The Texas Tech Red Raiders play their final road game of the regular season this weekend as they travel to Austin to take on the University of Texas Longhorns. Like many of Texas Tech’s opponents, UT presents a contrast in offensive philosophy.
Mike Leach’s Red Raiders pass the ball to set up the pass. Mack Brown’s Texas Longhorns run the ball until your defense is tired… and then they run over you late in the game.
ITexas has a big advantage in the head-to-head series, which stands at 42-14 all time.
This season the Longhorns come into the game sporting an 8-2 record while Texas Tech stands at 7-3.
Texas is led by sophomore QB Colt McCoy. He has completed 217-330 passes for 2,632 yards with 16 TD’s and 16 INT’s.
That’s not great for a Big 12 QB but with weapons all around him, McCoy has been able to lead his team to victory in several close games this season.
Senior Nathan Jones leads UT’s receivers with 57 catches for 628 yards and 4 TD’s. Junior Quan Cosby has 50 catches for 519 yards and 3 TD’s.
After that, sophomore TE Jermichael Finley is next with 36 catches for 500 yards and 2 TD’s. The 6-5 220 pound sophomore is a phenomenal player and will be a tough matchup for the Texas Tech defense.
Limas Sweed, who is injured and will miss the rest of the season, had 19 catches for 306 yards and 3 TD’s.
Jordan Shipley, a junior who flirted with a scholarship offer from Texas Tech, has 16 catches for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns of his own. Shipley has great speed and could cause problems if the Red Raider defensive backs aren’t careful.
Antwan Cobb has 1 catch for 16 yards and the ‘horns final TD through the air so far this season.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Jamal Charles, Billy Pittman, Peter Ullman and Blaine Irby have caught passes from McCoy this season but they have not reached the endzone.
The Jamaal Charles show has reached new heights the last couple of weeks. If the Red Raiders hope to win the game, containing Charles is an absolute must. So far, the junior has 191 carries for, 1,192 yards and 14 TD’s.
Behind Charles is QB McCoy who has 78 carries for 333 yards and 1 TD. Freshman Vondrell McGee is next with 43 carries for 204 yards and 6 TD’s.
Freshman QB John Chiles has 31 carries for 170 yards and one score.
Chris Ogbonnaya has 24 carries for 60 yards and the longhorns’ final rushing score.
Texas Tech Passing
Graham Harrell leads Texas Tech’s spread offense. Harrell had a couple of bad weeks against Missouri and Colorado. However, he rebounded nicely by throwing for 433 yards and 3 TD’s with no INT’s last week against Baylor.
Harrell was able to spread the ball around between Danny Amendola, Aaron Crawford, Eric Morris and Edward Britton instead of looking primarily to sensational freshman Michael Crabtree.
The junior has completed 385-524 passes for 4,412 yards with 38 TD’s and 11 INT’s.
Texas Tech Receiving
The aforementioned Crabtree is Tech’s leading receiver. He has 104 catches for 1,512 yards and 18 TD’s. Danny Amendola has been a reliable weapon for Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense this season. The senior has tallied 86 grabs for 1,014 yards and 5 TD’s.
Eric Morris has also been clutch for Texas Tech. The junior has 50 catches for 578 yards and 6 TD’s on the season. Edward Britton, the fastest player on the Raiders’ roster, has 33 receptions for 438 yards and 3 TD’s.
Senior Grant Walker has 25 catches for 282 yards and 2 TD’s. Walker has shown some grit by going over the middle and catching the ball in traffic. With Crabtree and Amendola commanding attention, Walker may be able to catch some passes this week against UT’s linebackers.
True freshman RB Aaron Crawford has 16 receptions for 131 yards and 2 TD’s. In his first start last week, he caught 10 of those passes and 2 TD’s. His play last week gave Tech’s offense a new dimension. Crawford is a powerful runner who is shifty, but doesn’t shy away from contact.
Shannon Woods, Kobey Lewis, and Detron Lewis have 2 TD’s each. Lyle Leong has Tech’s other receiving TD.
Texas Tech Rushing
Shannon Woods leads the Red Raiders with 84 carries for 439 yards and 8 TD’s. However, The junior from McKinney is unlikely to play the rest of the regular season. Kobey Lewis is next with 40 carries for 153 yards and 2 scores.
Freshman Crawford doesn’t lead in carries but he will get the start this week. He has 30 carries for 133 yards and 2 scores of his own. Expect Graham Harrell to find ways to get him the ball. Whether it’s a screen pass or a traditional running play,
Crawford will touch the ball plenty of times in Austin. Graham Harrell has Tech’s 3 other scores on QB sneaks.
It is not often that UT loses a conference home game. However, with their propensity to give up huge chunks of yards through the air, a confident Graham Harrell is likely the last QB that Mack Brown’s troops wanted to face this week.
No matter how much damage Mike Leach’s crew does through the air, if the Texas Tech defense can’t slow down Jamaal Charles the chances of a Texas Tech upset are minimal.
If Harrell and the Red Raider offense can get some points on the board early they definitely have a chance.
Prediction: Texas Tech 45, UT 41