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Preview: Texas Tech v. Rice

The Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0, 0-0) v. The Rice Owls(0-2, 0-0)
September 15, 2007 @ 2:00 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports Southwest
Texas Tech Affiliates
ESPN ($)
Fox Sports
Houston, Texas

The Numbers:

Statistic Texas Tech Rice
Rushing Offense 78.50 113.50
Passing Offense 478.00 170.00
Total Offense 557.00 283.50
Scoring Offense 47.00 15.50
Rushing Defense 165.00 146.00
Passing Efficiency Defense 102.86 170.59
Total Defense 350.50 401.00
Scoring Defense 20.00 29.00

The Players:

Statistical Categories Texas Tech Rice
Passing Graham Harrell:
92 Comp., 123 Att., 903 Yds., 8 TD, 1 Int.
Chase Clement:
31 Comp., 53 Att., 308 Yds., 0 TD, 4 Int.
Rushing Shannon Woods:
17 Att., 91 Yds., 3 TD
C.J. Ugokwe:
24 Att., 94 Yds., 0 TD
Receiving Michael Crabtree:
27 Rec., 294 Yds., 5 TD
Jarett Dillard:
10 Rec., 134 Yds., 0 TD
Tackles Darcel McBath and
Paul Williams: 14
Brian Raines: 21
Sacks Four players tied with 1.0:
Colby Whitlock, Chad Hill, Jake Ratliff and Kellen Tillman
Three players tied with 1.0:
Brian Raines, Scott Solomon, Chris Jones
Interceptions Two players tied with 1:
Anthony Hines and Daniel Charbonnet


  • Texas Tech Passing Offense v. Rice Passing Defense: Here's a scary number, as good as Harrell has been, he's still not as good as Rice is bad. Harrell has a quarterback rating of 113.3 so far this season and quarterbacks opposing Rice have had an quarterback rating of 135.7. Harrell has some catching up to do. The Rice defense has only given up 170 yards a game, but Nichols State only passed for 89 yards in the first game and Baylor passed for 412. Despite the low numbers against Nichols State, the Owls are still 96th nationally against the pass.

    True freshman Chris Jones leads the defensive backfield in tackles and safety Andrew Sendejo can also a factor. While true freshman Scott Solomon is leading the defensive line in tackles and George Chukwu is supposed to be a defensive leader at defensive tackle. Overall, a fairly nondescript bunch.
    As far as Texas Tech is concerned, the offensive line has been outstanding in two games, allowing only one sack. So far this line has protected Harrell and would expect this trend to continue.

    Two of the receivers have performed better than expected. Amendola and Crabtree have been great, everything I've expected them to be. They've been productive and they've scored touchdowns. I'm still waiting for sold 3rd and 4th options to emerge, but I get the feeling that this 3rd and 4th spot may be the hot-receiver or receive by committee in most games. At some point teams are going to key on stopping Crabtree and Amendola and it would be wise for Harrell to work on creating another viable option. Of course, this option could also include Woods, who's doesn't have the yardage expected, but he does have the receptions and I think it's just a matter of time before he breaks out in any particular game.

  • Texas Tech Rushing Offense v. Rice Rushing Defense: Rice is only giving up 113 yards a game, which is good for 85th in the country. Last year, Rice gave up 187.85 on the ground. I'm not so sure that Rice has improved that much as Baylor exploited a weakness in the pass defense and Nichols State exploited the other weakness, giving up 194 yards rushing. No matter which way you cut it, Rice has given up chunks of yards, one way or another.

    Leading the Red Raiders on the ground is still Shannon Woods, although he's splitting time more equitably than last year and Kobey Lewis is also seeing some time. Woods leads the team with 17 carries and Lewis isn't far behind with 13.

    Perhaps the most telling statistic so far, is that this team is only averaging 4.0 yards a carry, while last year, this team averaged a more healthy 4.7 yards a carry. Also, last year the Red Raiders averaged 16.95 attempts per game while this year, the team is averaging almost 19.50 attempts per game.

    Defensively, the Owls are led by linebacker Brian Raines. Although Sendejo is mentioned as a defensive back, he plays a hybrid linebacker/defensive back position. Sophomore linebacker Terrance Garmon has also played well, but this defense just doesn't have the playmakers.


  • Rice Passing Offense v. Texas Tech Passing Defense: I thought Chase Clement was going to have much better statistics coming into this game than he actually does. Right now, he's only averaging a little over 150 yards a game and no touchdowns. That's right, this team has gone 2 weeks without a passing touchdown from Clement to Dillard, which is a shame.

    Last year, Dillard was special, check that, absolutely incredible with 21 touchdown receptions, but this year, Dillard has only managed 10 receptions for 134 yards. Rice was expected to return 4 of 5 offensive linemen, mostly juniors and seniors so the lack of offense shouldn't be blamed on lack of experience.

    I'd love to see a significant improvement on the defensive line, at least in terms of getting pressure on the quarterback. Granted, both quarterbacks played this year and Clement can scramble, so naturally there aren't as many sacks as you would like, but such is life in the Big 12. It will be a big game for the defensive ends, Ratliff and B. Williams, in containing Clement.

    The secondary was beat for a number of big plays last week and now it's time to show that this won't happen again. Watch for who starts at corner. The last two games, it's been Wall and Parker, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Bunton get a little more time.

  • Rice Rushing Offense v. Texas Tech Rushing Defense: As it was mentioned above, the offensive line is experienced, but this experience hasn't resulted in any significant yards for the Rice Owls. Sophomore running back C.J. Ugokwe leads the team with 94 yards rushing, but there just isn't much there after that. Clement runs the spread offense and he was a threat last year (481 yards rushing), but

    Setencich needs to figure out how best to combine Henley, R. Jones, B. Jones, Whitlock, B. Williams, Howard, Ratliff, and Riley. If there ever was a game to do this, it's against Rice, but Setencich and the staff need to look forward just a little to Oklahoma State because they can run the hell out of the ball and we have to figure out how to stop them.

    Finally, the linebackers will be expected to absolutely stuff the run. High expectations breeds success, right? Last week, Marlon Williams replaced Chad Hill and I wonder if Duncan isn't far behind. These guys have to start making plays and I thought Williams had a pretty good game last week, considering it was his first start. My hope is that Setencich starts believing in some of these younger players and lets them loose. I'd love to see Collier get more and more playing time as the year progresses, I think this kid's got "it".

PREDICTION: Would it be absolutely silly for me to think that Texas Tech beats Rice by 30. I'm not expecting any sort of letdown after a lackluster defensive performance against UTEP, and would in fact expect a very fired up defense for Rice. I like Texas Tech here in a lanslide. Final score: Texas Tech 56, Rice 13.