In his first career road start and first conference game, Taylor Potts' poise and confidence was what kept the Red Raiders in contention throughout the game. Faced with the #2 team in the nation and a sellout crowd of over 100,000, Taylor began the first quarter by marching the Red Raider offense downfield easily, setting up the first field goal of the game.
Potts showed mettle and determination after multiple hits and seemed unphased by UT's dogged pressure. His play in the third quarter was outstanding, and he showed the nation that he could match the Longhorns' superstar Colt McCoy blow for blow.
Potts finished the game with 420 yards and 3 touchdowns. His lone interception early in the fourth quarter was costly, but his overall performance against the second ranked Longhorns should put the rest of the Big 12 conference on notice that he is a competitor and will be a formidable opponent over the course of the next two seasons.
Wide Receivers: A-
The wide receivers corps had a good game but missed a few key receptions that would have allowed the Red Raiders to possibly tie the game. Quarterback Taylor Potts distributed the ball very evenly, with 10 receivers catching passes.
Lyle Leong led the group with 80 yards and 2 TD receptions. Tramain Swindall, who sat out the first game of the season for disciplinary reasons, added another 67 yards and 1 score. Detron Lewis was uncharacteristically quiet, finishing the game with only 4 receptions for 11 yards.
Overall, the 2009 wide receiving corps looks to be extremely balanced and has plenty of depth. If this group can continue to improve, they will be a huge threat as the Red Raiders get deeper into the season.
Running Backs: B-
The running game was not a strong point for the Red Raiders, who finished with only 50 rushing yards from their two backs.
True freshman Eric Stephens had 208 all-purpose total yards, a very impressive stat considering the competition, but almost all of those yards came on kick returns. Baron Batch had two fumbles, one of which was recovered by UT.
While the Texas Tech offense doesn't hinge on its running backs putting up huge numbers on the ground, they need to be more of a threat for the Red Raiders to win in big games.
Offensive Line: C-
The offensive line was plagued by mistakes, including multiple false starts and allowing 3 sacks, one for a 32 yard loss. While they faced stiff competition from a very talented Longhorn defensive line, the Red Raider big men must do a better job of protecting quarterback Taylor Potts, who took some excruciating hits late in the game.
Overall grade: B