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

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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


Statistical Leaders SMU
Passing Bo Levi Mitchell: 49 Comp., 80 Att., 614 Yds., 8 TD, 3 Int.
Rushing DeMyron Martin: 15 Att., 72 Yds., 1 TD
Andrew McKinney: 5 Att., 27 Yds., 0 TD
Justin Willis: 2 Att., 8 Yds., 0 TD
Receiving Aldrick Robinson: 15 Rec., 263 Yds., 4 TD
Emmanuel Sanders: 16 Rec., 259 Yds., 4 TD
DeMyron Martin: 9 Rec., 48 Yds., 0 TD

 

Statistical Leaders Texas Tech
Tackles Bront Bird: 19
Brian Duncan: 18
Jamar Wall: 15
Sacks Brandon Williams: 3.0
McKinner Dixon: 2.0
Marlon Williams: 1.0
Bront Bird: 1.0
Interceptions Rajon Henley: 1
Brian Duncan: 1
Daniel Ccharbonnet: 1
Richard Jones: 1

 

SMU Passing Offense v. Texas Tech Passing Defense: I'm pretty sure that SMU is going to rack up some yards on Saturday, now it's a question of how much is too much and what will make the DTN contingent happy? Before we get to that, I found a video last night of June Jones talking about the Run and Shoot with your favorite defensive coordinator, Bob Davie. It's worth checking out if you've ever wanted to know, in about 5 minutes, the basics of the Run and Shoot. In week 1 against Rice, Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 244 yards on 43 attempts, which included 3 TD's and 3 interceptions. If this is our baseline for success then I certainly think it's possible. McNeill has consistently displayed the bend but don't break rule of thumb and I think we could expect to see that same philosphy here.

Both Robinson and Sanders have been pretty good this year, each grabbing 4 touchdowns. Keep in mind that SMU has only thrown for 9 touchdowns all year, so the focus, at least for SMU has been on both of these guys. Sanders is at an inside receiver position (H) while Robinson is on the outside (Z). Mitchell has also been pretty good, especially for a true freshman, and he's already completing over 50% of his passes, along with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, all of which came in his firt game. Mitchell is also doing a pretty decent job of getting the ball down the field, averaging 7.675 yards per attempt, and as we've said before, anything over 8.0 is pretty good. Given the situation, Mitchell seems to be performing pretty well.

Thus far, the Texas Tech secondary hasn't wowed us, although I'm still in the camp that says I can see the improvement. This year, the defense is giving up only 6.17 yards per attempt and in comparison to last year, the team gave up 6.03 yards per attempt. Again, that was over the course of the year. The one area that I would love to see knocked down a few pegs, is the completion percentage, where the Red Raiders are allowing over 60% of the passes to be completed. I know, it's lot of 3 step drops, so there's not much time to hassle the quarterback, but I think there will be opportunities against SMU.

I think Jamar Wall and Brent Nickerson will need to have big games and I'm with McNeill on this one, let's keep the outside recievers in front of the cornerbacks. No big plays. I'm also excited to see the continued play of the rotating defensive ends (B. Williams, Ratliff, Sesay, Dixon, Howard and Riley) and just like last week, I thought the ends got better as the game progressed. I would love to see that same type of pressure from start to finish on Saturday.

I'm going with SMU here, but only because I think they'll still move the ball, which can be problematic in any game. I need to see a passing team stopped completely before I go with Texas Tech. Prove me wrong (please).

Advantage: SMU

SMU Rushing Offense v. Texas Tech Rushing Defense: This one is easy. SMU only runs for 36 yards a game, which is good for 117th in the nation in rushing offense. For the year, the running backs, DeMyron Martin and Andrew McKinney have rushed 20 times over 2 games. Without Willis quarterbacking the team, there's really not a legitimate running threat and if history repeats itself, June Jones and the offense isn't going to start on Monday. Whitlock, Henley, Perry, Jones and Sesay have been pretty good at tackle, while we might say that Bird and Duncan had the best games of their careers last week against Nevada.

Advantage: Texas Tech