Keys Looks Back: Texas State

Fitzgerald looks back on the Red Raiders victory against the Bobcats and what some of the keys were.

Tackles for loss: 1, no sacks.

3rd down defense: 6/15

 Time of possession: TSU -32:00, TTU 28:00

Big plays – 4 plays of 25 yards or more. 2 additional 23 yard TD passes.

At first glimpse, the Red Raiders were only ok in the stat department on defense against the Texas State Bobcats. But while the Red Raiders did not record a sack and only had one tackle for loss, the pressure on the bobcat QBs is what forced a lot of hurried throws and resulted in a couple of interceptions. Leon Mackey and Dartwan Bush also each recorded a QB pressure. In the running game, only one tackle for loss might be alarming until you look a little deeper and find that on 14 of the snaps that Texas State ran the ball, they 2 gained 2 or fewer yards. This tells me that the speed is getting to the ball and that this team is making tackles. Given last year, I can live with a 2 or fewer yard gain, and I would think Tuberville, Kaufman and company can as well.

The third down is probably the worst stat for the defense. The Bobcats converted 6 of the 15 third downs against the Red Raiders and 1 of 2 fourth downs. That's about a 40% clip. While the Red Raiders would have liked that to be a little lower, 2 of those conversions occurred on drives that ended in Tech interceptions. Also, in the first half, the Bobcats were 5/7 on third down conversions with the made fourth down attempt in there as well.

That said, the Red Raiders clamped down on defense in the second half and only allowed 1 third down conversion in the second half. It's also worth pointing out that of Tyler Arndt's 130 passing yards, half of them (65) occurred on the drive when Arndt was inserted in the game. This tells me that Art Kaufman is making the necessary adjustments that will be imperative in Big XII play. There are at least two teams that could change QBs if one is ineffective (Iowa State and Texas, possibly Oklahoma State) and the Red Raider staff has shown the ability to adjust on the fly.

Time of possession was not a factor, as Texas Tech did not allow the Bobcats to play keep away with the football. Again, time of possession isn't a stat that matters until it does. Case in point. Texas St. had the ball 43 minutes vs. Houston and controlled the clock and the game, and versus Texas Tech, they held onto the ball 32 minutes (18 in the first half) and it wasn't a factor.

Finally, the big, or explosive plays were what dominated the game for Texas Tech. Four plays officially went over 25 yards for Texas Tech. A 42-yard catch and run for Jakeem Grant, a 31 yarder to Javon Bell, and runs by Kenny Williams and Eric Stephens of 27 and 46 yards respectively. Add in a pair of 23 yard scores to Darrin Moore and Alex Torres and one can say this was pretty dominant. Furthermore, there were two 24 yard plays that set up scored for the Red Raiders, Jace Amaro's catch before his touchdown and Darrin Moore again setting up a field goal.

Overall a good performance for the Red Raiders as they continue to move forward through the 2012 season.

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