Some people wondered if Cody Hodges could run the Texas Tech Air Raid offense as well as those before him. That question was answered with a resounding yes in Tech's home opener against Florida International at Jones SBC Stadium on Saturday. Hodges was 29-37 for 454 yards, throwing for four touchdowns and scrambling for one more. As if that weren't enough, backup quarterback Graham Harrell led the offense for two more scores. Needless to say, it appears that the Red Raider offense is poised for another excellent year.
That being said, Sam Houston State had quite a home opener of their own on September 1st, holding Bacone College to just seven points and 118 yards of total offense. However, it was somewhat of a different story against their first Division I-A opponent, the Houston Cougars. UH managed to put up nearly 500 yards of offense against the Bearkat defense. The Cougars got it done both through the air and on the ground, proving that the defense may not be capable of stopping high-powered offenses.
Thus, the Bearkats are going to have to come up with something special to upset the Red Raiders this weekend. With two of their leaders in the secondary possibly out due to injuries, Texas Tech shouldn't have trouble passing all over the field. If SHSU is going to have any kind of chance, they absolutely must find a way to shut down Tech's aerial assault. Otherwise, this could easily turn into a blowout not unlike last week's game against FIU. Still, college football has the potential to always become interesting, and that is one of the reasons it's so much fun.
Red Raider Defense vs. Bearkat Offense
The Texas Tech defense had somewhat of a disappointing showing last week against Florida International, allowing the Golden Panthers to attain 349 yards of offense. Fortunately for the Red Raider faithful, they managed to keep FIU out of the end zone all game. However, if the defense plays as passive as they did on Saturday against Big 12 opponents, the Tech offense might be forced to put up loads of points to win those games. Perhaps they will show a bit more liveliness against the Sam Houston State Bearkats this weekend.
In their opener, SHSU put up 77 points against Bacone College. Most of this was accomplished on the ground, with seven touchdowns and 315 yards coming from the Bearkat rushing attack. Noah Allen led the passing game with 110 yards and two touchdowns, and Texas Tech transfer Phillip Daugherty went 5-for-5 for one touchdown on the afternoon. However, Sam Houston State has not historically fared well against Division I-A teams, with an overall record of 2-18. The Houston Cougars handed them the 18th of those losses last weekend with a 31-10 victory.
Unless the Red Raider defense completely decides not to show up, Texas Tech should win easily, considering their offensive strength. Tech fans will certainly be hoping to see a bit more intensity than the defense showed against Florida International, but it will be understandable if they take it easy again to avoid injury and get the fundamentals down. Either way, look for a better showing from a more experienced Tech defense this Saturday.