This season, Matt Wells quickly hit the win tally, four, which he posted in each of his first two seasons as Texas Tech coach.
The unbalanced losses, however, to Texas and TCU left Wells facing criticism as he ranked 12-16 in his third season, scoring 6-15 in the Big 12 game. His Red Raiders (4-2, 1-2 Big 12) face Kansas (1-4, 0-2) on Saturday in Lawrence, Kan.
“The outcome of a game is not going to define me in a 25-year or a nine-year career as a head coach,” said Wells, who previously guided Utah State. “There’s no one I’m going to let outdo me.
“What you try not to let this happen is demoralize yourself when we lose. Are we disappointed? Damn, yeah. Are you kidding me?”
Texas Tech needs two wins to qualify for its first bowl offer since 2017.
Running back SaRodorick Thompson just posted a 118-yard rushing performance last week in the Red Raiders’ 52-31 loss to TCU. Erik Ezukanma leads the Big 12 receivers averaging 85.8 yards as the preferred target for Henry Colombi, who has posted two 300-yard passing performances since taking over at quarterback after Tyler Shough broke his collarbone.
Red Raiders linebacker Colin Schooler, FBS’s active leader in career and loss tackles, is second among 12 Big 12 tackles (51).
Texas Tech struggled against the run in the Big 12 game, allowing for 394 yards against TCU after previously going 336 to Texas.
Asked about his defensive approach, Wells said, “The shot doesn’t look good when you get run over.”
Kansas continue to struggle under Lance Leipold, although the first-year coach knows he can’t take his frustrations out on others while trying to end the school’s 14-game losing streak in the Big 12.
“You come back to your values and who you’re going to be, and don’t start to panic,” Leipold said. “You can’t train angry.”
The Jayhawks have scored just seven points in each of their first two conference games while allowing Baylor 45 and Iowa State 59. The offense relied heavily on the arms and legs of Jason Bean (1,143 total yards). The defense is giving up 7.4 yards per game.
On the bright side, Kansas received just 22 fouls, the fourth lowest total among FBS teams.
“That was probably one of the bright spots,” said Leipold.
– Field level media