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Preview: Texas Tech v. Baylor

v.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-3, 2-3) v. The Baylor Bears(3-6, 0-5)
November 3, 2007 @ 2:00 p.m.
Television:
None
Radio:
Texas Tech Affiliates
Gamecast:
CSTV
ESPN
Fox Sports
Weather:
Waco, Texas

We summon the power of our beloved Masked Rider, Kevin Burns, the baddest mascot in all of collegiate athletics for the Baylor game. Fear the mustache Baylor Bears, fear the mustache.

Texas Tech Statistic Baylor
66.78 Rushing Offense 65.56
481.22 Passing Offense 287.11
548.00 Total Offense 352.67
42.89 Scoring Offense 19.56
174.67 Rushing Defense 176.89
176.89 Pass Defense 256.22
162.73 Passing Efficiency Defense 107.01
351.56 Total Defense 433.11
24.00 Scoring Defense 34.33

If we ever needed a win, it would be Saturday afternoon. The problem is that Baylor is going to be excited for this game, it's their homecoming so Floyd Casey should be packed. I'm wondering if the Texas Tech contingent feels that if the Red Raiders don't win by 20 or more then it's a failure and if we do win by 20 or more then it's no big deal. If you're asking me . . . I say any win is a good win at this point.

WHEN TEXAS TECH HAS THE BALL:

Detron Lewis needs to be the man, or at least one of them against Baylor (Thanks to Spotted).
Statistical Leaders Texas Tech
Passing Graham Harrell: 348 Comp., 478 Att., 3,979 Yds., 35 TD, 11 Int.
Rushing Shannon Woods: 84 Att., 439 Yds., 8 TD
Kobey Lewis: 33 Att., 136., 2 TD
Receiving Michael Crabtree: 100 Rec., 1,451 Yds., 18 TD
Danny Amendola: 78 Rec., 906 Yds., 5 TD
Eric Morris: 45 Rec., 522 Yds., 5 TD
Ed Britton: 28 Rec., 369 Yds., 3 TD
Statistical Leaders Baylor
Tackles Jordan Lake: 87
Joe Pawelek: 84
Nick Moore: 54
Sacks Jasom Lamb: 5
Vincent Rhodes: 3.5
Jake La Mar: 3
Leon Freeman: 3
Interceptions Brandon Stiggers: 2
Jordan Lake: 2

Five Things:

  1. Run the Effing Ball: This one is easy and it's fitting that this is the first key point of this preview. The Baylor Bears are giving up 176 yards a game (that should sound familiar as Texas Tech is giving up 174) which means that if there was ever an opportunity to "get right" rushing the ball it's this week. As we've now learned, Shannon Woods isn't even traveling with the team which means that the rushing duties will be left to Aaron Crawford and Kobey Lewis. Crawford had better be the real deal, otherwise we could be in for another long game. However, Crawford is only part of the problem, Leach needs to actually hand the ball off in order for Crawford to be effective and although I can't be 100% sure, I think that Leach is learning that he has to, whether he thinks so or not, get the running game going. The one caveat is that I want Crawford running right up the freaking gut of the defense. I don't want him running outside or getting fancy, I want him running North and South all game long.
  2. Find A Playmaker: I know that this team is loaded with playmakers, but we need someone other that Mr. Crabtree to make a play early. We need someone, preferably Lewis or Britton, make a play early so that the Baylor defense is just a tad distracted. I'd like for Lewis or Britton to be that guy because they always have the threat of breaking a big play whereas Amendola and Morris, although consistent, are not quite the game-breakers that Lewis and Britton are.
  3. Break Some Jaws: A little dramatic? Yes, but the point is that the offensive line needs to make sure that in order to accomplish item #1 above, they must manhandle the defender in front of them. Let's get a little more aggressive. I know that part of the problem is that most of these guys are backing up in pass protection, but on Saturday, I'd love to see a little forward movement.
  4. I Am A Bad Ass: This is what I want Graham Harrell to repeat to himself the rest of the week. We know that he has the capability to be unbelievable, but we need him to exude the confidence displayed earlier in the year. I tried the mantra thing last week and it didn't work, but I think that Harrell needs to experience some success, he needs touchdowns with no interceptions and the best way to do this is for him to believe that he's an American bad ass. Let's go Graham.
  5. Find a Groove: This one is directed at Coach Leach and it's pretty simple. Find that groove that you had earlier in the year, find that happy place, find that place where defenses flinch at the sight of the Red Raider offense. I know it's in you, much like I know that Graham is a bad ass. Just find it, man.

WHEN BAYLOR HAS THE BALL:

Memo to Defense: need more gang tackling (Thanks to Spotted).
Statistical Leaders Baylor
Passing Blake Szymanski: 185 Comp., 338 Att., 2,147 Yds., 17 TD, 13 Int.
Rushing Brandon Whitaker: 73 Att., 255 Yds., 1 TD
Jay Finley: 50 Att., 191 Yds., 2 TD
Receiving Justin Akers: 36 Rec., 397 Yds., 4 TD
Brad Taylor: 27 Rec., 357 Yds., 2 TD
David Gettis: 25 Rec., 356 Yds., 0 TD
Brandon Whitaker: 37 Rec., 299 Yds., 2 TD
Statistical Leaders Texas Tech
Tackles Joe Garcia: 55
Marlon Williams: 53
Darcel McBath: 52
Sacks Brandon Williams: 3.5
Rajon Henley: 2.5
Colby Whitlock: 2.0
Daniel Howard: 2.0
Interceptions Jamar Wall: 4
Darcel McBath: 1
Daniel Charbonnet: 1
Anthony Hines: 1

Five things:

  1. Gang Tackle: Alight, let's get back to basics, let's get back to something simple. Let's gang tackle the hell out of Baylor. It seems like the last few weeks the excuses have been littered with missed assignments and broken plays. Let's keep it simple, we're used to seeing this offense, we play it every day, so let's get back to what was good against the Aggies and ISU.
  2. Turnovers Baby: As I perused the stats this evening, I noticed that Texas Tech is in the negative in turnover margin and that needs to change here. Texas Tech hasn't had a turnover in 2 straight games (although there were missed opportunities against Missouri) and that's got to end on Saturday. I'd love to see Marlon Williams create a fumble. Brandon Williams posting up Szymanski and the ball crumbling from his grasp. Jamar Wall or Chris Parker pick off Szymanski, Machen or Weed (depending on Morris' mood) for a touchdown. I'd love to see the defense help out the offense a little bit.
  3. Williams and Ratliff - Pass Rushing Machines: As I updated the stats for this week's preview I noticed that the sack numbers haven't changed in an entire week, which meant that Hawkins went entirely unscathed. This week, Szymanski must pay and I'm leaving this up to Brandon Williams and and Jake Ratliff to get this show going. They've got to get to the quarterback this week.
  4. Blitz the Bears: I think the defense went a little stagnant the past two weeks and I think that was by design, but I'd like to see McNeill let loose a little bit this week. Let's see McBath or Garcia or some linebacker help out Williams and Ratliff get to the quarterback and force some bad decisions. I still believe that the offense can outscore Baylor's offense so taking a few chances isn't going to bother me much.
  5. Find A Way: What an unspecific and non-detailed item, but it's the truth. I don't necessarily care what it takes or what is done, just find a way. I suppose that this applies to both sides of the ball, but this team, the defense as much as the offense, just needs to find a way to win this week. Pull out all of the stops, just find a way to win.

PREDICTION: I am becoming less and less accurate picking games as we continue forward and so far I haven't picked against Texas Tech (surprise, surprise) and this week is no damn different. There's absolutely no reason why Texas Tech shouldn't, at the very least, get a solid win against the Bears. I fully admit that at this point my standards have been lowered a bit and I'll be satisfied with a victory, and I'd be ecstatic with a 20 point win. I know, it's Baylor, but I don't care. Baylor 24, Texas Tech 35.

For good measure,2006, Baylor v. Texas Tech highlights: