Sept 1, 2012; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raider running back Kenny Williams (34) rushes against the Northwestern State Demons in the second half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Texas Tech defeated Northwestern State 44-6. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
As a quick aside, there was a bit of lag with all of the games not happening on Saturday, so I have had to do some of these by hand. I no like math, so let me know if I have something incorrect.
|Passes Broken Up||3||7|
|Tackles for Loss||9.0||2.0|
|3rd Down Conversion %||21.4%||7.6%|
|Rushing Yards Allowed||13.00||115.00|
|Passing Yards Allowed||71.00||211.00|
Hard to tell too much from just one game, but at least we now have some 2012 statistics to take a look at. There are a couple of stats that I haven't added here, but one of the reasons why Texas St. looked so well against Houston is time of possession, which was decidedly in favor of Texas St., 43 minutes for Texas St. to 17 minutes for Houston. That obviously speaks to the offense, but it also speaks to the Bobcat defense forcing Houston off the field so quickly.
The third down conversions are shocking, only 1 of 13 for Houston on Saturday and I think if you add up the time of possession and the lack of Houston to convert third downs and you've got a game significantly in favor of Texas St. The strange thing is that Houston was actually okay offensively, not great, but they just couldn't convert when they needed to convert on third down. Houston averaged 4.9 yards per play, and that's not awful.
I will note that Houston's quarterback was simply awful, only 17 of 44 for 211 yards and 4.8 yards per attempt. He didn't do the Cougars any favors. These numbers might indicate that Texas St. simply flooded the zone and middle of the field and Houston just didn't want to run the ball that much, even though they averaged 5.0 yards a carry. Maybe even more of an indication of Texas St. dropping 8 into coverage is the fact that they had 7 passes defended or broken up and four quarterback hurries.
For Texas Tech, the most encouraging statistics are the yards allowed and the tackles for loss. Again, we're talking about an FCS opponent, but I should also remind you that Northwestern St. beat Texas St. last year. I know, this was last year, but just something to think about.
The offenses are after the jump.
|Red Zone TD %||62.5%||25.0%|
|3rd Down Conversion %||62.5%||37.5%|
|Yards Per Passing Attempt||6.8||7.8|
|Touchdowns / Turnovers||4 / 2||3 / 1|
|Yards Per Play||5.4||5.8|
|Sacks Allowed / Game||1.0||4.0|
|Rushing Yards Per Attempt||3.9||4.8|
I am highly encouraged by the red zone and third down conversion rates for Texas Tech and alternately, happy to see that Texas St. relatively struggled with this. Of course, this might also mean that they were not in a lot of third down situations or redzone situations, and to clarify, Texas St. was 1 of 4 in the red zone for touchdowns and had 3 field goals, while they had 16 third down opportunities, which is as many as Texas Tech had against Northwestern.
What these stats don't show is that they ran and ran and ran the ball, 52 rushing attempts with only 25 passing attempts. The other thing that benefited Texas St. was that their quarterback was very efficient, 19 of 25 and 7.8 yards per attempt. That certainly helps.
Meanwhile, with Texas Tech, with a middling performance by QB Seth Doege, Texas Tech still was pretty good, although, there is room for improvement. Doege missed on a lot of the deep throws, but as I mentioned in the comments after the game, there were no wide receiver screens on Saturday and my theory after week one is that wide receiver screens may be a decent one or two play option, but screens underneath in the form of a bubble screen or running back screens are much more effective.
It is strange to see 179 yards rushing for Texas Tech and honestly, it wouldn't surprise me to see something similar this week against Texas St. And I also think that Texas Tech has the players to pull it off, especially after seeing the maturation of Kenny Williams, the shiftiness of Sadale Foster and the return of Eric Stephens. I would imagine that Texas St. will do their best to drop as many into coverage and force Texas Tech into a running team. I think OC Neal Brown is fine with this, if that's what they do. An offense has to take what the defense gives up and if rushing 3 is what Texas St. is going to do, then run the ball down until they stop.