The running backs: I have been skeptical of all the good press about Deandre Washington coming out of camp, but he looked really good Saturday night. Washington gained a career-high 104 yards and scored a touchdown on 20 carries. After going back and watching the game I was even more impressed. Washington is definitely quicker and was able to break more tackles than I originally thought live at the game.
Quinton White ran hard and is another speedy option the Red Raiders can turn to. He finished with 45 yards on eight carries and a catch for 13 yards.
Freshman Justin Stockton is as fast as advertised and I expect him to get more and more touches as the season goes along. He ran for 38 yards and added another two catches for 17 yards.
Bradley Marquez: As I said in an earlier story about him, Marquez set single-game career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns. The 70-yard score was the longest reception of his career. He looked bigger (I don't think he is though) and faster (he is) than ever. It's just one game but I definitely think he's going to be a huge hit at Y. He has a good feel for the game and of course him and roomie Davis Webb have a good rapport.
The secondary: Freshman corner Tevin Madsion was tested early and often, but responded with a very impression debut. He led Tech in tackles with nine as well as pass breakups with three. One of those passes defended was in the end zone, another was on a deep fade which he timed perfectly to bat the ball away. He did give up a touchdown late, but overall Madison looks like a real player for Tech.
Safety Keenon Ward was easily Tech's most physical player on either side of the ball. He saved at least two plays from being home runs for UCA on open field tackles. He also never seemed to be a liability in coverage.
Safety J.J. Gaines wasn't mentioned a lot, but that is probably a good thing as he was either playing deep safety or manned up with a slot receiver.
Corner Justis Nelson didn't have a great night as he was burned on a pair deep passes and called for a couple penalties. He did however breakup a pass in the end zone and made a couple nice tackles in the open field.
Third down defense: Central Arkansas converted just 5 of 19 third downs.
Fourth down defense: Central Arkansas converted all six fourth down attempts.
The defensive front: Not much to say here that hasn't already been said a million times after dozens of games. Marcus Smith and Keland McElrath looked a little better than Demetrius Alston and especially Jackson Richards. Branden Jackson looked better when I watched the replay on T.V. than he did live. He did a good job of setting the edge on several occasions and picked up a sack, but he was pushed around some late. None of the linebackers were impressive, but I thought Austin Stewart and Micah Awe had moments. Pete Robertson ended two UCA drives on third down; one on a sack and another on tackles for loss.
Special teams: Freshman Cameron Batson had a rocky start as the returner. Batson muffed one punt inside Tech's 10 he was able to recover and was unable to field several more which cost the Red Raiders untold yardage in field position. He did flash some of his quickness and agility in one punt return for 12 yards, but overall he was shaky at best. I definitely want to see what he can do moving forward and hope they continue to throw him back there, at least another week.
Another concern has to be kicker Ryan Bustin, who missed a 35-yard field goal at the end of the first half. The snap and hold was good so he just missed it. The senior didn't have a very good spring and the missed chip shot wasn't a good start.
Offensive line: Texas Tech posted 42 points and wracked up 636 total yards, including 189 on the ground. It's hard to argue with those results, but the line could have played better. Yes, Tech ran the ball for 189 yards, but they were playing against three-man defensive fronts with just six defenders in the box. They should have run for 289 yards. Several penalties on the OL didn't help the cause either.
Penalties: Texas Tech committed 15 penalties for 114 yards.
Turnovers: Tech finished minus-2 in the turnover department officially, but as Kingsbury said after the game the safety was essentially another turnover. Even when playing a FCS opponent you can't expect to win too often minus-3 in this all important stat.
Davis Webb did a lot of things right Saturday, but he threw two interceptions, one in the end zone and another that was returned to the 1-yard line, which UCA punched in on the next play. What is scary is Webb could, probably should, have been picked off on two other passes as well.
The Day After: Tech 42, UCA 35
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