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Crunching the Numbers :: Texas Tech vs. North Dakota



Game Information:
North Dakota Fighting Sioux (0-0, 0-0) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0, 0-0)
September 5, 2009, 6:00 p.m. CST :: Weather: Lubbock, TX
TV: None :: Radio: Texas Tech, North Dakota :: Game Cast: Fox Sports

The North Dakota Fighting Sioux come to Lubbock for their very first game as a Football Championship Series football team.  That's right, last year two years ago North Dakota competed on a Division II level (I'm almost positive of this) and this will be their first game as a FCS team.  The Texas Tech Red Raiders will be heavily favored in this game, but this is a big game for North Dakota.

Join me after the jump for a statistical comparison of North Dakota and Texas Tech.

Team Statistics

Category Statistic (NCAA Rank, Conference Rank) Winner
TTU Pass Offense
ND Pass Defense
413.15 (1, 1)

268.30 (137, 5)
TTU Rush Offense
ND Rush Defense
117.84 (94, 11)

112.40 (36, 2)
ND Pass Offense
TTU Pass Defense
245.60 (37, 2)

242.23 (94, 3)
ND Rush Offense
TTU Rush Defense
145.80 (73, 4)

140.38 (61, 8)
TTU Scoring Offense
ND Scoring Defense
43.77 (3, 2)

26.30 (80, 3)
ND Scoring Offense
TTU Scoring Defense
32.10 (35, 4)

27.85 (74, 4)


Team Leaders

Passing Taylor Potts :: 23-36 : 260 : 2 : 1 Jake Landry :: 3-4 : 77 : 1 : 0
Rushing Baron Batch :: 113 : 758 : 7 Catlin Solum :: 21 : 98 : 0
Receiving Detron Lewis :: 76 : 913 : 3 Ismael Bamba :: 21 : 310 : 3
Punt Returns Jamar Wall :: 1 : 0 : 0 Matt Cole :: 4 : 20 : 0
Kickoff Returns Jamar Wall :: 20 : 477 : 0 Dominique Hawkins :: 12 : 321 : 0
Tackles Brian Duncan :: 95 Dominique Hawkins :: 50
Sacks Daniel Howard :: 3.0 : 23 Ross Cochran :: 2.0 : 8
Tackles for Loss Colby Whitlock :: 5.5 : 16 Ty Boyle :: 4.0 : 14
Interceptions Jamar Wall :: 2 : 21 : 0 Dominique Hawkins :: 2 : 15 : 0

Five Initial Thoughts

One :: FBS vs. NCAA Division II: Before everyone goes crazy, keep in mind that 2009 will be the first year that North Dakota will be a member of the FCS. That's right, last year, the Fighting Sioux were Division II and the 2008 numbers really aren't a fair comparison.  I know, I'm comparing apples to oranges with the statistics of these two teams, but they are what they are.  I know it's not fair to have Texas Tech "lose" a statistical battle, but this is the only FCS opponent on the schedule (compared to UMass and Eastern Washington last year) so this is the only time that the numbers will not be accurate.

Two :: This Could Get Ugly: I hate predicting blowouts, but from just a glance, if North Dakota is 137th in the nation in Division II in passing defense.  It could be a very long game.  There's no question in my mind that Potts will absolutely get quite a few repetitions.  He's going to need it because he's got to be ready for Austin in two weeks.  Potts can get all of the practice time a guy could want, but actual game snaps for Potts, and the rest of the offense is imperative.

Three :: Not Great Offensively: The Fighting Sioux aren't really great offensively, which could be a problem when trying to keep pace with Texas Tech. UND isn't an offensively inept team, as it appears UND was in the top third in scoring, but that was last year, and this year UND is replacing a ton of talent offensively.  I know enough about UND to know that their head coach is in his second year, that the Fighting Sioux are replacing their quarterback, their top receivers and their top running back.  Not to mention, I think UND is only returning two offensive starters from last year, and although I cannot attest to knowing the UND depth chart, I'd also imagine that they're replacing almost the entire offensive line.

Four :: At One Time A Quality Rushing Attack: If you look back at last year's statistics for UND, Josh Murray is all over the place. The only problem is that Murray is the Brandon Sesay or McKinner Dixon of North Dakota football (i.e. he's no longer with the program). At the very least, this would have been something for North Dakota to hang their hat, but with a very inexperienced quarterback and a running back with only 21 carries in 2008, you can't help but think that UND is going to be up against it.

Five :: Zero Pocket Pressure: The Fighting Sioux were 115th in sacks and 140th in tackles for a loss in Division II. These guys did not get to the quarterback and despite Texas Tech having a relatively inexperienced offensive line at left tackle right guard this is going to be a huge area of concern for North Dakota.  If the Fighting Sioux cannot get to Potts or at the very least put pressure on Potts then this may not be much of a competition.