Nic Shimonek started slow again, completing only 3 of his first 6 passes, but after that was lights out other than a few missed passes. He finished 37/50 for 543 yards and 6 TD’s. Just like in the first game, he was able to extend plays a few times to avoid losing yards. He was sacked only 3 times, helped by the injury to Koron Crump, ASU’s pass rush specialist. The biggest moment for Nic came with the game tied and the ball on the Red Raider 10 yard line. He led the team on a 90-yard game winning drive that ate up over four minutes of clock and culminated in a formation where Nic was under center, a rare site for a Texas Tech quarterback. Shimonek is currently atop the FBS leaderboard with 463.5 yards per game
The running game was not utilized as much this game as we saw in the first game. Stockton got the ball early and ran the ball well. His biggest knock as a Red Raider is that he only runs in space, and wouldn’t run into contact. However that changed against ASU as he was meeting defenders head on. He did try and out run defenders to the edge on a 4th and 1 play, but couldn’t get around, resulting in a turnover. Desmond Nisby was able to pound the ball through the ASU line, but one costly mistake cost the Red raiders 7 points and potentially another drive. As he was trying to push into the end zone and reach the ball over the line, he lost all control and ASU recovered the loose ball. Afterwards Stockton ran short yardage plays for a few drives, shwing that Coach Kingsbury will bench you if you make a mistake, no matter what.
The young offensive line continues to impress, as Shimonek had multiple plays with very good protection. ASU rushed only 3 for most of the night, but last year most opponents did and the Tech OL couldn’t hold them. The line only comitted 2 penalties, a false start and a holding call. However they were on a drive right after ASU tied the game at 45, but only 15 yards in penalties is a great mark for a pass-happy teams offensive line.
Keke Coutee and Dylan Cantrell stole the show as they combined for almost 350 receiving yards and 3 TD’s. Coutee’s feet and Cantrell’s hands gives Tech a dangerous 1-2 punch that will be key this season. Cantrell’s catch that he pinned with one hand to his helmet even made the #4 play on sports center Saturday night. Dylan also scored the game winning rushing score on an end around play. Another receiver making an impact was Ja’Deion High, who blocked a punt and made a few plays on special teams. Coutee currently leads all of FBS with 142.5 receiving yards per game.