1. What is different about this Tech team from last year's team?
The easy answer is a new defensive coordinator who has focused the team on turnovers. But really, Kingsbury has done a great job with depth on the defensive side of the ball. In his first year, the situation that Tuberville left Tech was horrific. So many players year after year left the team for academics, transfers, or just outright dismissed from the team for violation of team rules. Sounds like what every team deals with, but the attrition rate under Tuberville was close to 50%. Last year, Kingsbury filled in JUCO players and this year, is our first year with true depth. It's keeping our defense fresher and instead of players playing 80 snaps a game, they are playing 50-55.
2. How much does last week's loss to Toledo impact what TTU fans feel about this game? Is there more belief that they can win now, or was that belief always there?
Fans feel a lot better about it. As far as the team goes, it does't make a difference. We all know that Arkansas is going to play angry, but what is missing is how Tech was embarrassed by Arkansas last year, and this season has been kind of made out to be a "revenge tour" for Tech. So Arkansas being the first test, we will see how much of that tour will be satisfying.
3. Is Kliff still DA GAWD in Lubbock, or has the honeymoon worn off yet?
He's getting there. I wouldn't say still. He's definitely not in a hot seat that most of the country and some of the Tech fan base think he is. He united the fanbase and closed the Leach chapter that divided Tech, he's a graduate of Tech and most people know that if given the time he needs to rebuild Tech after Tuberville, Tech will be just fine.
4. We've all seen shirtless pictures of Kliff and Bert. Who wore it better?
Kingsbury. Not only is he better fit, the girls posing with him were Dallas Mavericks dancers. One of them being a friend of mine. No contest.
5. Does it do y'all's hearts good to see Texas in complete disarray like it does us?
It does. It pains us though that it comes at a time when Tech is in a low point in the last 15 years. Baylor has kinda taken over for us and our spot in the conference. They are magnified though because their rise came exactly when Texas and Oklahoma started losing their grip at the top. But it's nice to see Texas struggle a bit.
6. Give us an offensive guy and a defensive guy to look out for in the game.
There are a ton offensively, but I'll go with the receiver corps. You'll hear the names, Devin Lauderdale, Jakeem Grant, and Ian Sadler a lot. Look for Lauderdale on deep routs... Grant with the ball in space and Sadler out of the slot.
Defensively, Breiden Fehoko. Our biggest signee this past year playing as true freshman was brought in specifically to shut down the run. Because he is a true freshman, he does make mistakes, but he's got terrific instincts and has a high motor. If he plays well, the run game for Arkansas will be slowed.
I have Tech pulling this out 35-31. It's close because it's in Fayetteville, but I think Tech surprises Arkansas like Arkansas surprised Tech last year.