The Tricky Scouting Report: SE Louisiana

With Jarrett Hicks back in the fold, the Red Raiders are re-energized and ready to go out and prove that they are one of the best teams in the country. It all starts this week as the Red Raiders face off against Southeastern Louisiana at Jones AT&T Stadium. RaiderPower.com has you covered, by providing you with the most in-depth scouting report you will find of the opposition.

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The Texas Tech Red Raiders are back in the friendly confines of Jones AT&T Stadium for the first time since the season opener three weeks ago against SMU.

Trying to rebound from a disheartening loss at TCU, the Red Raiders will take on the Southeastern Louisiana Lions and try to get a struggling offense that only mustered a field goal against the Horned Frogs back on track.


SE Louisiana Lions 
Lubbock, TX

Saturday, Sept. 23 – 6 p.m.

All-time series: First Meeting
Lions' 2005 Record: 4-6 (2-4 Southland Conference)
Head Coach: Dennis Roland (Boston University), 5-8, 2nd season
Offensive Starters Returning: 4
Defensive Starters Returning: 5

SELA Results so far in 2006:
@ New Mexico State (D-I)  L 15-30
@ Southern Mississippi (D-I)  L 0-45
Jacksonville (D I-AA) W 41-13

The Southeastern Louisiana Lions ride into Lubbock with two non-conference losses to Division I teams in this young season.

Dennis Roland enters his second year as the Lions' head football coach, and has led the program through incredible obstacles so far in his short tenure – including his own bout with cancer and the devastation that Hurricane Katrina brought to that area.

Roland has been forced to miss a lot of time from the Lion sideline already this season, being absent for the last two games for SE Louisiana due to an infection, after last year battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma throughout the football season.

Assistant Athletic Director Dart Volz told RaiderPower.com Thursday afternoon that while Roland's condition has improved, he is still unlikely to coach the Lions in their game against Texas Tech. Volz said after treatment last year Roland was declared cancer-free, but this current infection may be a result of his chemotherapy.

Also, at the onset of Roland's opening campaign in Hammond, the area was hit hard by the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane significantly damaged or destroyed many Lion's players and their families' homes in the area.

Katrina forced the cancellation of the Lions' season opener against Jacksonville, but the season went on after that, with Roland leading the team to a 4-6 record.

Tony Hatmaker, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line, will replace Roland in Lubbock if he isn't cleared to coach, which seems likely at this point.

The Southeastern football program is in its forth year since returning after dropping from existence in 1985. There are some perceivable ties between Tech and Southeastern.

Hal Mumme, a long-time cohort of Mike Leach, following a short sabbatical after his contentious departure from Kentucky, become the first coach in the new era of Southeastern Louisiana football. He led the new program to a winning season and prolific "Air Raid" offense in its second season, before leaving to Division I New Mexico State.

The "Air Raid" has remained there post-Mumme, albeit, not quite the same.



The Offense: Spread

Quarterbacks
Seth Babin 6-1 197 Sr.
Brad Schlosser 6-0 185 Fr.

Babin enters his forth game starting for the Lions, and has thrown for 358 yards, 45-72 with 4 TD and 2 INT.

Babin is primarily a pocket passer in a spread offense very similar to that of Texas Tech, and is not a threat to run at all with only 1 rushing attempt and 3 yards on the year.

Overall, Babin has not made many great plays, but hasn't made many mistakes either. 


Running Backs
H-Back - Jay Lucas 5-11 220 Soph.
                 Dremell Adams 5-9 180 Fr. 
F-Back - Kendrick Perry 6-2 220 Fr.
                 Mario Gilbert 5-11 212 Jr.

The Lions' stength on offense, the running backs have been pretty decent even against the D-I teams.

Lucas is the featured back, and has rushed 33 times for 249 yards (an impressive 7.3 avg. per carry) on the season an 4 TDs. He also has caught 9 passes for 60 yards. He's a stout, physical runner, and has been a consistent bright spot for this offense, even against the D-I teams.



Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
X/OR –  Krishna Muhammad 6-5 195 Soph.
                Byron Ross 5-10 186 Jr.
H/IR – Keylam Davis 5-9 170 Sr.
             Jamar Garrett 6-1 180 Sr.
Y/IR/TE – Kendrick Walls 6-2 200 Fr.
                   Robby Scates 6-4 225 Sr.
Z/OR – Merrick Lanaux 6-4 182 Soph.
               Crawford Kilpatrick 6-5 205 Fr.

The Lions, much like Texas Tech, start four receivers and rotate reserves into games constantly.


X/OR reserve Ross leads the team in catches at 9 with one touchdown, while SELA's greatest playmaking threat on the receiving corps is Lanaux, who has 5 catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns.



Offensive Line   
LT – Johnny Flowers 6-3 276 Jr.
LG – David Ward 6-4 295 Fr.
C – Donald Usry 6-3 310 Sr.
RG – Earl Cager 6-6 365 Jr.
RT – Montrell Neal 6-2 359 Jr.

It's possible that the Red Raiders wont face a bigger offensive line in 2006 - especially at the right side. Good Lord! They feed them well in Cajun-country.

This offensive line is a pretty good one at this level, with three of the offense's four returning starters. They aren't very mobile, but are pretty big and hard to move up front – and with their spread out approach, allows them to shield defenders and open up holes for a good tandem of running backs. You'll see familiar big line splits from the Lions on Saturday.

They've allowed eight sacks in the first three games, and can be susceptible to quicker defenders up front – regardless of size. Tech should be able to get some solid pressure on their QB.



The Offense - Overall
The Lions call their offense "Air Raid" as well, but they are surprisingly balanced in play-calling and in production. SELA has run 89 passing plays and 90 rushing plays on the year.

Also, they have had 432 yards passing, and 428 yards rushing on the year. Doesn't sound like the "Air Raid" to me.

SELA runs what might be considered a VERY conservative version of the Tech offense. They can move the ball at times, but have had trouble finding playmaking through the air with a host of inexperienced players to this point for their style of offense. 




The Defense: Multiple (4-3 Base w/Rover)

Linebackers
SLB – Demoris Hardiman 6-3 228 Sr.
MLB - Brennen Harris 6-2 247 Jr.
WLB – Tony Richardson 6-1 220 Jr.

This front seven is their strength, with Hardiman and Richardson leading the team in tackles. They have above average size and speed for a I-AA team at backer.


Defensive Line
H (DE/OLB) – Jay Skidmore 6-2 256 Sr.
DE – Vince Strickland 6-3 235 Jr.
DT – Marquis Rogers 6-2 308 Sr.
NG Steven Smith 6-0 301 Sr.

Skidmore is their main threat, as a hybrid DE-OLB type with good size and and credible foot-speed. The rest of the defensive front has for the most part been pushed around the field so far this year.


Secondary
CB – Corlando McChristion 6-1 195 Sr.
           Romalic Mayo 5-11 175 Sr.
"Lion" – Kevin Jackson 5-10 183 Sr.
FS – Duriel Adams 5-10 204 Sr.

By far, this seems to be the team's greatest weakness in talent, size, and ability.

It wasn't the secondary stopping New Mexico State's passing attack that kept the Lions in that game – it was the Aggies shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly with an incredible 162 yards of penalties.  NM State still chunked it for 381 yards in that game.


Defense – Overall
The Lions front-seven is good at stopping the run at times, but seems very vulnerable to giving up the big passing play in key spots. The only thing that can stop Tech from throwing  for 500+ is Tech.

The SELA defense only forced four punts in its two games against D-I opponents, and has given up an average of 481.5 yards of offense in those games.




Special Teams

K – Jeff Turner 5-9, 170 Fr.
P – Jim Hall 6-3 208 Sr.

Turner, the true freshman kicker, has made one chip-shot field goal and missed a long one this year. Hall has averaged a decent 40y/punt so far this season.

The Lions have rotated a lot of players into the kickoff and punt return games so far in 2006, looking to find the number one guy.

SELA's punt and kickoff coverage has been very solid so far this year, against D-I and D-I-AA.




SE Louisiana – Overall Summary

Tech's first team units may not be playing much at all in the second half.

SELA won't stop the pass on defense, and they won't be able to run the ball well on offense against Tech's solid run defense.



The Tricky Prediction:
Texas Tech 62, SELA 10

Questions or comments? Email Aaron directly at Trickyleach@hotmail.com.





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