The Cyclones have their backs against the wall. That is really the only way to describe this weekends game with the Red Raiders visiting town with their spread offense and the Cyclones secondary being reduced to rubble with yet another starter going down with a season ending injury. Defensive back DeAndre Jackson's injury wasn't even the biggest injury of the Oklahoma game, with Adrian Peterson going down with a broken collar bone in what could be his last play in college football (I say "could be his last game" because I am betting he is going to leave for the NFL at the conclusion of the season). With the Cyclone's losing streak continuing, it now becomes imperative to win games if a bowl game is going to be a possibility. With five games left on the schedule, the Cyclones have to win three in order to reach the magic bowl eligible win number of six. With that said, let's get into some statistics.
Cyclones Statistical Breakdown
Once again the statistics were not
anything to brag about, but that is what happens when you play against one of
the 25 top teams in that nation.
Still, there were a couple of bright spots. Punter Mike Brandtner got a lot of
practice and showed why he deserves a scholarship. He punted nine times with an average of
44.6 yards and had a long of 73!
That just adds to his season average, which is now 41.66 YPP, good for
30th in the nation. That is stellar
when you consider Brandtner is a red-shirt freshman. The passing game did really wow anyone,
with Todd Blythe and Austin Flynn being the only receivers to have over 12
yards, having 60 and 50 yards respectively. Blythe did have the only
The next opponent of the Cyclones
is another Big 12 South foe, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Raiders come in to Jack Trice
Stadium leading the series 5-1, with the only loss being at Jack Trice in
2002. That was the same game that
Seneca Wallace did "the run", and if you don't know what I am talking about,
look it up on youtube.com and watch it (it is probably the best play in ISU
history). Dan McCarney is currently
1-3 against while Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is 1-1 against the Cyclones. Texas Tech brings with them a high
powered, spread offense that gives every wide receiver a chance at a big
play. Much like the Cyclones, Texas
Tech is coming off a devastating lose to previous winless
The Red Raiders bring a pass offense averaging 337.3 YPG, good for first in the Big 12 and third in the nation. But that doesn't always translate into points. Tech is currently 10th in the conference in scoring offense. They also don't get much help from the run game, which averages a pitiful 76.43 YPG, ranking at 113th in the nation for rushing offense. The offense is ran by sophomore Graham Harrell, who already has 2137 yards on the season with 19 TD and only seven interceptions. Harrell has a ton of targets to throw to, with Texas Tech having seven players with over 100 receiving yards already. Harrell's favorite target is senior WR Joel Filani, who has 49 catches for 600 yards and six touchdowns. WR Robert Johnson is close behind Filani with 405 yards and six touchdowns. The team's leading rusher is sophomore Shannon Woods who only has 464 but does average an impressive 6.0 YPC.
Historically the defense has usually been a sore spot for Coach Leach and his Red Raiders, but this year's unit has shown improvement over previous Texas Tech defenses. The rush defense isn't the best, ranking 11th in the conference, but the pass defense is an impressive 2nd. This evens out to the Red Raiders being 5th in the conference in total defense, giving up an average of 346.3 YPG, which is exactly 42 yards less than they are averaging on offense. The D is led by junior safety Joe Garcia, who has a team leading 51 tackles. Junior LB Brock Stratton is second on the team in tackles with 47, followed by Garcia's safety counterpart Darcel McBath with 46. The team's sack leader is DE Keyunta Dawson (3 sacks), who the coaches voted all Big 12 second team last year. As far as interceptions, the Raiders only have four total interceptions, but they are all by safety McBath (2) and cornerback Chris Parker (2).
Texas Tech's special teams unit is about as average as can be. The punter, Alex Reyer, is really the only shining star, averaging 46.3 yards a punt. That is only if he can get the punt off, with Texas Tech already having one blocked this season. The field goal duties are handled by Alex Trlica, who is only 7-10. The punt return, Danny Amendola, is averaging 10 yards a punt and kick returners Shannon Woods and Eric Morris are averaging 19.9 and 17.5 YPK, respectively. This group isn't bad but I wouldn't call them good either.
I can pretty much sum up Texas
Tech in one word; pass. The offense
has no run game to speak of but the passing game generates more than its fair
share of yards. The pass defense is
tough but the rush defense is a little soft. The special teams are ok, but I wouldn't
bet the farm if it comes down to them making a big play. This Red Raider team is decent with good
talent on both sides of the ball but