Texas Tech @ Nebraska: Offensive Preview

Cortney Grixby and the Nebraska defense will try to slow down the Red Raider passing attack

Those who attended the Texas Tech - Kansas game watched the highly touted Red Raider offense struggle a little bit for the second week in a row. However, in an inverse of the Indiana State game, the offense scored early and then tapered off substantially against Kansas last week. It sounds silly, but perhaps the Red Raider offense has grown accustomed to playing only one half of football from their first three non-conference games. Thus, the focus for Texas Tech's offense should be starting and finishing a game strong.

Against Kansas, the Red Raider offensive line allowed entirely too much pressure to be put on Cody Hodges. Hodges was hurried all game and took a beating from the Kansas defense. Sure, Hodges showed toughness and managed to lead Texas Tech to victory, but the Red Raiders may be in trouble if they can't step up and shut down the talented Nebraska defensive line. Hodges needs to show the composure in the pocket that was absent last Saturday, or the NU pass rush may get the better of him. Still, if the Cornhuskers try too hard to exploit the woes of Tech's offensive line by blitzing all game, the Red Raiders are capable of picking apart the NU defense with screen passes and short routes. However, if the Cornhuskers can manage to get significant penetration by only rushing four, they could cause problems for the Texas Tech offense all day.

The Cornhuskers need to take a cue from Kansas' defense in order to hold the Red Raider offense around 30 points and give their team a chance to win. The Jayhawks used three or four cornerbacks every play in addition to two safeties spying on the receivers to shut down the Air Raid. Since they were getting enough pressure on Cody Hodges by rushing four or five, the Red Raiders were forced to play a bit differently than usual. Texas Tech had to run between the tackles and throw over the middle more than they would have liked. Still, the Red Raiders recognized the changes that needed to be made quickly, and will likely have learned their lesson from the Kansas game.

The Nebraska defense must force turnovers in order to put their offense in good enough field position to put points on the board, because scoring is usually not a problem for Texas Tech. The Cornhuskers have definitely not forgotten about the 70 points Tech put up on them last year, and will obviously want some revenge. After all, it's probably not a coincidence that this game is Nebraska's homecoming, as they have won 36 straight home games dating back to 1968. Sounds like a tough statistic to overcome, but then again, Texas Tech broke a record last season by defeating Nebraska by the most points in school history. The nation will find out Saturday if the Red Raiders can prove themselves by handling a difficult road game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.


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