The Cowboys looked great in a win against Boise State on Saturday, but a lot of help came from the defense and special teams. The offense continues to struggle in a few areas, and Texas Tech is just what the doctor ordered in terms of improving on offense. The Red Raiders are flat-out bad on defense, and the Cowboys should look to take advantage in a few areas.
Protect Corn Dog
It is no secret that the offensive line has struggled all season long, and they have not gotten much better through three games. Taylor Cornelius has been sacked seven times, and backup quarterback Keondre Wudtee has been sacked twice as well. Overall, the Cowboys rank T-106th in the NCAA in sacks allowed with nine.
As far as Texas Tech goes, the Red Raiders are ranked T-75th with just five sacks through three games. The Cowboy O-line has to a good job at giving Cornelius plenty of time to throw, and in the process, that will help open up the run game as well.
Let Corn Dog Sling It
This key is definitely related to the first one. Taylor Cornelius showed another side of his abilities on Saturday as he used his feet to get the job done on offense. He ran the ball 16 times for 41 yards and two scores, both coming at the goal line, while he did a mediocre job passing the ball 15/26 for 243 yards and a touchdown.
Through three games, Cornelius is 65/101 (64.4%) for 971 yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions. His numbers are not bad, but they could definitely be better. Part of his problem is not having time in the pocket, but one way or another, he is going to have to figure out a way to get the ball down the field effectively.
Texas Tech is allowing almost 300 passing yards per game, but Cornelius should be able to light up the box score with another impressive stat line.
Take Care of the Ball
After turning the football over five times in the first two games, the Cowboys did not let it go a single time last week against Boise State. Texas Tech does not have a formidable defense, so giving the ball up to them would be pretty sad.
Not only would that mean a likely pathetic effort by Cowboy offense, but allowing the Red Raiders an extra window to score is exactly the type of thing that it would take to create an upset opportunity.