Report Card: Missouri 31 Texas Tech 27

Grades are in for another tough week for the Red Raiders.

Quarterback: This was a solid game from Seth Doege. His numbers were not spectacular, but 37 of 53 for 315 yards against a pretty tough Missouri defense is nothing to sneer at. Keep in mind, moreover, that Doege's receivers dropped several passes. Still, the Red Raiders in this day and age simply must score more than 27 points to have a good shot at victory. And Tech went three-and-out, three-and-out, interception on its final three possessions. Doege cannot afford to let the offense flame out when the game is on the line.

 

Grade: B-

 

Running Backs: Starter DeAndre Washington was off to a tremendous start before exiting with a knee injury. Aaron Crawford and Kenny Williams filled the void admirably, however, combining for 98 rushing yards on 19 carries. Williams also had a couple of receptions, perhaps indicating that he is eradicating a weakness in his game.

 

Grade: A-

 

Receivers: After an injury against Nevada, Darrin Moore is finally returning to the form he showed early in the season. He snagged nine balls for 88 yards against Mizzou, and all of them were tough catches. Eric Ward and Jace Amaro also played pretty well. Still, for a team with no margin for error, this group dropped too many passes. And the absence of Alex Torres, who left early with a knee injury, was felt.

 

Grade: D+

 

Offensive Line: The offensive line has arguably been Tech's most solid unit throughout the season, and it played well again in Columbia. Terry McDaniel surrendered the lone sack, and his occasional struggles make one wonder what has happened to Mickey Okafor. Lonnie Edwards left with an injury in the second half, but there was no noticeable drop-off when David Neill entered the game.

 

Grade: A

 

Defensive Line: Scott Smith brought it as long as he had it, and that's been the case with him pretty much all season. He will be missed badly. Unfortunately, Smith got little help from his line mates. Kerry Hyder did what he could, but nobody else, including first-time starter Dennell Wesley, made an impact at all. The line, like the entire defense, is fighting grizzly bears with water pistols.

 

Grade: D

 

Linebackers: Before the season started, we feared that linebacker could be the team's biggest weakness, and it has turned out to be so. Daniel Cobb—God love him—just isn't big and strong enough to play linebacker in the Big 12, and he took a beating against the Tigers despite making nine tackles. None of the other linebackers were even in the picture on most plays.

 

Grade: F

 

Secondary: Because of Tech's utter inability to stop the run, the secondary was busy trying to tackle Tigers 10 and 15 yards downfield. Terrance Bullitt and Cody Davis tried so hard, but there was only so much they could do. Happiness Osunde made seven tackles, but probably missed more tackles than he made. Cornelius Douglas made a touchdown-saving play when he forced a fumble in the first half. Coverage from this unit was not great, but it was acceptable.

 

Grade: C

 

Special Teams: Ryan Erxleben and Donnie Carona may be the only Red Raiders who show up on All Big 12 teams, and both were sterling against Mizzou. Erxleban drilled punts into the teeth of a strong wind, and Carona did the same on a 48-yard field goal. Tech got nothing from its return game, and was only average on kickoff coverage.

 

Grade: A-


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