Iowa State has been solid this season and ranks 21st nationally in total defense with 298.33 yards per game.

The Texas Tech defense yields 415.67 yards per game, ranking them 94th in the country.

“This [will be] a total defensive effort,” Page said. “We are not getting to the quarterback, so we can’t leave the secondary out to dry on this. We have to focus on this as a team defensive strategy.”

Kingsbury may have a better plan.

“If [the offense] can stay on the field, it will be a huge advantage for us in the game,” he said.