Breakdown: Offense

The Red Raiders lost a tough game last week against Oklahoma State, but fans received a dose of rejuvenation when Ruffin McNeill was named the new defensive coordinator. Before we get into the defense though, we first look at the powerful Texas Tech offense and compare it to what the Northwestern State Demons will be bringing to Lubbock on Saturday. On paper, Tech has a HUGE advantage.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Graham Harrell leads the nation in passing yards, completions, and passing touchdowns.  He has proved he is one of the top passing quarterbacks in the country, and there has been little opposing defenses can do about it.

Northwestern State starts quarterback Germayne Edmond, who has struggled somewhat through the first 3 games.  He has thrown 5 touchdowns, but also has 4 interceptions, compared to Harrell's 19 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions.  Edmond has thrown for 478 yards all season, while Harrell racked up 656 just last week.

One wrinkle that Edmond brings is that he is a fairly mobile QB.  Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson ran all over the Texas Tech defense last week, and Edmond has the ability to do the same.

Advantage: Texas Tech

Shannon Woods had 90 all-purpose yards last Saturday against Oklahoma State, which is the most he has had all season.  Harrell is playing extremely well, but the Red Raiders have to find a way to get more production from their running game.

NSU running back Byron Lawrence is the Demons leading rusher, but he isn't used too often.  Their offense centers around the quarterback making plays, whether it be through the air or on the ground.

Advantage: Texas Tech

What else can you say about Michael Crabtree?  I keep thinking he'll have a slow game at some point during the season, but it has yet to happen.  Each week he goes out there and impresses everyone who watches him play.  Crabtree and Danny Amendola have developed into a 2-headed monster that is very hard for defenses to stop.  Although it's nice having this 2-headed monster, Coach Leach would prefer it to be a 4  or 5 headed monster and get more production from the other receiver positions.

NSU's leading receiver is Dudley Guice who has caught 12 passes for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Again, these is typical numbers in just one game for Michael Crabtree, who is averaging 13 catches for 194 yards and nearly 3 touchdowns a game.  Oklahoma State showed what a balanced attack can do the Texas Tech defense, so the Demons will need more production from their passing game to have any chance at beating Tech.


Advantage: Texas Tech

Tech's O-line has been solid through the first 4 games.  The run blocking could use some work, but with 4 new starters on the line, they are far exceeding expectations up to this point.  Harrell has had all day to go through his reads, and that should be the case against NSU, as they only have 4 sacks on the entire season.

This is the strength of the Demon offense.  Their blocking has been great this season and none of their opponents have been able to get good penetration.  They will face a much stiffer opponent this weekend, though, with an aggressive Ruffin McNeill coaching the Red Raider defense.  Germayne Edmond is a mobile quarterback, but if he doesn't get solid blocking up front, it will be a very long day for the Demons offensively.

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