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Us v. Them: Texas Tech Offense v. SMU Defense

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v.

 

The SMU Mustangs (1-1,0-0) v. The Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0, 0-0)

September 13, 2008 @ 6:00 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports net
Radio: Texas Tech Affiliates
Weather: Lubbock, Texas

 

WHEN TEXAS TECH HAS THE BALL:

Statistical Leaders Texas Tech
Passing Graham Harrell: 62 Comp., 104 Att., 833 Yds., 3 TD, 3 Int.
Rushing Baron Batch: 11 Att., 87 Yds., 1 TD
Shannon Woods: 20 Att., 82 Yds., 4 TD
Aaron Crawford: 8 Att., 26 Yds., 1 TD
Receiving Michael Crabtree: 16 Rec., 231 Yds., 2 TD
Detron Lewis: 12 Rec., 209 Yds., 0 TD
Eric Morris: 11 Rec., 172 Yds., 0 TD
Tramain Swindall: 8 Rec., 99 Yds., 0 TD

 

Statistical Leaders SMU
Tackles Pete Fleps: 21
Justin Smart: 14
Tyler Jones: 13
Sacks Youri Yenga: 1.5
Patrick Fleming: 1.0
Justin Smart: 0.5
Daryll HIll: 1.0
Interceptions Tyler Jones: 1
Derrius Bell: 1

 

Texas Tech Passing Offense v. SMU Passing Defense: If there was ever a day to have a banner passing day, it would be on Saturday. The Mustangs are 109th in the country in total defense, which includes a loss to Rice and a relatively close win against Texas State. There hasn't been a lot of big plays, although the defensive line for SMU does have some experience. Senior tackles Patrick Handy and Serge Elizee are up front, while Anthony Sowe and Adrian Dizer are at the ends.

SMU is not getting much production from the line, nor much pressure, and if we've learned anything from watching the Texas Techoffense, it's that if you put a little pressure on Harrell, he's more likely to make bad decisions than if he has all day.

Only 2 interceptions for the year for the secondary and 6 pass break-ups for the team. Again, we're just not talking about a lot of pressure from any point of the SMU defense. That and flooding the middle of the field, forcing Texas Tech to go over the top or towards the sideline (see Nevada). Most of the Mustang cornerbacks are relatively small (5'10") and I'm anxious to see whether or not the Texas Tech receivers will be able to take advantage of their size over the smaller SMU secondary. I'm trying to conceivably think of a way that the Texas Tech offense shouldn't dominate this game and I'm just not seeing it. The only thing that concerns me is the offensive line, but with as little pressure the Mustangs have had on their opponents as of yet, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

If I had to guess, I think that Swindall continues to emerge as a viable receiver. Swindall has good height (6'3"), he can catch the ball, and he's shown to be pretty good at catching the ball when it counts, namely 3rd downs.

Nothing would make me happier than to see the Crabtree/Harrell connection all day long. I was at the game last year when we were all baptized to the cult of Crabtree. I'd love to see that again.

Advantage: Texas Tech.

Texas Tech Rushing Offense v. SMU Rushing Defense: Well, I'm not sure that we've been able to say that the Texas Tech rushing game is at it's best in a long time, but I think it is. It's hard to believe that SMU is giving up 220.50 yards a game and that Texas Tech is averaging 113.50. As stated above, the SMU defense doesn't offer a lot of size, so there's that immediate advantage. Junior linebacker Pete Fleps leads the team in tackles with 21 and Justin Smart isn't far behind, with 14 tackles. If Texas Tech decides to run, they'll run with relative ease.

Speaking of which, I think it would be fantastic to continue to spread the ball around to Crawford, Batch and Woods. Each one of these running backs should receive the ball 8 times on Saturday, if nothing else than to keep them in rhythm. Although I've made it very public that Baron Batch is my guy when it comes to the running back position, he is by far the most productive out of the backfield, especially with limited carries. With only 5 carries against EWU, he had 41 yards and against Nevada, e had 6 carries for 50 yards.

None of this trio is heavily involved in the passing game, which may be another reason why the opposing defenses are having some success against the Texas Tech offense, and that screen pass might need to be utilized a little more in order to keep the opposing defenses honest.

I'm giddy as a school-girl to say it . . .

Advantage: Texas Tech