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Stats That Matter | New Mexico vs. Texas Tech

(1-1, 0-0)

Date | September 15, 2011
Time | 6:00 pm CST
Good Guys | Texas Tech Red Raiders
Bad Guys | New Mexico Lobos
Location | Lubbock, TX
Weather | High 81, Low 53
TV | Fox College Sports
Radio | Affiliates
Game Cast | FoxSports

(2-0, 0-0))

Passes Broken Up 7 6
QB Hurries 3 4
Fumbles Forced 1 2
Interceptions 2 2
Sacks 3.0 4.0
Tackles for Loss 10.0 8.0
3rd Down Conversion % 31.03% 62.96%
Rushing Yards Allowed 71.00 114.50
Rushing Avg. Yards/Attempt 2.45 3.75
Passing Yards Allowed 106.00 263.50
Passing Avg Yards/Attempt 4.1 8.2


It's sorta amazing what a small sample size can do as it appears in a lot of the big play categories, New Mexico and Texas Tech are similar. You could probably say that New Mexico is actually better in those big play categories, but it's the last five statistics that are probably pretty telling from how these two teams have fared this season.

If you need a refresher as to how Texas Tech did on third downs last year, it was 47.09% and DC Art Kaufman has helped orchestrate it down to 31.03%. Again, we all know that it's just two games against lower-level competition, but that's going to be a key statistic to watch over the course of the year. Alternately, New Mexico is allowing opponents to complete 62.96% of all third downs and that's problematic for the Lobos. Even against Southern, New Mexico allowed 7 of 13 third downs to be converted and Texas was 10 of 14.

There are obviously some encouraging things going on defensively. Despite Texas Tech having an okay day offensively, Texas Tech is still doing quite well and as I mentioned on Saturday, Texas Tech only allowed 73 yards of total offense in the second half on Saturday. That's a good way to end a game where there maybe appeared to be some holes in the defense. It is still encouraging to see just 2.45 yards allowed per rushing attempt. I still worry about this defense against a competent running team, but this defense isn't about completely shutting out an opponent, but rather it is about being a bit better than they were last year. This defense has come a long ways, but there is still a long ways to go.

I think it is also fair to say that Texas Tech's first two opponents are not passing teams and neither is New Mexico. So the passing yards allowed isn't going to be too incredibly important at this point of the season. Still, you also can appreciate the fact that the Texas Tech defense is allowing just 4.1 yards per attempt. For New Mexico, the Lobos allowed David Ash to complete 21 of 30 passes for 285 yards and 9.5 yards per attempt. I have a feeling that QB Seth Doege could be significantly better. I'd also add that it didn't really even appear that Texas tried to much rush the ball, especially in the first half, against New Mexico. Texas only ran the ball 31 times for 146 yards, which is not what I expected.

The offenses are after the jump.

Red Zone TD % 69.23% 100.0%
3rd Down Conversion % 62.96% 48.00%
Passing Yards 363.00 52.00
Yards/Passing Attempt 7.8 5.6
Touchdowns | Turnovers 12 | 3 9 | 2
Turnover Margin -1.00 +1.00
Yards/Play 6.82 5.31
Sacks Allowed / Game 1.0 1.0
Rushing Yards 182.50 276.00
Rushing Yards Per Attempt 5.29 5.64


Another interesting statistic, which is red zone touchdown percentage is that New Mexico has had 5 opportunities in the red zone and converted all 5. Meanwhile, Texas Tech has had 13 opportunities and converted on 9. Again, these are small sample sizes, but an additional 8 opportunities in the red zone is good for Texas Tech. Still, this puts Texas Tech in the 40th or so range nationally for converting on the red zone opportunities. This could be improved.

Also telling is the third down conversions for each team and that near 70% conversion rate is good for second in the nation. I know that we get angry at a single third down that goes awry with a double-reverse, but I like trying to mix things up a bit and overall, Texas Tech has been spectacular on third downs.

One of the reasons why I added both touchdowns | turnovers and turnover margin is because there are time that one statistic is not as telling as the other. I like to see how far ahead the offense is in terms of touchdowns versus turnovers and if that figure ever gets close, then things have gone horribly wrong. Meanwhile, you can see how Texas Tech hasn't created nor had a ton of turnovers. This doesn't necessarily mean much now, but I think it will mean a lot in Big 12 play.

Saturday's performance helped beef up some relatively pedestrian statistics from Texas Tech in the first game. No matter the opponent, the passing yards and rushing yards and rushing yards per attempt are pretty darned good. The lone stat that sticks out a bit is the yards per passing attempt. I do think that Doege is doing a better job of getting the ball down the field. Doege and the passing offense has had 14 plays of +15 this year for 7 per game, while last year the offense averaged 6.5. It's a bit better and not all long plays are going to be completed, but it helps to push the envelope.

I'd also say that from just watching with my own two eyes, that the offense is better and more vertical. Mainly because I think we've seen 1 wide receiver screen this year and that was an incompletion. It feels like it is getting better.

For New Mexico, when I said that they were not a passing team, this is the reason why. This is also the reason why Dustin Walton walked-on at Texas Tech. Bob Davie is a triple-threat running team. I really am interested to see how the Texas Tech defense is able to stop a team that is 100% committed to running the ball.

All helmet images via The Helmet Project and thanks to College Football Statistics for these stats.