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Us v. Them: Texas Tech Offense and the Nevada Defense

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v.

 

The Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0, 0-0) v. The Nevada Wolf Pack (1-0, 0-0)

 

WHEN TEXAS TECH HAS THE BALL:

 

Statistical Leaders Texas Tech
Passing Graham Harrell: 43 Comp., 58 Att., 536 Yds., 2 TD, 1 Int.
Rushing Baron Batch: 5 Att., 41 Yds., 1 TD
Shannon Woods: 13 Att., 37 Yds., 2 TD
Aaron Crawford: 3 Att., 11 Yds., 1 TD
Receiving Eric Morris: 9 Rec., 164 Yds., 0 TD
Detron Lewis: 9 Rec., 163 Yds., 0 TD
Michael Crabtree: 9 Rec., 73 Yds., 1 TD
Tramain Swindall: 5 Rec., 45 Yds., 0 TD

 

Statistical Leaders Nevada
Tackles Dontay Moch: 8
Uche Anyanwu: 6
Jerome Johnson: 6
Sacks Dontay Moch: 2.0
Joshua Mauga: 1.5
Kevin Basped: 1.0
Daryll HIll: 1.0
Interceptions Brandon Marshall: 1
Kevin Grimes: 1

 

Texas Tech Passing Offense v. Nevada Passing Defense: Take all of this with a grain of salt, but the truth of the matter is that it's hard to determien how well a team is going to perform from one opponent to the next, especially early in the season. Statistically speaking, last week Grambling did a pretty good job of getting the ball down the field (9.0 yards per attempt), but just couldn't run to save their lives which probably detracted from their overall effectiveness in the passing game (really, it probably would have suited Grambling better to just abandon the run last week, that that's another story). In any event, last year, Nevada was 86th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (135.52) and 76th in pass defense (240.77). To top it off, the Wolf Pack defense only returns strong safety Uche Anyanwu in the secondary. I'm not sold that Nevada can effectively stop the pass and I'm betting that they can't against Texas Tech.

I don't think that any of us were surprised to see Detron Lewis perform so well for the Red Raiders and the mention last week that EWU was doing an effective job of shutting down the outside receivers (Michael Crabtree and Ed Britton) that the inside receivers had great success (Eric Morris and Detron Lewis). I'm not sure what Nevada will do, but in order for teams to not play the same way EWU did, D. Lewis is going to need to score some touchdowns. Make teams over-compensate on the inside and now Crabtree and Britton can shine. I was pleasantly surprised to see Tramain Swindall so involved in the offense and seeing that he played so well, I would expect the same this week. We've already discussed how Harrell was especially effective last week, but the interception that eventually led to an EWU touchdown and a couple of other bad decisions must stop, especially on the road. We don't want this getting away from Texas Tech.

Advantage: Texas Tech.

Texas Tech Rushing Offense v. Nevada Rushing Defense: Nevada does return all of their linebacker corp (I think) and Mundrae Clifton, but the rest of the Wolf Pack defensive line is new. Just as a reminder, the Wolf Pack were 78th in rushing defense (174.23 yards per game) last year and 73rd in tackles for loss. The Nevada defense showed great promise last week by only allowing Grambling 5 yards rushing for the day. I'm sure the truth is somewhere inbetween, Nevada isn't probably going to allow only 5 yards a game for the rest of the year, and I'm sure Nevada fans are hoping that it's less than the 175 yards a game last year. Dontay Moch seems to be "The Man" on the defensive line, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss and 8 overall. If I were going to watch anyone on the defensive line, it would be Mr. Moch.

Just as the Nevada defense improved over last year's numbers, so did the Texas Tech rushing game. I was pleasantly surprised with the 103 yards rushing and although I didn't seem the game, I thought the mix of Woods and Batch worked really well, although Batch did break a run for 26 yards. I'm not sure if Woods' 2.8 average for the game was based more or less on the fact that EWU was gearing up to stop Woods or if he just wasn't effective. I'll err on the side of the former and give Woods the benefit of the doubt, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Batch start to take away carries from Woods if he's ineffective.

I'm not sold that Texas Tech has solved their offensive rushing woes, nor am I satisfied that Nevada has figured out their defensive rushing deficiencies. I think Nevada will have some success stopping the run, but I get the feeling that Leach is really going to want to air it out this week due to Nevada's traditional inability to stop the pass.

Advantage: Nevada