2008 Texas Tech Game-By-Game Prediction- BCS Buster Or BCS Bust?
Game 1 Vs. Eastern Washington- The red Raiders head into the season riding a win from last season. They open the season against a FCS opponent, and will have no trouble getting by an Eastern Washington team that likes to pass just as much as they do. That will lengthen the game, enabling Graham Harrell to throw as much as he'd like, until Leach thinks it is time to bring in back-up QB Taylor Potts. With Leach mentioning Harrell going for perhaps 6,000 yards this season, I have a feeling he will be a bit more lenient in terms of leaving him in the game. W- 81-20. Harrell- 36-47, 456 Yards, 5 TD, 0 INT.
Game 2 @ Nevada- This could end up being a scary game for the Red Raiders, reminiscent of New Mexico a few years ago. If they come out slowly, Nevada has the ability to score, and could take an early lead. I have no doubt that Harrell can get into rhythm against a defense that had trouble stopping much weaker defenses last year. W- 56-24. Harrell- 49-66, 502 Yards, 5 TD, 0 INT.
Game 3 Vs. Southern Methodist (SMU)- June Jones takes over the reins at a school that was a pathetic 1-11 last season. he headed out to SMU to revive the program, and has the facilities, and the location to lure many recruits out in the future. But, this game is great for Tech, a team who loves to pass, who has a young, easy to rattle QB. Not to mention a less-than-stellar defense, this should be Tech's dream game, and I see SMU turning the ball over early, but as they are able to pass, perhaps score late, 'forcing' Leach to leave in the starters... W- 58-21. Harrell- 48-62, 595 Yards, 6 TD, 0 INT.
Game 4 Vs. Massachusetts- Another terrible opponent, equals even more yards for Harrell and the offense. Massachusetts has a much better secondary than anybody that Tech will have faced to this point, but they just can't compare to the athletes that Tech has. I look for Detron Lewis to break out in this game, as Mass. has already declared that they will be focused on locking down Crabtree over anything else. W- 63-10. Harrell- 34-46 415 Yards, 4 TD, 0 INT. (I expect him to only play 3 quarters or so in this game...)
Game 5 @ Kansas St.- The first conference game, the first real test for the Red Raiders defense. KSt. QB Josh Freeman is an absolutely physical beast, and could give the Red Raider fits with his legs if they can't keep him in the pocket. They will get through this game with relative ease though, as Freeman tends to lose his head at times. I think this will be the first game that Shannon Woods is able to get into a rhythm, and should make an impact both running the ball, and as a receiver out of the backfield. W- 45-21. Graham Harrell- 36-52, 426 Yards, 4 TD, 1 INT.
Game 6 Vs. Nebraska- Another game against a non-elite North opponent, look for Ganz to throw early interceptions for Nebraska and get completely shaken up. I don't think the Nebraska will have any answer for the athletes Tech has at receiver, and look for multiple receivers to break the 100+ yard mark in this game. W- 61-17. Harrell- 44-65, 502 Yards, 6 TD, 0 INT.
Game 7 @ Texas A&M- Always tough to play the Aggies at home, but in the recent past, it hasn't mattered. A&M doesn't have the talent to match Texas Tech this season, and the home-field advantage will change very little in this matchup. I expect A&M to be able to run on Tech to try to get the pace in their favor, but it can't hold up all game, it never does. Tech takes the crowd out of it and A&M will fall apart. W- 45-23. Harrell- 37-47, 439 Yards, 4 TD, 1 INT.
Game 8 @ Kansas- The first game that I am afraid of, and one that i'm afraid Tech should win, but will be looking ahead to next week against Texas. Tech has the better team, but Tech is a different team on the road, especially in Big 12 play, and Kansas is no pushover. As long as Kansas can get their running game going, and take a bit of pressure of Harrell, than they can have the Red Raiders right where they want them. Harrell starts off slow, and has to play catch-up, almost bringing them back to an amazing comeback, but just falling short. L- 48-53. Harrell- 49-72, 504 Yards, 4 TD, 2 INT.
Game 9 Vs. Texas- This is the must-win for Tech, and will be looking for revenge after slipping up at Kansas the week before. The home-field advantage will FINALLY be enough to get them over the UT hump, and without Jamaal Charles, UT won't be able to dictate the pace. McCoy will be forced to pass, and the Texas Tech secondary will be able to step up and thwart any hopes a flustered McCoy has of coming back. Texas Tech cannot lose focus, they need to play THEIR game for all four quarters, if they do that, they will win this game. W- 56-42. Harrell- 41-59, 508 Yards, 5 TD, 1 INT.
Game 10 Vs. Oklahoma St.- My favorite game of the season, as Tech will annihilate a team that they slipped up against last season. Tech had no problem scoring against OSU last season, and this season will be no different. The Cowboys will not put up the same rushing numbers that they did last season, and they will be missing something the whole game, always having to play with a tired defense, unable to keep themselves off of the field. Look for Tech to get into form for Oklahoma next week. W- 55-28. Harrell- 50-70, 622 Yards, 6 TD, 0 INT.
Game 11 @ Okahoma- Tech has had Oklahoma's number in Lubbock, but in Norman, it has been a completely different story. Oklahoma will come into this game with a perfect 10-0 record, ranked #1 in the country, and looking ahead to the Big 12 Championship matchup against similarly undefeated Missouri Tigers. Bradford comes into this game the Heisman favorite after running through every defense he has faced, and wants to show that had he played in last year's game, OU would not have fallen 34-27 to Tech, essentially ending their BCS Championship hopes. Harrell has been waiting his whole career for this opportunity, one win and his team is the Big 12 South champion, and don't expect him to take it lightly. Crabtree will be held closely, so look for Detron Lewis and Eric Morris to step up and sneak through the Oklahoma secondary throughout the game. If it comes down to a game of offenses, Texas Tech will have done exactly what they needed to. W- 45-38. Harrell- 42-65, 515 Yards, 4 TD, 2 INT.
Game 12 Vs. Baylor- Home game to end the season, look for the place to be packed, and look for Baylor to try and end Tech's season with a nation-shocking upset. If Texas Tech isn't careful, this game could be close for the first half, but Baylor doesn't have nearly the tools to pull off this type of upset. The Last time Texas Tech fans will see Harrel & Crabtree in a home game. W- 52-13. Harrell- 34-42, 403 Yards, 4 TD, 0 INT.
Texas Tech Regular Season Record- 11-1 (#1 In Big 12 South)- And will face 12-0 Missouri in the Big 12 Championship game.
Harrell On The Season- 72.1%, 500-693, 5887 Yards, 57 TD, 7 TD.
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