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Report Card: Texas Tech vs. Kansas

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I'm putting the report card after the jump, but this was one of the more impressive wins that I can recall, both offensively and defensively.

Here's an off-top question, but I think with the way that Texas Tech won and Oklahoma State lost,  does Texas Tech move up in the polls and how far would you drop Oklahoma State? OSU still scares me to no-end and Texas is, well, Texas.  Oklahoma State may well be the #2 team in the Big 12 by the time it's all said and done and I'm not sure how much OSU should be penalized for the way they lost.

On to the report card.


Offensive MVP: Edward Britton Britton's huge pass catches, I think opened things up for a good portion of the game. Britton didn't drop a ball and this should probably be Graham Harrell for his play, but Britton was the deep threat that we know he's capable of being.

Defensive MVP: Darcel McBath The only debate may be between McBath and the Brandon Williams/McKinner Dixon combo, but McBath made plays on a couple of those interceptions.

Special Teams MVP: Matt Williams How about that? Kicking extra points is just that easy. The line looked good for all of those extra points and Williams did an excellent job of looking like he's been there before.



Graham Harrell (34-42; 386 pass yds; 5 TD; 7; 14 rush yds; 1 TD) was spectacular and yes this is getting repetitive (I'm not complaining). Harrell averaged 9.1 yards per attempt, helped greatly by finidng Ed Britton for long completions, and completed 80.95% of his passes. Harrell completed passes to 9 different receivers and generally had an outstanding game. The only pases for concern are the rushed throws that Harrell had in the 2nd half when he was under pressure. Those didn't seem to affect him yesterday, but Harrell needs to learn to just throw the ball away if he's under pressure. Taylor Potts wasn't perfect, although he was dealing with the back-up offensive line for the most part. The most exciting thing was Potts' touchdown throw to Adam James which exhibited his incredible arm strengh. Potts is going to have to learn the finesse part of the game, but he can make throws that Harrell just can't.


Another productive day for the running backs where Shannon Woods (14; 79 rush yds; 2 TD) and Baron Batch (4; 46 rush yds; 3; 71 receiving yds) combined for 196 yards of total offense. Texas Tech ran the ball 37% of the time, which is close to the seasonal average of around 35% and I like the fact that Leach is continuing to run the ball and hasn't wavered from that all year. Woods, who may have hit the hole faster than he has all year is learning from Batch and Batch did a nice job of picking up a blitz that came from the opposite side that he was lined up. The long and short of it is that Batch is doing a better job of what Woods is known for, blocking, and Woods is doing a better job of what Batch is known for, running hard.


The cup runneth over. I think I could have picked between 3 or 4 different receivers who could have been the offensive MVP. Let' start with Michael Crabtree (9; 70 yds; 2 TD) with the play that defines Michael Crabtree. It was the 3rd and goal from the 16 yard line in the 3rd quarter and Crabtree takes a short bubble screen, breaks a number of hand-tackles and scores a touchdown. This is what makes Crabtree great, he is big enough to break tackles and we've all seen what he can do in the open field. He's willing to do both. As mentioned above, Edward Britton (3; 106 yds; 1 TD) was tremendous especially making good on the few opportunities he received. Eric Morris (7; 39 yds; 2 TD) made both of his touchdowns, almost by himself. Harrell's throw to EMo on his first touchdown was a nice example of Harrell's arm strength, while EMo's 2nd touchdown was a a simple screen pass, with a nice block by Britton, and Morris just out-ran his opponents. Detron Lewis (5; 43 yds), Tramain Swindall (4; 33 yds) and Jacoby Franks (2; 19 yds) all caught what was thrown to them. It should also be noted that each of these receivers had really nice days.


The blocking here was pretty darn good. Adam James (2; 15 yds; 1 TD) caught his firt touchdown reception, but it actually came out of H-receiver spot. I think this is as good a place as any to mention that Britton's 1st quarter touchdown catch came out of the 2-TE set, Hale and James on each side. Hale stays in to block while James goes out in a route, as does Crabtree, creating some spacing problems for KU defenders in the middle and leaving Britton needing to out-run his defender, which he does easily. The second long Britton catch, the announcers state that this was the exact play as his first catch and that's inaccurate. Texas Tech was in a 2-RB set with Woods and Batch flanking Harrell on each side. Britton ran the same route, but it wasn't the same play.


I'm a little torn here. The offensive line did an oustanding job for almost an entire 3 quarters of football, there the group did allow 2 sacks late in the 3rd quarter. Kansas was blitzing on both instances and caused Harrell to hit the turf pretty hard, so it's hard to fault the line too much. I think on the first sack, Hamby let his defender push him back pretty good, while the second sack was Marlon Winn letting a KU defender just get around him too quickly. I don't think there's any question who the offensive line player of the game was . . . Brandon Carter is a freaking beast. The way he ran down the field on both of those Batch screen passes were incredible to watch. This is a cohesive unit that is figuring it out at the right time. Lots of 2nd teamers got in the game during Potts' time on the field, including Shawn Byrnes, Chris Olson, Miche Okafor, Lonnie Edwards, and Jake Johnson.


Let's see, 62 of Kansas' 161 yards came during KU's 4th quarter scoring drive when the game was all but out of hand. The line should take plenty of solace knowing that, again, they were able to get to an opposing quarterback who is certainly quite mobile, with just the front four, for the most part. McKinner Dixon (3 tackles; 1 TFL; 1 FR; 1 Sack) and Brandon Williams (3 tackles; 1 TFL; 1 FF; 1 sack; 1 QBH) are forming quite an impressive duo. I think I should also mention, that I thought this group did as good a job as I can recall containing Reesing in the pocket. There seemed to be a couple of plays that Dixon and Williams made because they stayed in position. Daniel Howard (1 tackle) only got credit for 1 tackle, but he sure as hell caused some problems from the stand-up "Joker" position. I'm not sure that I can single out just one other defensive lienman, except to say that collectively, this is a very strong group where there's more depth than we may know what to do with, and Chris Perry (2 tackles) announced he's ready to play with a ton of playing time and seemed to be in on quite a few plays throughout the game. Colby Whitlock (2 tackles), Brandon Sesay (2 tackles) and Richard Jones (2 tackles) all played well. I would have liked to have seen the line play a little tighter against the run, but it's hard to fault the results.


This was quite a departure from previous weeks. Bront Bird (10 tackles; 1 TFL) wasn't relegated to the bench when Kansas went 3 or 4 wide and I thought he looked pretty good out there. I didn't think that Brian Duncan (5 tackles) had the game that he has in the past 2 weeks, but he was still solid, and Marlon Williams (4 tackles) is getting better as well. He's trying his rear off and I think it's starting to come together for him. I don't know if it's just me, but this group may have turned a corner for me and this may have been in preparation of what Texas will try and do on Saturday, but this group got some invaluable experience covering slot receivers and did so effectively. I like that. Some of the younger linebackers got in the game and I just don't recall much about them, but just in case you were wondering: Victor Hunter (2 tackles); Sam Fehoko (1 tackle; 1 TFL); and Tyrone Sonier (1 tackle).


I'll be honest, I'm shocked that Reesing threw 3 interceptions and was held to 154 yards passing. Never saw that coming, not for a mile. How about those adjustments. My television isn't very big, and from what I could tell from watching the replay is that Texas Tech started off in zone coverage and after those first two touchdowns, where it appeared that Darcel McBath was the culprit, McNeill switched to man coverage and that's where plays were made. On McBath's 1st and 3rd interception, I thought he just made great reads on the pass, while Reesing didn't have his best throws either. McBath's 2nd interception, I thought that Daniel Howard was getting excellent pressure on the Reesing and forced a bad throw.  I hardly noticed Jamar Wall (3 tackles) and L.A. Reed (2 tackles) the entire game, which is a good thing.  I don't think that Wall or Reed got beat deep on either of KU's long completions.


Despite a missed field goal, the entire unit gets an A+. How about the huge balls that it took to admit that Fowler and Carona couldn't get the job done and plugging in a walk-on kicker to do the job. Williams was perfect, but more than that, the line did their job too. L.A. Reed made a nice kickoff tackle while Jared Flannel is becoming the man on special teams with 3 kickoff tackles. The unit as a whole averaged only 17 yards a return and Donnie Carona took out some of his aggression with a tackle on KU's longest return. Carona had 4 touchbacks on Saturday and I wasn't real sure how much the wind affected play, but that's not a bad percentage.


I'm not sure what else needs to be said here. Leach called an incredible game offensively. I'm not sure where to gripe about the play calling. My only complaint was letting Harrell back out in the game late in the 3rd quarter. Was not necessary. Ruffin McNeill proves again that he knows what he's doing and most importantly, he's capable of making adjustments during the game AND his players follow instruction. That's key. Congrats to the staff for getting Matt Williams in the game, this move could save the season.