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Eastern Washington v. Texas Tech: TT Offense v. EWU Defense

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WHEN TEXAS TECH HAS THE BALL:

 

Statistical Leaders Texas Tech
Passing Graham Harrell: 512 Comp., 713 Att., 5,705 Yds., 48 TD, 14 Int.
Rushing Shannon Woods: 84 Att., 439 Yds., 8 TD
Aaron Crawford: 54 Att., 214 Yds., 4 TD
Receiving Michael Crabtree: 134 Rec., 1,962 Yds., 22 TD
Eric Morris: 75 Rec., 767 Yds., 9 TD
Ed Britton: 48 Rec., 631 Yds., 4 TD
Detron Lewis: 10 Rec., 120 Yds., 3 TD

 

Statistical Leaders Eastern Washington
Tackles Kevin Hatch: 75
Greg Peach: 63
Jason Belford: 53
Sacks Greg Peach: 11.0
Jason Belford: 7.0
Tyler Jolley: 1.5
Interceptions Kevin Hatch: 4
Lonnie Hosley: 3
Makai Borden: 2
Ryan Kelley: 2

 

Texas Tech Passing Offense v. Eastern Washington Passing Defense: There's not much to say that we already haven't already this summer. There's quite a bit of expectations for Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree, Detron Lewis, Eric Morris and Ed Britton to perhaps be the best offense Lubbock has even seen. I think Lewis gets involved early and often, if nothing else to build his confidence and send him into a tear. I have no doubt that Mr. Crabtree will be effective early and often. Eric Morris was bothered with a hamstring injury in fall practice and if he's not available, then look for Adam James to get his repetitions. We also haven't heard much from Ed Britton most of the camp and if he struggles, then I can see Todd Walker (who was also bothered with a fall camp injury/illness) getting some looks as well.

One thing that surprises me about EWU is the number of interceptions they had, 22 for the year, and the Eagles return 3/4 of their defensive backfield. Kevin Hatch had 4 interceptions at free safety. Ryan Kelley and Lonnie Hosley also return at cornerback and Hosley had 3 interceptions while Kelley had 2. Although I haven't had the chance to watch EWU, I get the feeling that the Eagles are an attacking style of defense, evidenced by her +0.92 turnover margin, which was good for 20th in the nation and first in their conference. Not to mention, EWU was also pretty good at getting to the quarterback, averaging 2.00 sacks a game.

Advantage: Texas Tech.

Texas Tech Rushing Offense v. Eastern Washington Rushing Defense: This is the subject that I really want to avoid. The rushing offense was abysmal and probably a majority of the problem with the rushing offense begins with Shannon Woods, who lost favor with the coaching staff during the season and has only recently regained the coaches' confidence. I suppose it doesn't matter the reason why, but it left Texas Tech in a situation to use a true freshman in Aaron Crawford, who performed admirably for a true freshman, but it still wasn't what we expect.  But Woods is back in the staff's good graces and from all accounts he'll start. I think we all expect that in addition to seeing Woods, we'll also see healthy doses of Baron Batch, who is coming back from numerous ankle surgeries and the aforementioned Aaron Crawford. All these guys have proven that they are capable of carrying the load. In front of these thee backs they have one of the biggest offensive lines in the country. There's no reason why this group shouldn't succeed, or at the very least be better than 119th in the nation.

EWU was 38th in the nation in rushing defense, yielding 144 yards a game and the Eagles return 4 seniors on that defensive line, led by defensive end Greg Peach (6'3"/255). Lance Witherspoon returns at defensive tackle (6'2"/275). At linebacker Makai Borden returns, but had only 52 tackles. EWU's linebackers don't seem to make a ton of plays and this is a postition where EWU is relatively inexperienced. Perhaps me picking an advantage is what I think "should" happen, and given that Texas Tech has a dominant offensive line with three quality runners, the Red Raiders should have the advantage, hands down.

Advantage: Texas Tech