Texas Tech Fast Tempo Offense is a Major Concern for UTEP
As expected, Houston Baptist tested the new look UTEP secondary with their uptempo offense last Saturday night in the season opener. The team scored 34 points on the Miners, but two scores came as a result of turnovers. Fans could even say that the Huskies gave a good first look at what the Miners will see this week. The only difference is that Texas Tech's offense is about as uptempo as any you will see in college football. This 4-minute plus highlight reel of their 45-10 win over Montana State will give UTEP fans a good idea of what to expect.
Leading the way on the offensive depth chart is sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman. In eight games last season, he threw for 2,638 yards including 605 yards and five scores against Houston. Running back Armand Shyne came to Lubbock from Utah and he registered 125 yards on the ground and a touchdown against Montana State.
The only good news is that most of Tech's receivers on their depth chart are young and still developing. Junior McLane Mannix is the leader of the group, with 1,653 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017 and 2018. Sophomore Xavier White and junior T.J. Vasher both had excellent performances against Montana State. Here is how the Red Raiders Offensive Depth Chart shapes up for the UTEP game.
The Miners defense will have to slow down Tech's Air Raid if they are going to have a chance on Saturday. History tells us that is easier said than done, especially in Lubbock. If not, all of the pressure will be on the UTEP offense to try and chew up as much of the clock as they can to keep Bowman and company off the field. Treyvon Hughes was a bettering ram for the Miners last week against Houston Baptist with 144 yards rushing. He will have to set the tone for the ground game. If the veteran UTEP offensive line can open up holes for Hughes and protect quarterback Brandon Jones, the team should be able to score points against a Tech defense that ranked 86th in FBS last season.
Matt Wells is in his first season as head coach of the Red Raiders but he won 45 games in seven seasons at Utah State. Wells is just the fifth head coach in the history of the Texas Tech football program. He spent the first 90 seconds of his weekly press conference on Monday talking about the Miners.
As much as I would love to pick UTEP and the upset, Tech's offense is just too good for the the Miners rebuilt secondary at this stage in the season. When it is all over, I think the Miners will score 24 points but that will not be enough to stop Bowman and company. 49-24 is my prediction, but Tech will not cover the 34 points that they are currently favored. I do think the total score will go over Vegas' total of 65.
Our coverage will begin at 4:45 p.m. with "Miners First and Ten", followed by the Pregame Show at 5. The game kicks off an hour later and don't forget to download the free 600 ESPN El Paso Mobile App to hear all the action with studio quality sound.