On Saturday night (7:00 P.M., ABC) in Lubbock, the Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-4, 2-4) play host to the #12 Missouri Tigers (7-1, 3-1). Tech is coming off of a 45-27 loss at Texas A&M, and according to Texas Tech Head Coach Tommy Tuberville, the Red Raiders are pretty beaten up.
"We're obviously struggling, in a lot of areas," said Coach Tuberville. "We've had eleven surgeries, after today. Our depth has just been depleted. We can't slow anybody down. We have to outscore everybody, and we haven't been able to do that, obviously. There's some good teams in this league."
As usual, Texas Tech possesses a prolific passing attack. Tech ranks 4th in the Big 12 (7th NCAA) in passing offense, at 316.75 yards/game. Senior QB Taylor Potts 6'5" 222 has completed 65.4% of his pass attempts (236-361-5) for an average of 10.1 yards/completion, 21 TDs, and a passer efficiency rating of 137.37.
Potts spreads the ball around. Five Tech receivers have averaged at least 3 receptions/game. A pair of seniors, Lyle Leong 6'1" 175 (5.9 receptions/game, 12.5 yards/reception, 13 TDs) and Detron Lewis 6'0" 208 (6.1 receptions/game, 10.1 yards/reception, 2 TDs), are among Potts' favorite targets.
Texas Tech's rushing attack ranks last in the Big 12 (97th NCAA) at 116.1 yards/game. Tech has run the football on 40% of their plays from scrimmage, for an average of 3.8 yards/rush. Senior Baron Batch 5'10" 210 (12.9 carries/game, 4.4 yards/carry, 4 TDs) and sophomore Eric Stephens 5'8" 192 (10.9 carries/game, 5 yards/carry, 4 TDs) share the rushing duties, and are among Tech's top pass receivers. Stephens also returns kicks for the Red Raiders (25.5 yards/return), and is the Big 12 leader (5th NCAA) in all-purpose yardage (169.88 yards/game).
Tech ranks 6th in the conference (27th NCAA) in total offense (432.9 yards/game), 7th in the conference (35th NCAA) in scoring offense (31.88 points/game), and 9th in the conference (63rd NCAA) in turnover margin (-.13 turnovers/game).
Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel talked about Texas Tech.
"They're a very multiple offensive football team," began Coach Pinkel. "They run a spread, and they do an excellent job with high-tempo................. It's very similar to the Mike Leach offense. We all know how potent that is. Taylor Potts is a great quarterback. They also have the receivers. They have a very, very good scheme defensively. They are very multiple in the things that they do, so they do a lot of different things on defense."
Texas Tech has really struggled to defend the pass. The Red Raiders have been able to get to the QB, with 2.5 sacks/game (3rd Big 12, 26th NCAA), but Tech ranks last in the conference (119th NCAA) against the pass, surrendering 317.4 yards/game through the air. And, while Tech has performed pretty well in defending the run (132.1 yards/game) (3rd Big 12, 41st NCAA), the Red Raiders rank last in the Big 12 (113th NCAA) in total defense (449.5 yards/game). Texas Tech has given up 32.63 points/game, which ranks 11th in the conference (98th NCAA). Defensively, Tech has been opportunistic, with 11 interceptions, and 5 fumble recoveries, on the season.
The leading tacklers for the Red Raiders include senior MLB Bront Bird 6'4" 248 (72 total tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 1 QB sack, 2 INTs, 1 PBU) and sophomore S Cody Davis 6'2" 194 (61 total tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1 QB sack, 4 PBU's, 2 forced fumbles). Tech's secondary is very young, with two sophomores and two freshmen in the starting line-up.
On special teams, kick-off returns is what Tech does best. Their senior punter, Jon LaCour 6'1" 216, also does a good job (39.6 yards/punt net average).
[NCAA Ranking in Brackets]
414.38 [41st]___ Total Offense___ 432.88 [27th]
138.88 [82nd]___Rushing Offense__ 116.13 [97th]
16___________TDs Rushing__________ 10
275.50 [23rd]___Passing Offense_ __ 316.75 [7th]
131.69 [56th]__ Passing Efficiency__ 137.26 [38th]
13___________TDs Passing___________ 23
32.50 [33rd]____Scoring Offense____ 31.88 [35th]
353.50 [52nd]___ Total Defense__ 449.50 [113th]
141.25 [T-50th]_ Rushing Defense__ 132.13 [41st]
7_________ TDs Allowed Rushing________ 13
212.25 [62nd]___Passing Defense_ 317.38 [119th]
110.75 [18th]__ Pass Effic. Defense__ 139.08 [91st]
8_________ TDs Allowed Passing________ 18
15.38 [9th]_____Scoring Defense___ 32.63 [98th]
+0.63 [22nd]__ Turnover Margin___–0.13 [63rd]
14 / 7_ ______ Fumbles/Lost_______19 / 11
5_________ Interceptions Thrown_________ 6
11________ Interceptions Gained________ 11
23.84 [28th]___Kickoff Return Avg.__ 23.14 [36th]
7.15 [75th]____ Punt Return Avg.____5.73 [95th]
39.76 [14th]___ Net Punting Avg.___ 38.93 [23rd]
3.00 [7th]_______Sacks By______2.50 [26th]
1.63 [47th]_____ Sacks Allowed_____1.88 [58th]
29:25 [76th]___ Avg. Time of Poss.__ 26:36 [116th]
37.4% [80th]___3rd Down Conv.__ 42.5% [42nd]
66.7% [T-21st]___4th Down Conv._ 44.4% [T-80th]