CoogFans' Texas Tech update

The Cougars have the passing attack to take advantage of Texas Tech's suspect secondary and TTU could again be without cornerback Will Ford who has been limited this season due to injuries and missed the Weber State contest with a pulled hamstring. The Cougars need this win to become bowl eligible and salvage a disappointing season that has been marred by injuries.

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Big 12 Conference

2010 Record: (6-5, 3-5)
2009 Record: (9-4, 5-3)
2009 Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan State (W 41-31)
Coach: Tommy Tuberville (6-5 at Texas Tech, 116-65 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Neal Brown
Defensive Coordinator: James Willis

Current Leaders Rushing: Baron Batch, RB, 745 yards
Passing: Taylor Potts, QB, 2,984 yards
Receiving: Lyle Leong, WR, 762 yards
Tackles: Bront Bird, LB, 93
Sacks: Brian Duncan, LB, 7.0
Interceptions: Jarvis Phillips, CB, 4

Other Key Players: S Cody Davis, G Lonnie Edwards, LB Sam Fehoko, LB Julius Howard, CB D.J. Johnson, WR Detron Lewis, CB Tre' Porter, DE Tyrone Sonier, RB Eric Stephens, DT Colby Whitlock, WR Austin Zouzalik

Texas Tech wrapped up Big 12 play after their loss to Oklahoma on November 13th. That left the Red Raiders at a disappointing 3-5 in conference play and 5-5 overall with games against Weber State and Houston remaining. Texas Tech put all bowl doubts behind them by slaughtering Weber State 64-21 and that score was not as close as it should have been. However, the odd schedule has turned out to be a bad thing for Coach Tommy Tuberville and company. Six of their first ten games were on the road and this team has not won back-to-back games since their last two non-conference games back in September when they beat Southern Methodist and New Mexico.

Strengths:
For such a young team, all those road games have been troublesome. This was also supposed to be a more balanced offensive team under the new coaching scheme. Surely the passing attack would still be good because that is what all the returning players were used to, but running back Baron Batch was supposed to get a ton more carries and help set up the passing game with his ground attack. Instead, the Red Raiders are currently ranked ninth in the country in passing offense and just 82nd in rushing offense. Batch has not fit in very well in the new scheme and the opposing defenses quickly adjusted to a team that would not throw on every down. The emergence of Eric Stephens has also limited Batch's production. Together those two average nearly five yards per carry and have scored just nine touchdowns on the ground. However, the ground game was not going to turn around overnight and Coach Tuberville has that part of the offense moving in the right direction. In the meantime the passing game has picked up pretty much where it left off. After a heated battle in the spring, Taylor Potts won the starting job at quarterback and has done a fine job this season, completing nearly 66 percent of his passes and throwing for 27 touchdowns and a mere seven interceptions.

Weaknesses:
Against most teams the offense has been fine. It is the defense that has been a problem. The unit ranks last in the conference in pass defense and total defense and that is not going to get Texas Tech competing for a Big 12 South championship. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, this would have been the year where they could have surprised a few teams and made a run at the title. With Texas and Oklahoma having down years, the Big 12 South was ripe for the taking and the Red Raiders should have been in the mix, but will instead up near the bottom of the standings. The defense is not that young and they should have been better. The front four has a talented defensive tackle in Colby Whitlock who should hear his name called on draft day. The linebackers have a ton of talent, most notably Bront Bird, Brian Duncan, Sam Fehoko and Julius Howard. Despite all those quality players, Texas Tech is too easy to run against and ranked eighth in conference in rushing defense. Part of the issue with the poor rush defense has been the dismal pass defense. Once a team passes their way into a big lead, they will simply run and that has been where most of the damage has been done to the rush defense. However, the pass defense has to actually stop somebody first before the talent in the front seven can shine and that has not happened too often this season.

The Bottom Line:
Texas Tech will go to a bowl game, but they could use another victory to try and boost their bowl stock since four other teams could end up with a 3-5 record in Big 12 conference play. With Houston coming to town, getting that seventh win will be more difficult than their sixth victory over Weber State. The Cougars have the passing attack to take advantage of Texas Tech's suspect secondary and TTU could again be without cornerback Will Ford who has been limited this season due to injuries and missed the Weber State contest with a pulled hamstring. The Cougars need this win to become bowl eligible and salvage a disappointing season that has been marred by injuries. The Red Raiders need to continue to get better for the future after a disappointing season of their own and ending up 7-5 heading into bowl season sounds a lot better than 6-6. That also gives Coach Tuberville something to build on heading into 2011.

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 139.91 (82nd in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 309.45 (9, 3)
Total Offense: 449.36 (116, 5)
Scoring Offense: 31.82 (36, 7)
Rushing Defense: 158.18 (67, 8)
Pass Defense: 293.82 (118, 12)
Total Defense: 452.00 (114, 12)
Scoring Defense: 31.27 (92, 11)
Turnover Margin: -.18 (65, 9)
Sacks: 2.18 (44, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.91 (59, 7)

2010 Results:
September 5th vs. SMU: 35-27
September 11th at New Mexico: 52-17
September 18th vs. Texas: 14-24
October 2nd at Iowa State: 38-52
October 9th vs. Baylor: 45-38
October 16th vs. Oklahoma State: 17-34
October 23rd at Colorado: 27-24
October 30th at Texas A&M: 27-45
November 6th vs. Missouri: 24-17
November 13th at Oklahoma: 7-45
November 20th vs. Weber State: 64-21


Cougar Digest Top Stories