This weekly feature considers five reasons why Texas Tech will win and five reasons Texas Tech will lose to each opponent. Check back tomorrow for "Five Reasons Texas Tech Will Win :: New Mexico Lobos Edition".
Reason #1 :: Getting Behind the Line of Scrimmage: I mentioned it yesterday that the biggest positive attribute for the New Mexico Lobos is that for having such an awful defense (107th in total defense and 111th in rush defense), the Lobos are actually pretty good at defending the pass, getting to the passer and getting at the quarterback and making tackles for losses. That's 7 a game for New Mexico and the teams they've played haven't been world beaters, but turnovers are game-killers (yes, we know this very much). And with the head Captain suspending RG Brandon Carter, the pass defense is going to take a hit.
Reason #2 :: So Close to a Win: Despite the internal issues (again, we know this very much) going on with the New Mexico program, these players seem like they're giving it all, despite having a program that is in true transition mode. Last week, NM had the chance to beat the Aggies of New Mexico State, but kicker James Aho's field goal to tie the game was wide right. The Lobos are young, and they might not care or know what the hell it means if there are 50,000 fans. I read somewhere in the NM notes section that of their top 48 players, 25 are freshmen or sophomores. That's a young team.
Reason #3 :: Young Backs: Demond Dennis and James Wright are New Mexico's top 2 rushers. Dennis is your smaller back, 5-9/196, while Wright is what you might call a bit of a bruiser, 6-0/239. Not only that, but Wright is from South Oak Cliff, which is mere steps from where I live. I don't know that Texas Tech has faced a running back as big as Wright and the combination of Wright and Dennis could prove to be problematic for a Texas Tech defense that might be just a tad worn out.
Reason #4 :: Johnathan Rainey is Pretty Good: So I mentioned the incredibly effective defense, especially at getting behind the line of scrimmage, but Texas Tech had better gear up for a defense that is similar to Houston in that the defenders are quick and undersized. Rainey is a perfect example in that he's 6-2/240, but for the year, he's already amassed 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss. Last week, Rainey, by himself, had 3.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks. For the entire game, the defense was making all sorts of plays as LB Carmen Messina (2.0 TFL) and DT Kendall Briscoe (2.0 TFL) limited NMSU to 122 yards rushing and 96 yards passing.
Reason #5 :: Desparate for a Win: If you think Texas Tech is desparate for a win, then you need to ask New Mexico. UNM has lost 8 straight games with their last win coming almost a year ago against San Diego State. As bad as Texas Tech fans might have it (and I know, it's all about increasing expectations), but New Mexico is in a really bad way right now and despite my rosy outlook in this post, it really shouldn't be much of a game. If this is, then it will be much easier to write this post in the coming weeks.