Texas Tech-Nevada: Red Raiders Take on Powerful Wolfpack Rushing Attack

John BaucumCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2008


Texas Tech squares off against the University of Nevada Wolfpack Saturday night at 8:05 PM.  This game features teams whose offensive philosophies differ about as much as the Allied Forces disagreed with the Nazis.

Last week, Nevada churned out 426 yards on the ground and 203 through the air, while Texas Tech threw for 536 and ran for 103.  Needless to say, something’s got to give.


Nevada Passing

6'6", 215 lb. sophomore QB Colin Kaepernick is the field general for Nevada.  Last week against Grambling State, Kaepernick was 10-17 passing (58 percent) for 122 yards with no TDs and one INT.

However, as stated above, the Wolfpack run the football, and that’s where the young QB did his damage: He ran six times for 51 yards (8.5 yards per run) with three TDs.  The two backups, Nick Graziano and Tyler Lantrip, finished the game a combined 8-13 with no TDs or INTs.


Nevada Rushing

Don’t hold your breath—it may take a while to get through all of this.  Vai Taua led the Wolfpack rushing attack with 12 touches for 103 yards (8.6 per carry) with two TDs.  Brandon Fragger wasn’t far behind with nine totes for 83 yards and one score.  Nevada’s best RB, Luke Lippincott, finished with nine carries for 69 yards and one trip to the end zone.

QB Kaepernick’s three scores round out Nevada’s rushing scores.  WR Marko Mitchell also had one carry for 31 yards, while Tray Session added a 17-yard run and Chris Wellington had a 13-yard run.


Nevada Receiving

No Nevada WR scored a receiving TD.  Mike McCoy paced the receivers with six catches for 67 yards.  Mitchell, a talented deep threat that the Red Raiders will have to keep an eye on, finished with four catches for 49 yards.  Wellington had three for 42, and Lippincott added two for 33 out of the backfield.

Virgil Green added two catches for six yards, and Session caught one for six yards to finish Nevada’s receiving totals.


Texas Tech Passing

Graham Harrell took all the snaps against Eastern Washington last week and finished 43-58 (74.1 percent) for 536 yards with two TDs and one INT—pretty incredible numbers for a game that he called “sloppy.”  If 74 percent is sloppy, I feel sorry for whoever we face when Harrell says he played well.

The senior QB made some nice completions down the field after having to roll out of the pocket last week.  That’s a new wrinkle that Tech fans aren’t used to seeing.


Texas Tech Rushing

The Red Raiders’ three-headed monster of Shannon Woods, Baron Batch, and Aaron Crawford looked more than adequate last week.  All three players reached pay dirt and seemed to stay fresh due to rotating with the others.

Woods paced the bunch with 13 carries for 37 yards (2.8 per rush) and two TDs, but Batch, the sophomore who missed last season, was perhaps more impressive.  The Midland native finished with five carries for 40 yards and one score.  True sophomore Crawford chipped in three rushes for 11 yards (3.7 per carry) and one score.

Harrell’s QB keeper finishes Tech’s rushing scores.  WR Edward Britton also had one carry for nine yards, and fellow WR Eric Morris had one carry for four yards.


Texas Tech Receiving

Somebody forgot to tell Eric Morris and Detron Lewis that that Michael Crabtree is Tech’s playmaker at WR.  Morris, the senior from Shallowater, finished with nine catches for 164 yards but no scores.  Lewis was equally impressive in posting a similar total of nine catches for 163 yards, but again, no trips to the end zone.

Crabtree, college football’s premier WR, totaled nine catches for only 73 yards and one score.  Crabtree had another TD nullified by an offensive pass interference call.

Redshirt freshman Tramain Swindall had five catches for 45 yards.  Britton caught four passes for six yards and one score.  His speed will be an asset to Tech in the passing game and on kick returns.

RB Woods caught two passes for 15 yards, Batch caught one for 10, Adam James caught one for nine, and sophomore Lyle Leong had a beautiful 32-yard reception that was probably an 11 on a 1-10 difficulty scale.



The contrast in styles makes this one tough to call.  Texas Tech is playing their first road game, and it’s a later start than the team is used to.  However, most experts think the Red Raiders’ run defense is better than Nevada’s pass defense.  That little piece of insight may have the Wolfpack howling in agony by the end of the contest.

Add a senior QB and a wealth of talent versus a sophomore QB and a running back who got a little dinged-up last week, and this game leans toward the Red Raiders.



Texas Tech 52, Nevada 38