Texas Tech hopes to rebound vs Iowa St after 2-game skid
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Texas Tech looks to rebound from back-to-back losses to top-five teams when the Red Raiders take on Iowa State on Saturday.
The Cyclones are aiming for a second Big 12 road win after beating Kansas last week.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kinsgbury sees a much improved Iowa State team led by quarterback Sam Richardson. The Red Raiders are No. 124th in the nation - fourth from the bottom - in total defense, giving up 581 yards per game.
''Anytime you have a senior quarterback that's played a lot, that's going to give you problems,'' the third-year coach said. ''He can run well, he throws well, so it'll be a good challenge for us.''
Texas Tech (3-2, 0-2 Big 12), which leads the nation in passing offense and ranked third in total offense, lost to then-No. 3 TCU two weeks ago and fell to then-No. 5 Baylor last week.
Paul Rhoads, coach of the Cyclones (2-2, 1-0), is hopeful a new defensive scheme this year will help stifle the Red Raiders' offense fire power, both in the air and on the ground.
''You've got to try to leverage as best as possible with all your defense against all their weapons,'' he said. ''They're going to take advantage of the entire field. They're going to do it vertically. They're going to do it horizontally.''
Here are some things to watch for when Texas Tech hosts Iowa State:
THIN RECEIVING CORPS: The Red Raiders pass offense is the best in the country but their receiving corps is thin. Ian Sadler and Devin Lauderdale, who have combined for five TDs and 527 yards, are both day-to-day. Sadler got injured in the TCU game and didn't play against Baylor, while Lauderdale went down against the Bears. ''But with our offense, the way we do things, if you're one of those young wide receivers, you got to grow up quick because we're going to need you,'' Kingsbury said.
TURNOVERS AND PENALTIES: Up until last weekend's loss to Baylor Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was pleased with how the Red Raiders had turned around last year's turnover and penalties woes. QB Pat Mahomes, still somewhat hampered by a leg knee injury he got early in the TCU loss, threw two interceptions, while the team notched 17 penalties for 142 yards against Baylor. Kingsbury was plenty displeased. ''We'd made big strides in those areas, the penalties and turnovers, so to play such a good team and then revert back to that was disappointing.''
CYCLONES RUSHER: Freshman RB Mike Warren could cause fits for the Red Raiders rush defense, which sits at the bottom of the Big 12 in giving up about 277 yards per game, and also set an Iowa State record. He's coming off a 175-yard performance on 18 carries in the win at Kansas after 128 yards on 21 rushes in the OT loss to Toledo. No Iowa State player has rushed for 100 yards in three consecutive games since 2010, and no Cyclones freshman has ever topped 100 yard three times in a season. ''Mike's going to be very active,'' Rhoads said.
SACK ATTACK: Mahomes is the most well protected quarterback in the conference. He's been sacked only once in five games. Conversely, Iowa State's defense is ranked second in the Big 12 with 14 sacks. Rhoads isn't promising lots of sacks but he's got his eye on causing some disruption. ''We've got to let him know we're there and at least cause his feet to shuffle a little bit, and maybe have him hold onto the ball a little longer,'' he said.
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