The Double T 97-3 staff answers, "What are you looking for most in the season opener for Texas Tech Football?"
Chuck Heinz - The Morning Drive
I want domination. I don't want to see the game in jeopardy much past the half way point of the third quarter at the latest. I'd like the team to come out on fire looking ready to play and fired up to be there. I'd like the defense to get three turn overs and the offense turn them into scores. No more than three punts and all kick offs through the Endzone for a Touchback. I'd like to see 52-10 as a final score.
Jamie Lent - The Morning Drive
It's all about the trenches for me. I would really like to see this offensive line take a step forward from last year and create more running lanes and protect the QB better. On the defensive side, I would love to see this Tech defensive front show that they can slow down the run and puts some pressure on the QB.
Of course, we have to remember that this is an FCS opponent in Eastern Washington so success in these areas does not guarantee you will excel against the tougher teams on your schedule. However, if you are struggling in these areas against EWU, it would surely lead us to believe you will have troubles in those areas all season long.
Zach Logsdon - The Morning Drive and Sunday Sports Blitz
I want to see them run the ball effectively and put some pressure on the quarterback. Desmond Nisby doesn't need to run for 200 yards (although it would be great if he did) and Lonzell Gilmore doesn't need to finish with 3 sacks (although it would be great if he did). But if you can at least be passable/effective in those areas my hopes for this season will improve pretty dramatically.
Chois Woodman - The Bottom Line
In game one - I want to see a win. I hate to be too simplistic, but Eastern Washington is a solid FCS opponent. I don't want to see Texas Tech faltering in the first week. Other than that: I want see a positive turnover margin. The Red Raiders need to get back to taking the football away on defense and continue to take care of it on offense. These are very attainable goals for week one.
Aaron Dickens - Tech Talk
Chris Level - Tech Talk
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to watch this defense play, especially this group of linebackers and the secondary. But, I'd have to go with Nic Shimonek. I love his story and his work ethic and I sense that this team loves that about him too. He's got everything that you're looking for in a Red Raider signal caller with the exception of experience which is something he will have soon. So yeah, I'll be looking at #16 first and foremost.
Jeff McGuire - The Sunday Sports Blitz
First, let say what I am not looking for, numbers. If the game goes as I hope, the starters won't play much in the second half. That will cut the score and numbers way down. What I really want to see is a clean game. No stupid away from the play penalties. No missed assignments. No missed tackles. All respect to Eastern Washington but this should be a game where the name on the front of the jersey is enough to win. I want to see the offense take care of the ball, and the defense to get a few turnovers. I would love to see a passing pocket that protects the quarterback and pass rush that can turn the tables. All of that will lead to a win, but I am more interested in how they get there, then how the results.
Chris Williamson - The Sunday Sports Blitz
I am looking for major improvement in the O-Line and defense over last year. The O-Line was atrocious at times last year and without Mahomes ability to keep plays alive they need to be significantly improved for Tech to be successful. The defense is entering the third year under Gibbs and cannot afford to be in the bottom of the rankings for Tech to win games. Want to see them #80 or less. Anything higher than that and it's a tough case to say we've improved.
Zach Sparkman - Producer Extraordinaire
I'm looking for a few things in the season opener: the first is what I've said all off season is the key to this season and that is the offensive line. This group having a great day against Eastern Washington doesn't mean the woes of a year ago have been fixed, but it's better than seeing them struggle and thinking how bad things might go from here. Second is the Defensive line making plays in the backfield, again if Tech picks up 4 sacks in the opener doesn't mean the defense is fixed, but you can't not get sacks or pressure against Eastern Washington and expect to pressure Baker Mayfield or any other conference foe. Lastly, strong secondary play. Eastern Washington had a strong offense a season ago, so fans can actually know a little bit what to expect from this group based on their performance, so if Jahshawn Johnson and co are breaking up passes and making plays against a passing game that's beat power 5 opponents in the past could mean good things for the Red Raiders.
Kyle Stafford - Producer Extraordinaire
The one thing I am looking for most in the season opener is if Tech can win the battle in the trenches. Can the offensive line make a push up front and open up running lanes? Can the defensive line get after an experienced quarterback in Gage Gubrud of Eastern Washington? If Tech can win the battle upfront early on, it will go along ways throughout the season.