Texas Tech Scouting Report

The good thing about Texas Tech is you can use last year's scouting report, or the one from the year before, because the Red Raiders don't change much under Mike Leach. The mad scientist of offensive gurus, Leach's genius is really simple.

Check out his play sheet on the sidelines, it's a scratch piece of paper, maybe a napkin from the day before and a drive through trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken. The defense doesn't change much either, it is a simple attack designed to prevent big plays and allow the Raiders offense to out-score you on the scoreboard.

What makes this version of the Leach attack so much more potent is a veteran quarterback in Graham Harrell. In his second year as a starter, and third year in studying the offense, Harrell knows all the options. Even though the receivers are somewhat new, Harrell was instrumental in bringing them along and up to speed including new 6-3, 220-pound speedy sensation Michael Crabtree.

The Tech offense only has a handful of plays, but most of the pass plays are built with option routes that count on the quarterback (Harrell) and the receivers making the same read on the defensive coverage. It is an offense on the fly. Danny Ammendola provides the veteran presence among the wide receivers, along with L.A. Reed.

The offensive line is still stout ,anchored by mammoth left guard Louis Vasquez. Shannon Woods and sophomore Kobey Lewis serve as the occasional running threat and catch passes out of the backfield. Here are the sobering numbers: 568.7 yards of offense a game, 479.3 yards of pass offense a game, Harrell is completing 75 percent of his passes, and Crabtree has 538 yards receiving and eight touchdowns.

Simple is what Tech defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich does with his 4-3-4 defense. They don't blitz much, run safe coverages and have plenty of athletes running around to keep the opposing offense from going very far. Freshman Colby Whitlock of Noble, Okla., has made a difference up front on the defense. He's one that got away as the 6-2, 281-pound freshman has a sack and has provided push up front.

Defensive end Jake Ratliff, linebacker Paul Williams and strong safety Joe Garcia, along with free safety partner Darcel McBath, who nearly went to Oklahoma State, are the playmakers. Tech is giving up 337 yards of offense and 143 yards rushing average per game.

Special Teams
Alex Trlica has been excellent kicking as he is perfect on field goals (2-2) and extra points (21-21). Jonathan LeCour is averaging 40.6 yards per punt and the net punt is a solid 36.7 yards. Eric Morris is dangerous on punt returns, averaging double figures at more than 11 yards a return.

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