Inside Slant - 11.24.10

The weekly update courtesy of The Sports Xchange reviews the game with Weber State as Tech becomes bowl eligible for the 18th consecutive season and the only school in the Big 12 to be so every year since the inception of the league.


Texas Tech almost played a perfect game Saturday against undermanned Weber State.

The Raiders scored eight touchdowns and two field goals on their first 10 possessions and went on to clobber the Wildcats 64-21. It was the largest margin of victory of the season by the Raiders, and the victory made them 6-5 and bowl eligible for the 18th straight season.

"Everything seemed to kind of work today," quarterback Taylor Potts said. "Everybody executed really well.

"It felt like at times we had 11 guys playing at the exact same time, when in the past it feels like we're just missing a couple of guys on certain plays that would help."

Potts was near-perfect in completing 21 of 24 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns, and he also scored on a 2-yard run while playing less than two quarters. Wide receiver Austin Zouzalik had six catches for 100 yards, and backup running back Ben McRoy had eight carries for 76 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

"We had a game plan of what we wanted to do coming into this game," Potts said. "To see it work like it did and to see us execute the way we did was huge.

"It's what we've been looking for all year, but I'm glad that we were able to do that."

Even if it was against Weber State, an FCS school. First-year Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, who had absolutely nothing to do with this year's schedule, has repeatedly said he doesn't like playing non-conference games at this juncture of the season.

"It would have probably been good for us to have had a (non-conference) game like this maybe after the Texas game before we jumped right in the middle of Big 12 play, but that's part of it," Tuberville said. "I know we've had some setbacks during the year."

The Raiders went into the game after being embarrassed by Oklahoma, 45-7. They were able to crank up their offense and roll up 669 yards and 34 first downs against the hapless Wildcats.

"It seemed like everybody was just clicking at the same time," Zouzalik said. "Everybody was executing like the way we planned on it working."

The Raiders will finish the regular season at home next week when they play another non-conference game -- this time against Houston. With 246 yards rushing and 439 yards passing against the Wildcats, the Raiders are hoping for more of the same against Houston.

"Hopefully next week we can keep doing what we were doing (against Weber State) and have some of the same success running inside and outside," Tuberville said. "That really makes your running game (works) -- and even your passing game.

"It keeps the defensive line honest and gives the quarterback a little bit more time in the pocket."


--The Red Raiders are bowl eligible for the 18th straight season. The only three teams with longer active bowl eligible streaks are Florida State (34), Florida (30) and Ohio State (22). Virginia Tech also has been bowl eligible for 18 consecutive seasons.

--The 64 points scored by the Raiders tied for ninth on the school's all-time list. Tech last scored 64 points against Austin College in 1932.

--WR Lyle Leong caught a 7-yard touchdown pass that pushed Tech ahead 21-0. Leong has 16 touchdown catches this season.

--The 44-0 halftime lead was the largest for the Raiders since they led Indiana State 52-0 at the half on Sept. 25, 2005.

--DE/LB Brian Duncan recovered his first career fumble in the first quarter.

GAME BALL GOES TO: QB Taylor Potts -- He had it all going his way in a flawless performance. Potts completed 21 of 24 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns against Weber State. He also scored a touchdown, and left for good with over three minutes remaining in the second quarter. Potts was razor-sharp, although he was throwing against inferior defensive backs than what he normally sees in the Big 12. Potts has 54 career TD passes, including 27 this year.

KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Alex Torres -- He is on the mend again. Torres bruised his shoulder and finished with just two catches for 30 yards. Last year, Torres led the Raiders in receptions, but he has battled injuries all season. It was thought Torres was done for the season when he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after he was injured during the Oct. 30 game against Texas A&M. He recovered quickly, but his playing status is in question again.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm proud of the guys. They came out (Saturday) as they have all year long, practiced hard and came out and played hard early." -- Coach Tommy Tuberville.


LOOKING GOOD: Although he didn't get much playing time because of the blowout, RB Baron Batch ran the ball 11 times for 71 yards and a touchdown, and he also caught two passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. Batch scored on a 4-yard run to put Tech up 7-0, and scored on a 6-yard run to open up a 30-0 lead early in the second quarter. Batch has 745 yards rushing this season.

STILL NEEDS WORK: No way should the Raiders have allowed Weber State to compile 459 total yards. Tech's run defense gave up 177 yards rushing, which is way too many against any team, let alone to an inferior opponent like Weber State. The Raiders must do a better job at the point of attack, and the linebackers must fill in the gaps and prevent the offense from gaining positive yardage.


--WR Jacoby Franks (broken right foot) hasn't played since the Oct. 23 game at Colorado.

--WR Alex Torres left the game with a bruised shoulder.

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