Red Raiders open season with 38-13 victory

The Red Raiders opened their 2009 football season with a 38-13 win over North Dakota. It was the debut of junior quarterback Taylor Potts, who had several ups and down during his first game. Potts threw for 405 yards and 2 touchdowns, but his 3 interceptions dampened an otherwise productive night.

The Red Raiders came out hot in the first quarter of their season debut, driving down the field with ease and scoring 14 points in only 6:47 of possession time in what looked to be a rout of the North Dakota Sioux, who looked stunned in only their second season of Division I football.

But the Sioux regained their footing and even pulled within 15 in the fourth quarter. Despite being seriously outsized and outmanned, North Dakota proved to be more of a test for Texas Tech than many had anticipated.

It was a game characterized by inconsistency, as Taylor Potts and his young offense were extremely proficient at times and looked confused and out-of-sync at other points in the game.

"We got lackadaisical in the second quarter," explained Potts. "Against anybody else, we could have gotten bit in the butt. We've got to stay consistent throughout the rest of the season.

"I felt like I was responsible for holding the offense back, and that's something I've got to fix. I threw off my back foot, and tried to out throw the coverage. I will fix that and it will start tomorrow."

Potts finished the game with 405 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions. The receiving corps was led by junior Detron Lewis, who had eight receptions for 146 yards and one score. Newcomer Alex Torres had an impressive debut, catching five balls for 51 yards.

Texas Tech struggled running the ball, gaining only 40 total yards throughout the game. Running backs Baron Batch, Eric Stephens, and Harrison Jeffers all got into the game.

After the game, head coach Mike Leach emphasized that the game had gone much the way he had expected but that there were a few places that needed quick improvement.

"I thought it was a good starting point. The defensive line played with good intensity. The o-line could have played together better. I thought Potts, Batch, and secondary all played tentative," said Leach. "The receivers did some good things. You improve the most in first three games, and that's why you film it."

Another problem area for the Red Raiders was penalties. Texas Tech had 11 penalties for 93 yards during the game, several of which killed drives.

When asked what he felt caused the penalties in the Red Raiders first game, Leach had the following to say.

"Some was first game stuff, some was bonehead stuff, and some was other stuff."

Despite the problems, the Red Raiders season opener was promising, and with a few minor adjustments, they should be ready for Big 12 play, which will start in two weeks after another non-conference game against Rice next Saturday.

Attendance: 47,824

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