Stevens: Texas Tech's Balance Leans to the Air
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/13/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 13, 2011

New Mexico Lobo Football - At University Stadium

Who: Texas Tech at Lobos
When 1:30 p.m., Saturday
On The Air: Versus (TV); 770-AM KKOB, Lobo Radio Network (pre-game show 10:30 a.m.)
GoLobos.com: Game Story, Complete Stats, Quotes, Photo Gallery

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

It's possible that there might be a dilemma of sort in the New Mexico Lobo film room this week.

Do you show your 0-2 Lobos the first half of Texas Tech's game against Texas State and reveal a struggling, vulnerable and incomplete Red Raiders team that limped into the locker room down 10-9? Would that be a confidence builder or a false impression?

Or do you show your Lobos the almost perfect Red Raiders of the second half, who went on an offensive and defensive tear to create four turnovers and score 41 points to post an impressive 50-10 win?

A viewing of the Raiders of the first half might boost the Lobos' confidence. This was not a good Texas Tech team.

A viewing of the second half might be downright scary. Tech scored 20 points in the third quarter and 21 points in the fourth quarter to turn an embarrassment into a rout.

The scariest Red Raider might be wide out Darrin Moore, who wears jersey No. 14. He is tall. He is fast. He hauled in 12 passes for 221 yards to help Tech roll out 505 total yards with 348 yards coming through the air. The other seven Raiders, who hauled in a pass from quarterback Seth Doege totaled 13 passes. They only totaled 127 yards.

Moore caught only 15 passes in 2010.

For sure, Moore was Doege's favorite target. Doege did well, too - in the second half. He finished the game completed 23 of 33 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns.

Doege is a bit of an unknown at Tech. He ran the scout team in 2008 and was used sparingly in 2009 and 2010. He went 3 of 4 through the air in 2010, getting mop-up work in two games. He appears to have gotten better.

The Red Raiders under Coach Tommy Tuberville appear willing to keep the Tech fans happy by throwing the football and putting points on the board. They also look to keep Tuberville happy by throwing in a running game, too.

That balance was shown two weeks ago against Texas State as the Raiders threw the ball 37 times and ran the ball 33 times. Eric Stephens, a 5-foot-8 195-pound back, had 118 yards on 21 carries. He was the Tech workhorse as the other two Tech backs totaled eight carries for eight yards. Stephens averaged 5.6 yards per carry.

Defensive end Joe Harris and the Lobos will try to slow down Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege.

There might be a message here for the Lobo defense. Watch No. 14 on passing plays. Watch No. 24 on running plays.

Texas State came at Tech with a solid running game, totaled 256 yards on the ground, and actually won the time of possession battle in each quarter to claim a solid edge on the clock: 36:12 to 23:48.

Texas State's undoing was losing four fumbles that Tech converted into touchdown drives. Tech scored a TD on six of its seven possessions in the second half.

Tech's defense was paced by safety D.J. Johnson with nine solo tackles and linebacker Blake Dees with seven solos and one assisted tackle. Defensive end Dartwan Bush forced two fumbles. Dees, a true freshman, also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

The Lobos feature a young team, but Tech isn't exactly an AARP meeting. The Raiders played eight true freshmen and three redshirt freshmen against Texas State. Those true freshmen are part of a recruiting class that was ranked No. 18 and No. 19 in the nation by two scouting services - both numbers represent the highest rated recruiting class in Tech history.

The Tech running back class of 2011, which includes Albuquerque La Cueva's Ronnie Daniels, was rated No. 1 by Scout.com. Tech features a five-star freshman on the defensive line in Delvon Simmons (No.8).

Coach Tuberville has a new defensive coordinator in Chad Glasgow, who spent ten seasons with Gary Patterson at TCU running mostly a 4-2-5 look. This is Tech's third defensive coordinator in three seasons. Tech packed the box a bit against Texas State, which likes to run. The Lobos, who lean more to the pass, likely will see more of the 4-2-5 look.

Tech beat the Lobos 52-17 last season in Albuquerque. The Red Raiders have been bowl eligible for 18 straight seasons and have played in 11 consecutive bowls. Tech is coming off a bye week and Tuberville has an 88 career win percentage against non-conference foes.