at Folsom Field • Oct. 14 • TBA
Head Coach: Mike Leach (7th season)
2005 Record: 9-3/6-2 Big 12 South
Series Record: 3-4
The best player you have never heard of is inside receiver Danny Amendola. In Texas Tech's Air Raid offense, Amendola is overshadowed by big-play wideouts Joel Filani, Jarrett Hicks, and Robert Johnson. Still, Amendola has already proven to be a difference maker in several games with his reliable hands. It could be argued that Texas Tech might have lost both the Nebraska and Oklahoma games last season had it not been for his awareness. Amendola is as good a possession receiver as you will find, and is a talented punt returner as well. Expect big things from him in his junior season.
The biggest storyline is new linebacker Keyunta Dawson. He was moved from defensive end in the offseason due to his dangerous combination of size and speed, and all signs point to him becoming a huge component of Tech's defensive success next season. Dawson has the potential to make the most significant impact of a Red Raider linebacker since the days of Zach Thomas.
The superstar in the making is sophomore quarterback Graham Harrell. In Mike Leach's prolific passing system that puts up outrageous numbers year after year, there has never been a highly recruited quarterback running the show. This all changes with Harrell, who is the prototypical pocket passer for Texas Tech's spread offense. Graham is an extremely accurate quarterback who grew up a coach's son in a football household, which should give defensive coordinators nightmares. If Harrell starts for three years, the current NCAA passing records don't stand a chance.
The freshmen who can make an impact are running back Baron Batch and safety Jamar Wall. Both are talented recruits who play positions with a bit of uncertainty following the losses of key starters. Batch has to outperform projected starter Shannon Woods and Kobey Lewis, the elusive newcomer, if he expects to see the field. As for Wall, it appears that he may need to step up at strong safety to have a chance at playing time.
Returning Leaders: PASS: Harrell 55-37-422, 3 TD; RUSH: Woods 24-168/7.0; REC: Filani 65-1,048/16.1, 8 TD; TCKLS: Fletcher Session 81; SACKS: Keyunta Dawson 2.5.