For six straight quarters now the Texas Tech offense has basically been unstoppable. And four of those quarters came at the expense of the New Mexico Lobos. The fact that the Red Raider offense looks to be in mid-season form of a very good season results in some exemplary marks on this particular report card.
Quarterbacks: The only way Seth Doege could have been any more impressive is if he had worked his magic against a great defense rather than the New Mexico Lobos, but that was out of his control. What Doege could control, he mastered. He completed an unreal 91% of his passes and tossed five touchdown strikes. Doege began the contest by completing 15 straight passes, and he sprayed the ball to every receiver who was on the field with him.
Running Backs: Lost in the hullabaloo surrounding Doege's record-setting performance is the play of the running backs. Eric Stephens, in particular, was outstanding. He gained 92 yards on only 14 carries, and also caught seven passes for 63 yards. Stephens also had a hand in the sterling pass protection that kept Doege cool as a cucumber. And most important, Stephens didn't fumble. Freshman Ronnie Daniels finally exited the waiting bench and chipped in 43 yards on nine carries, scoring a touchdown along the way. Another freshman, DeAndre Washington was responsible for a fumble.
Offensive Line: A key reason for Doege's splendid day, and the outstanding play of the running backs, was the performance of the line. After starting slowly against Texas State and surrendering a pair of sacks, the line charged out of the gate against New Mexico and didn't allow a single sack. Heck, they didn't even allow a quarterback hurry. Terry McDaniel had one errant snap, but that was about the only fly in the ointment.
Defensive Line: This group was somewhat inconsistent. The line certainly made a few big plays, but also got pushed around some, and failed to generate much of a rush for fairly long stretches. On the positive side, both Jackson Richards and Dartwan Bush had big moments, Richards recording a sack and forced fumble, while Bush tallied a sack, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry. Kerry Hyder tipped a ball that was intercepted by Blake Dees, while Delvon Simmons contributed five tackles, a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss in very limited time on the field. Dennell Wesley and Chris Perry got dug up in the running game late in the contest.
Linebackers: Outside of Blake Dees' interception, this unit was very quiet. Cqulin Hubert was credited with five tackles, but a couple of those were on special teams. Sam Eguavoen notched a pair of tackles in his first game as a starter, but also blew a pair of pass coverage's. The Lobos didn't have a big day on the ground, but came in with an extremely soft rushing attack and shouldn't have got as much against the Red Raiders as they did. This is a cause for concern.
Secondary: New Mexico's quarterbacks completed only 10 of 29 passes for 228 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, but those rather sorry stats are deceptive. On more than a couple of occasions Lobo receivers got behind the Tech secondary only to watch sure touchdowns sail over their heads. Josh Weeden, Landry Jones, Robert Griffin, heck, even Steele Jantz won't miss those opportunities. Tre Porter, Cody Davis and D. J. Johnson looked the most vulnerable, while Eugene Neboh was the only cornerback who inspired any confidence. Cody Davis was very good in run support, and Terrence Bullitt had an excellent game, but otherwise this was a rather poor effort.
Special Teams: High marks here for Donnie Carona's kickoffs and sure, physical tackling on kickoff coverage. Austin Zouzalik had a good punt return as did Ben McRoy on a kickoff. Carona hit a chip shot field goal, which has been a problem for him in the past.