Each well I'll give provide an Iowa State coach with some unsolicited advice. Here's one of the things I think would work against Texas Tech:
The defensive conundrum when facing a spread team: To blitz, or not to blitz?
A case against the blitz was made by Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads on Monday, who said Texas Tech "gets rid of the ball quickly." In essence, the goal of the blitz is also the goal of the spread offense. By this mindset, blitzing wouldn't be forcing the offense to do anything it was uncomfortable doing.
Bringing five or more pass rushers puts pressure on the men in coverage, who all of a sudden have a lot less help. One blown assignment or missed tackle can be disastrous. With Iowa State's secondary as shaky as it's been, blitzing would seem to exacerbate the problem.
But I'd recommend defensive coordinator Wally Burnham dial it up Saturday morning. Texas Tech's receivers are so good at getting open, such monsters after the catch, Iowa State just cannot afford to let whoever's quarterback play pitch-and-catch. Make it difficult.
When the Cyclones got conservative defensively in a loss to Texas last week — mind you, they played things by the book in that situation, with a few minutes left and 80 yards to go — it was the first time Case McCoy looked anything like an above-average quarterback. He had all day, an average of 2.94 seconds in the pocket, with a high of 4.5. Iowa State's four-man rush was not effective enough.
The Red Raiders have yielded 10 sacks this year, or two a game. With the exception of stud left tackle Le'Raven Clark, the line is nothing to write home about. The Cyclones shouldn't make that unit's job any easier Saturday. Put pressure on it, make likely starter Davis Webb, a true freshman, accelerate his decision-making process.
Webb has thrown four interceptions this year, on 70 attempts. He's completing 51.4 percent of his passes. Baker Mayfield, who is doubtful to play (knee), has been picked off five times, on 201 attempts. He's completing 65.7 percent of his passes. The Red Raiders are prone to turnovers, that's clear. If Iowa State brings four, chances are the quarterback will have plenty of time. If the Cyclones bring five, or maybe even six, the quarterback's going to have a much tougher day.