LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech got back in the win column for the first time in a month Saturday, winning 38-17 at West Virginia. The Red Raiders now sit at 4-5 on the season and 2-4 in Big 12 play.
Monday, head coach Matt Wells, linebacker Riko Jeffers and offensive tackle Travis Bruffy met with the media. Here are the key takeaways from what they had to say.
“It’s Alan’s decision 100 percent. I agree with it and I respect it. It’s the smart thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.”Matt Wells on Alan Bowman redshirting.
Bowman, McIvor to redshirt
Wells made some news Monday when he announced that while quarterbacks Maverick McIvor and Alan Bowman are cleared to play, both will redshirt this season.
This does not mean that either players are done suiting up for Texas Tech this season, as a two-year-old rule allows players to play in up to four games while maintaining their redshirt eligibility. McIvor has not appeared in a game, so he can play in all of Texas Tech’s remaining games. Bowman has appeared in three, so he can only play in one more.
Wells said that Bowman made the decision to redshirt.
“We talked to Alan last night, talked to his parents,” Wells said. “It’s Alan’s decision 100 percent. I agree with it and I respect it. It’s the smart thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.”
Offensive line keeps Duffey clean
Jett Duffey was not sacked Wednesday despite going up against two talented pass rusher in Darius and Dante Stills. Texas Tech’s offensive line has some young players, and Bruffy — a senior — complimented their play.
“I think if you were to ask who I’d give the most credit to, it would be those two kids, Dawson (Deaton) and Weston (Wright), for really maturing into those roles, realizing what was expected of them this week and just playing not a flawless game but playing with undenied effort, and that went a long way,” Bruffy said.
Duffey had an excellent game Saturday, and those young offensive linemen keeping him clean was a big reason why.
After calling a screen heavy passing attack the last few weeks, David Yost opened the playbook up for Duffey against West Virginia. Duffey threw the ball down the field often and connected with Dalton Rigdon for an 81-yard touchdown.
Wells said that several factors went into the decision to call more deep shots, one of which was Duffey’s improvement.
“Jett is throwing a better deep ball,” Wells said. “You know, our receivers are making plays down the field. There were a couple coverages that gave us those chances because they can certainly play certain coverages and certain things can take all that away from you. But again, he’s gotten better.”
“It’s one of the best defensive units we’ll see all year, so it’ll be a major challenge for our guys and our coaches, and we’ll have to be on point.”Matt Wells on TCU’s defense.
Matt Wells will see a familiar face on the other sideline Saturday. TCU head coach Gary Patterson was a coach at Utah State while Wells played quarterback there in 1993 and 1994. Wells also mentioned that Patterson helped him along as he was starting out as a head coach.
“I’ve known Gary Patterson for a long time, since I was 18 years old,” Wells said. “Coached me in college, and really the last six years as I’ve been a head coach he’s done a lot for me just in terms of helping me as a young head coach.”
Wells did say that he hasn’t talked to Patterson in the last 10 months, now that they coach in the same conference.
Bruffy also has a connection to TCU, as his childhood friend and youth football teammate Ross Blacklock plays nose tackle for TCU.
Horned Frog defense
Texas Tech’s offense had an efficient performance at West Virginia last week, but TCU will make it hard for the Red Raiders to keep that up. Gary Patterson’s defenses have been among the best in the Big 12 since TCU joined the conference in 2012.
“They’re up there in every single category, and they have been for the last 20 years,” Wells said of the Horned Frog defense. “So it’s one of the best defensive units we’ll see all year, so it’ll be a major challenge for our guys and our coaches, and we’ll have to be on point.”
TCU allowed just nine points in regulation to Big 12 leading Baylor last week. The Red Raiders have their work cut out for them.