First Half Evaluated: Players and More

A look at what players and certain group of the Red Raiders were excellent, good and need improving.

Excellent- RB Ben McRoy, Safety Cody Davis and Seth Doege

Each of these young men has performed very well this year. Ben McRoy has stumbled twice and kept himself from taking a kickoff to the end zone. McRoy's world-class speed and diminutive stature make him difficult for opposing defenses to stop.

RB Ben McRoy

McRoy also showed his ability to be a weapon at the wide receiver as well for the Red Raiders as the sophomore reeled a catch for 14 yards before having to leave the game because of an injury. His status is questionable for this weekends meeting with Oklahoma.
The sophomore from Florida is electric and will eventually make it to the end zone in 2011.

D Cody Davis

Cody Davis is a model of consistency—he just makes plays. Whether it's stopping the run or the pass, Davis is among Tech's best.
 Cody did not play against Nevada and has still amassed 37 tackles on the season.   Against Kansas, Davis registered 14 tackles (12 solo) and he followed that up with eight solo tackles against A&M and five solo against Kansas State.  

QB Seth Doege

Then there is Seth Doege.
For not filling the role of starting quarterback since high school, Doege has proven himself as a true starting quarterback at Texas Tech.
His performance through six games has been unbelievable and somewhat historic as well.
In the September 17th meeting with New Mexico, Doege was about as perfect as a quarterback could be going 40-for-44, which broke the record for completion percentage with at least 40 attempts, which was previously held by Kliff Kingsbury.
On the season Doege has amassed 2,167 yards through the air, with 18 touchdowns and just four interceptions, three of those coming against Kansas State.
Doege has already led a game-winning drive, so that's out of the way, but the next challenge for the junior gunslinger is beating a Top-25 ranked opponent.

Good – Eric Ward and Alex Torres

Both of these wide receivers have played crucial roles in the Red Raiders success this season, especially with Darrin Moore still trying to return from an injury suffered in the game against Nevada.

WR Eric Ward

Eric Ward has been that player that has flown under the radar in his time as a Red Raider.
This season Ward has come through on multiple ways and for a stretch was playing a major role in Tech's wins.
For three consecutive games Ward ended up in the end zone multiple times which hasn't been done since Michael Crabtree did it back in 2008.
Ward has 352 yards receiving this season, which is only second to Alex Torres, and has been in the end zone eight times, which leads all wide receivers.

WR Alex Torres
Now Torres has been the other wide receiver that has become one of Doege's go-to wide receivers.
Torres leads the team with 381 yards receiving this season, and in his career has recorded 18-straight conference games with at least one catch.
In Tech's 41-34 loss to Kansas State Torres recorded 12 receptions, which is a career-high, and also recorded his second-straight 100-yard receiving game.
A Red Raider has not recorded back-to-back Big 12 games with 100 or more yard receiving games since Detron Lewis did it in 2009. 
Torres will continue to be productive this season in his junior campaign.

Needs improvement- Linebackers and Special Teams


In looking at this year's games a consistent theme is the huge chunks of yards given up to opposing team's running games. Whether it's Sam Eguavoen, Blake Dees, Daniel Cobb or Cqulin Hubert, Tech's deployment of linebackers needs to improve.

Special Teams

When it comes to special teams, the past two games have been atrocious in this area. Three blocked field goal attempts have been blocked, one returned for a touchdown by the Aggies, and then Kansas State had two blocks and a kickoff return to the house.
Tyler Lockett, who had his first career kickoff return for a touchdown, ran right down the middle of the field against Tech, and this is a problem especially when Tech is going to be playing some tough teams coming up.

Big Losses – Darrin Moore and Eric Stephens

Both of these guys were on pace to challenge for conference bragging rights as the best player at his position.
Unfortunately, both have been hurt and have missed or will miss significant portions of the 2011 season.

Eric Stephens

Eric Stephens was on pace to break 1,000 yards rushing this season, as the junior running back through four games had put together 585 yards rushing, 8 touchdowns and 128 yards receiving as well.
Stephens earlier in the season surpassed Tyrone Thurman for 10th all-time on the all-purpose yards list in Red Raider history.
His season came to a screeching halt when Texas A&M defender Demontre Moore and Stephens collided on a first and goal play from the five-yard line in the third quarter.
Stephens immediately grabbed for his knee, which wasn't a good sign as the stadium went quiet. The junior was carted off the field and that would be the end of his season.
A few days later it was announced that he was finished for the season with a dislocated knee.
He is expected to be back for the 2012 season.

Darrin Moore

Darrin Moore, who was another player on track to have a monster season as in just the first three games he had already 339 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Moore was injured in the game against Nevada as a collision also knocked him out of the game as well. He has been trying to come back as quick as possible, but is still questionable in this weekends meeting with the Sooners in Norman.
Injuries happen in football, but losing two big weapons like Stephens and Moore, hurts in a lot of areas, but it just means other players will have to step up in the second half of the season for the Red Raiders to taste success.


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