Good Cop/Bad Cop: Texas Tech


Tyler Coe

O’Rien Vance celebrates a sack against West Virginia on Nov. 5.

Payne Blazevich and Anthony Hanson

Good cop: Payne Blazevich

At this point in the season, consistency or growth on the offensive end is an unreliable expectation for Iowa State. The Cyclones have been procrastinating wins necessary to secure a bowl game, and time is running out. 

If Iowa State wants to guarantee a sixth consecutive bowl appearance, it needs to beat Texas Tech Saturday. The game will most likely be close, and Iowa State needs every advantage possible to swing a result in its favor. 

Unlike games earlier in the season, one thing will act as a tremendous advantage for Iowa State: the cold. 

Iowa State has had the privilege of practicing on a cold, snow-covered practice field. In Lubbock, the Red Raiders have been preparing in weather that never dropped below 30 degrees. 

When the temperature is pushing single digits by kickoff, it will be difficult for Texas Tech to perform at its best. A year ago, a scrappy TCU team was paralyzed by the poor weather in Ames, hardly putting up a fight beyond the first quarter. 

It is hard to predict what an inconsistent offense will look like week to week. Maybe quarterback Hunter Dekkers helps lead a fresh passing attack. Perhaps the running game can establish itself early, helping the offense find a rhythm. 

But it’s unlikely. 

One thing is certain, though: it will be cold–for both teams. One team has been weathered, preparing in adverse conditions. The other has faced a moderately chilly week. 

Prediction: Iowa State 14, Texas Tech 3

Bad cop: Anthony Hanson

Iowa State had an opportunity last week to show it could have some consistency.

The improvements in the running game and offensive production against West Virginia two weeks ago were promising. But after taking one step forward, the Cyclones took two big steps back.

Again, the offense did show signs of improvement. Receivers other than Xavier Hutchinson were getting open against Oklahoma State, allowing Hunter Dekkers to have 274 passing yards, but costly mistakes negated any improvement Iowa State might have made.

Iowa State made the kinds of mistakes that are especially hurtful during week 11 of a college football season. After having no turnovers against West Virginia, the Cyclone coughed up the ball five times. Iowa State’s dropped passes, delay of game and false start penalties cost it the game.

In the details where Matt Campbell’s young team should be improved, it is not.

For week 12, it is hard to predict anything other than the following.   

The Iowa State defense will shut down a Texas Tech offense that wants to run the ball. The Red Raiders have won two but lost two of their last four games. In wins, they found success running the football–in losses, not so much. Texas Tech offensive coordinator said “first and foremost,” it will have to establish the run against the Iowa State defense.

In the last game at Jack Trice Stadium for O’Rien Vance, Will McDonald IV and Anthony Johnson Jr., it is hard to see the Iowa State defense losing that battle.

But inconsistencies on offense make it even harder to predict a win for the Cyclones. In the same heartbreaking fashion, Iowa State will lose a one-possession game against Texas Tech.

Prediction: Texas Tech 13, Iowa State 6