Undermanned Northwestern St. Takes on High-flying Texas Tech

John BaucumCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2007

IconThe Northwestern State Demons are coming to Lubbock to take on Mike Leach’s Red Raiders this Saturday. After last week’s bitter loss at the hands of an inferior OSU squad, Texas Tech should come out with something to prove in this one.

The thing is, NSU is likely to play the same way. The Demons have almost no chance to beat Texas Tech and they will probably play without much pressure on their performance.

NSU Key Personnel:

Contrary to the stereotype about Louisiana directional schools, NSU does have some talent. QB Germayne Edmond is 31-58 for 478 yards (53.4% completion rate and 8.2 yards per attempt) with 5 TD’s and 4 INT’s. Edmond is also a legitimate running threat, with 30 carries for 169 yards (5.6 yards per carry) with 4 TD’s. Byron Lawrence is the team’s top RB in terms of carries and yards. He has 55 carries for 346 yards (6.3 yards per carry) with 3 TD’s.  Lawrence and Edmond have combined for all of NSU rushing TD’s on the season, but Richuel Massey has 97 yards on 21 carries—an average of 4.6 yards per carry.
Dudley Guice leads the Demons in receiving this year with 12 catches for 183 yards (15.3 yards per catch), a long reception of 36 yards and 2 TD’s. I would consider that a decent game for the Raiders' Mike Crabtree or Danny Amendola. TE Clayton Broyles is next with 4 catches for 98 yards (24.5 yards per catch) and 2 TD’s. Gordon Freeman has caught 2 balls for 26 yards and scored the only other passing TD for the Demons this season. 

Texas Tech Key Personnel:

Graham Harrell and the Texas Tech offense are looking to keep things going. Harrell was razor sharp against OSU, even though Texas Tech did not score much in the second half last week. On the season, Harrell is 166 of 277 for 1,963 yards with 19 TD’s and 2 INT’s. That’s a 73.1% completion percentage and 8.6 yards per attempt.
Crabtree, everyone’s headliner so far this season, has caught a fair number of Harrell’s throws. The redshirt freshman is leading the country in any statistic that matters and continues to surpass even the loftiest of expectations. He is going to break the school record for season touchdown receptions in 5 games.  Crabtree has hauled in 52 passes for 775 yards (14.9 yards per catch) and 11 TD’s. Credit Crabtree and Harrell for an outstanding first quarter of the season.

Danny Amendola is next with 40 catches for 522 yards (13.1 yards per catch) with 3 TD’s. Incidentally, Amendola’s receiving yards rank him 4th in the nation. Shallowater product Eric Morris has snagged 19 passes for 173 yards (9.1 yards per catch) and 2 TD’s.
Shannon Woods paces the Raiders' running attack with 38 carries for 224 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 5 TD’s. Kobey Lewis has chipped in with 24 touches for 91 yards (3.8 yards per carry) and 2 TD’s. Edward Britton has 5 carries for 34 yards, which is good for 6.8 yards per carry. As the conference season progresses, expect the Red Raiders to utilize the ground game much more than they have in the first few games. With Crabtree and Amendola getting a lot of attention, I bet Mike Leach can find a way to hurt opposing defenses with the quickness of Woods and Lewis.

Ruffin McNeill and "35." Unless you have been living under a rock, or are recovering from amnesia, you will know that Ruffin McNeill, the defensive tackles and special teams coach, has replaced Lyle Setencich as defensive coordinator at Texas Tech. “Coach Ruff” has the interim label, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t shake things up. Look for the Texas Tech defense to be a wee bit more aggressive over the next several weeks.  "35" is the number that Zach Thomas wore at Texas Tech. It also happens to be the total number of missed tackles from last week’s game against the angry Mike Gundy’s of Oklahoma State. 

Northwestern State doesn’t have any hope of staying with the Red Raiders in this one. But I hear that Natchitoches, Louisiana is known for their meat pies, at least according to one local radio show. This one could be over before all of the older folks make it to their seats.


NSU 10,
Texas Tech 63.