Inside the Numbers: Texas Tech

After another loss against a ranked opponent, the Iowa State football squad now finds themselves with a losing record and a lot of work ahead of them in order to get to their sixth bowl game in seven years. Next up for the Clones are the Texas Tech Red Raiders and their high octane pass offense. Check in here to see what the stats have to say about the Cyclone's next opponent.

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 Iowa State touchdown of the game, keeping pace with his touchdown per game average.  On defense, Tyrone McKenzie and Alvin Bowen were once again the only ISU players to have double digit tackles with 15 and 12 respectively.  This keeps them in the national spotlight with Bowen being 1st in the nation in total tackles and McKenzie being tied for 4th.  Finally, Stevie Hicks had the longest run of his career when he broke through the line for a 58 yard scamper.  That run helped Stevie gain 91 yards on the day and average 6.4 yards a carry.


Up Next


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 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 Colorado (Tech lost 30-6).  Texas Tech is 4-3 so far this season, with a 1-2 Big 12 record.




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).


Special Teams


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.


Final Verdict


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 Iowa State has an opportunity to get its season back on track.  If the O-line can get a helmet on someone, Stevie Hicks could have a big day.  The Cyclone defense knows what Tech is going to do it is just a question of it they can stop them or not.  If the secondary can step up to the challenge, look for the cyclones to walk out of Jack Trice a winner.  If they can't, look for Texas Tech to pass their way to victory.

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