Texas Tech and Colorado Fight to Stay in Big 12 Race

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Texas Tech and Colorado Fight to Stay in Big 12 Race

IconTexas Tech and Colorado will both enter Saturday’s game looking to get back on track.

 

Texas Tech played poorly at Missouri last week, while Colorado is looking to end a two game skid after losing to K-State and Kansas.

 

CU and Texas Tech have another thing in common: their coaches. After Dan Hawkins' now-famous offseason rant and Mike Leach’s analysis of his team following a close loss to Oklahoma State, both coaches are developing a reputation for their dealings with the media. I wouldn't be surprised if one of these head men offered up another memorable moment following this week’s game.

Also, Colorado ambushed the Red Raiders last year in Boulder for the first of only two Buffalo wins on the season. Don’t expect Texas Tech to have forgotten that.

 
Colorado Passing

CU has definitely improved in the two years Dan Hawkins has been coach. His son, Cody Hawkins, has also helped the team out, leading on offense.

 

The younger Hawkins has been effective and definitely shows the savvy of a coach’s son. On the season Cody is 172-304 for 1,967 yards with 13 TDs and 14 INTs. He also has one rushing TD this season.

 
Colorado Rushing

Hugh Charles paces the Colorado rushing attack with 97 carries for 561 yards and three TDs. His top backup is freshman Demetrius Sumler, who has 89 rushes for 310 yards and four TD’s. Brian Lockridge has carried the ball 28 times for 130 yards and Colorado’s other rushing TD.

 
Colorado Receiving

Scotty McKnight leads the Buffs in receptions. He has 33 catches on the season for 387 yards and two TDs. Patrick Williams has 22 catches for 222 yards but no TDs. Tyson DeVree has 20 grabs for 235 yards and a team-leading five TDs.

 

Big receiver Dusty Sprague (6-4, 190) with 2 TDs, and RB’s Byron Ellis, Demetrius Sumler, and TE Patrick, with one TD each, round out Colorado’s scoring. TE Riar Greer is capable of big plays as well. He hasn’t reached the end zone yet this season but did score against the Red Raiders last year.

 
Texas Tech Passing

Junior Graham Harrell leads the Texas Tech offense. Couple last week’s bad outing at Missouri with the fact the CU upset Tech last year and you have a highly motivated QB in Harrell. He has completed 302-416 passes so far this year for 3,548 yards with 32 TDs and seven INTs.

 

Colorado has the nation’s leading tackler in LB Jordan Dizon. Harrell will definitely need to identify him before taking the snap from center.

 
Texas Tech Rushing

Shannon Woods continues to lead Texas Tech’s rushing effort. He has 84 carries on the season for 439 yards and eight TDs. Kobey Lewis follows with 31 carries for 116 yards and two TDs.

 

Freshman Aaron Crawford has only 19 carries, which is unfortunate because the coaching staff felt the need to remove his red shirt. His 19 touches have resulted in 58 yards, but no scores.

 

Look for more from Crawford as the season winds down. As it stands now, not too many coaches have film on him and he could turn into a weapon for Texas Tech since he is a relative unknown to opponents.

 

QB Harrell has added three scores on the ground to finish the Red Raiders’ rushing scores.

 
Texas Tech Receiving

Freshman Michael Crabtree continues to top the charts in receiving. His 88 receptions have resulted in 1,320 yards and 17 TDs. Although he hasn’t scored in the last two games he's still amazing.

 

If he doesn’t win the Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top receiver, they ought to stop presenting it.

 

Aside from Crabtree, Danny Amendola is having what would be considered an all-conference type of season if he played for any other team in the league.

 

Amendola has 71 catches for 841 yards (which ranks fifth nationally) and five TDs. Eric Morris has caught 37 passes for 397 yards and four TDs. The junior from Shallowater has caught nearly everything thrown his way so far this season.

 

Edward Britton has 21 catches for 307 yards and two TDs this year. He has reached the endzone in each of the last two games and could be a very important part of the offense as opposing defenses try to slow down Crabtree and Amendola.

 

Grant Walker and Detron Lewis have caught two TDs each and Lyle Leong has the other receiving touch down for the Red Raiders.

 
Intangibles:

Mike Leach’s Red Raiders have reached a critical point in the season. A win against Colorado would bring Texas Tech to a total of seven—not bad for a supposed rebuilding year.

 

On the other hand, Colorado comes to Lubbock with plenty of weapons to give the Raiders some trouble. 

 

Dan Hawkins and his bunch could also use a win to get back on track. With upcoming games against Missouri, Iowa State, and Nebraska, Colorado will have to win three of their next four games to reach a decent bowl. With this one being a home game for Texas Tech, Colorado is probably going to have a long flight home.

 

Prediction: Texas Tech 52, Colorado 31

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