Red Raiders Make Statement to Open Conference Play

The Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1, 1-0) opened conference play with a 59-28 victory over in-state rivals the Texas A&M Aggies (2-3, 0-1). The victory was highlighted by Texas Tech's B.J. Symons, who threw for a Big 12 and school record record eight touchdowns.

The Texas Tech offense continued the season with another outstanding performance. The Red Raiders were able to move the ball at will, gaining 669 yards in the process. Texas Tech established their dominance early when they took the opening kickoff and drove 89 yards for a touchdown. The drive was completed with a touchdown pass from B.J. Symons to Nehemiah Glover to give the Red Raiders an early 7-0 lead.

The Texas Tech defense forced a three and out on the next drive, which gave the Red raiders the ball on the Texas A&M 37 following a punt return by Wes Welker. Texas Tech took a 14-0 lead when Glover caught another touchdown pass from Symons.

After a missed field goal attempt by the Aggies, the Red Raiders drove to the Texas A&M 4 yard line before they were forced to attempt a 21-yard field goal. Keith Toogood made the field goal to give the Red Raiders a 17-0 lead.

Te Aggies would score their first points of the night on a 3-yard touchdown run by Courtney Lewis. The touchdown made the score 17-7 Texas Tech.

Texas Tech answered with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Symons to Welker. The touchdown gave Texas Tech a 24-7 lead.

The Aggies came back to score a touchdown on the ensuing drive. The drive was completed by a 4-yard pass from Reggie McNeal to Jamaar Taylor. The score closed the gap to 24-14 in favor of the Red Raiders.

The Red Raiders would get one last touchdown late in the half on a 13-yard pass from Symons to Jarrett Hicks. The touchdown gave the Red Raiders a 31-14 lead at the half.

The Red Raiders opened the second half with three straight touchdown drives to seal to take a 52-14 lead and seal the victory. The final score in the game was a 59-28 victory by Texas Tech.

Player of the Game
B.J. Symons

Team Analysis

QB – B.J. Symons had another great night for the Red Raiders. He completed 34 of 46 (74%) of his passes for 505 yards and 8 touchdowns. This marks his 3rd straight 500 yard performance, a stat that is hard to comprehend. There wasn't much room to criticize Symons' performance. Other than a few overthrown passes, he played a nearly perfect game. Right now, B.J. Symons is the best quarterback in the nation. He is the player who can lead the Red Raiders to a Big 12 championship.

RBTaurean Henderson got back into the flow of things with 113 total yards (46 rushing, 69 receiving) and 1 touchdown on 16 touches. Jonnie Mack also had a nice night, gaining 51 yards (14 rushing, 37 receiving) on 6 touches. Both running backs took advantage of the Aggies' decision to drop eight players into coverage.

WR- When B.J. has a good game; you know the receivers also played well. Nehemiah Glover had the best game with 6 catches for 97 yards and 3 touchdowns. This game allowed Glover to show how important he can be inside the red zone. Wes Welker had a big game with 6 catches for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carlos Francis was the only other receiver with 100 yards, gaining 110 yards on 6 receptions. Mickey Peters and Jarrett Hicks both scored a touchdown in the game. Overall it was a good game for the receivers to showcase their talent.

OL – B.J. might have been the player of the game, but the offensive line deserves honorable mention. Symons had plenty of time tonight, which allowed him to put up the big numbers he had. This is a very good, and very underrated, offensive line. Look for the offensive line to continue to allow this offense to put up big numbers.

DLAdell Duckett is the leader of this group, and he showed why tonight. The senior made 5 tackles, including 2 tackles for loss and a sack. Overall it was a solid game for the defensive line, which made few mistakes. It would be nice to see more pressure form the line, but that should come with time.

LB – This group is going to be good someday. While they didn't have a their best game, there were numerous plays that showed their talent. Fletcher Session, Brock Stratton, and John Saldi all displayed great speed during the game. If the coaches can just get everyone lined up right, this will be a good group of linebackers.

DB – The defensive backs played a decent game, though there is still an urgent need for improvements, especially at cornerback. The total numbers aren't horrible, but the way they were gained was. There were simply too many long passes given up during the game. Injuries are still an issue for the unit, but something needs to be done with the players that are healthy. Ryan Aycock had a good game, leading the team with 7 tackles in the game.

Special Teams – The coverage teams in this game played nearly perfect football. Returns were fairly limited except for a 49-yard return by Jonnie Mack from deep in the end zone. Mack has made good decisions when running the ball out of the end zone this season, resulting in big returns when he does actually bring it out. Alex Reyes averaged 41.5 yards per punt, while Keith Toogood made a 21-yard field goal and 8 extra points.

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