Texas Tech offense flying high entering Saturday’s game

Texas Tech then-sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes II falls to the ground with the ball on Nov. 14, 2015, at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Mahomes had a total of 384 passing yards. (File Photo by Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have always had a pretty simple offensive philosophy: “The best defense is a good offense.”

Look back to last year, when the Wildcats played the Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas. The teams combined for a total of 103 points in that game, which the Wildcats lost 59-44. Then look at this season so far, in which the Red Raiders have gone 3-1 and average 60 points per game, which is the most of any team this season.

They’re led by junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, who slices apart defenses the same way college tuition slices away at parents’ savings: mercilessly and without a whole lot to stop it.

Mahomes has thrown for 1,770 yards and 18 touchdowns in just four games this season. He ranks No. 3 nationally in the first statistic and No. 2 in the second one. He averages more than 10 yards per attempt, which is also good for No. 2 in the country. He leads his team in rushing touchdowns with four.

In the weekly press conference, K-State head football coach Bill Snyder acknowledged the part Mahomes plays in the Texas Tech offense.

“They do an awful lot of things with him, and he is a physical guy and has some good height to him,” Snyder said. “You have to be prepared against the run, but he wants to make a living throwing the ball. They get the ball out of his hands quick where you do not get a great deal of pressure on him.”

Mahomes, however, is far from the team’s only offensive weapon, even at quarterback.

Last week against Kansas, Mahomes got hurt in the third quarter, causing the Red Raiders to resort to junior quarterback Nic Shimonek, the team’s backup at the position.

He entered the game and threw for 271 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.

Mahomes is listed as day-to-day, according to multiple news outlets, but if he can’t start the Red Raiders will still be able to put up gross numbers of points, partly because the team will still have sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Giles.

With 565 yards and seven touchdowns this season, Giles ranks as one of the best wide receivers in the country. He is No. 8 nationally in yards and No. 3 in touchdowns.

Still, if anyone can stop the best offense in the country, it just might be the Wildcats.

K-State has only allowed 959 yards this season, second only to Ohio State for the fewest allowed in Division I college football. They also have allowed the third-fewest points this season with 50, despite having played No. 8 Stanford on the road. They also rank No. 12 nationally in passing yards allowed per game, with 154.5.

Senior running back Charles Jones said he has faith in the defense.

“When you have a defense that is playing the way ours has, I have confidence that they are going to do their best,” Jones said. “I have all the confidence in our defense that they will do their thing.”

Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.