Well, Well, Well. It’s a new year! Football season has finally arrived, and I, the Sunshine Scooter, has awakened from his offseason slumber.
To my one fan, I say, “I’m sorry for abandoning you in a time of need.”
But I’m back. And I’m ready to do this again!
Texas Tech opened the season against a good FCS team in Eastern Washington. We played sluggish and appeared rusty at times, but we have seen where we need to improve as a team to be able to compete against the great teams we will be facing down the road.
So, without further ado, my thoughts on the EWU game:
Graham Harrell showed he is ready for his final season in Red Raider Red. He completed 74 percent of his passes for 536 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. I think the offense was somewhat shaky, but for the most part, Harrell played pretty well. He made good decisions in the pocket, scrambled when he needed to, and made great throws.
I’m not going to dock him points for the pick because, well let’s face it, when you throw 58 times a game one pick is not that bad (except that he threw it deep in our own side of the field and it gave the other guys a first and goal opportunity). Graham brought his A game. (4.9 out of 5 stars)
The running back committee had a great game (by Tech standards). Baron Batch led the charge with 40 yards on five carries and one touchdown. Starter Shannon Woods had 13 carries for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Aaron Crawford carried the rock three times for 11 yards and a touchdown.
With help from Edward Britton, Eric Morris, and Harrell, the team finished with 103 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. FIVE RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS!!! The last time that happened was in 2005 against Sam Houston State. The last time Tech rushed for over 100 yards was against the “Wrecking Crew” defense of A&M last year. (4.9 out of 5 stars)
Wow. We are LOADED in the receivers category! Ten different receivers caught a pass this game, and that doesn’t include Todd Walker and Hollywood Hawk who also had significant playing time.
Little EMo led the corps with 164 yards on nine catches. Detron Lewis was close behind with 163 yards on nine catches. All-American Michael Crabtree was third with 73 yards also on nine catches and one touchdown. This is the first time Crabbie was held to under triple digits. Britton also had a receiving touchdown in the game. (4.5 stars)
The offensive line is stacked this year with all five starters from last year returning including Rylan Reed who recovered from a broken ankle in last year’s Gator Bowl.
The EWU defense had no sacks and Tech had only one rush for negative yards. The offensive line’s negatives include one holding penalty and four false starts.
I sat closer to the North endzone and I thought I saw Louis Vasquez leave early in the game due to possibly an injury. I never saw him back in afterwards. I don’t know if he was, in fact, hurt or if it was even him at all. Can anyone help me out here?
All in all, it was a pretty successful day for the front line. (4.0 stars)
EWU netted 23 yards rushing all day including three yards in the first half. The D-line was credited with two sacks. RaJon Henley also scooped himself an interception on a very athletic play. I say the D-line was impressive. (4.5 stars)
Brian Duncan started things off right with an interception on EWU’s first play from scrimmage. Marlon Williams also got in the backfield and scored a sack. For the most part, the linebackers (sometimes safeties) were constantly being sent in on blitzes, but much to my disappointment, were not very effective in getting to passer.
They hurried him a few times, but I would’ve liked to see an OLB nailing the quarterback in the back as he’s making the throw. To their defense, the EWU offense was centered on a variety of short “dink and dunk” passes. Perhaps against a more traditional drop back passer, they will find greater success. (3.75 stars)
Sadly, the secondary struggled to defend the EWU passing attack. Corner Jamar Wall and Safety Darcel McBath returned from the number one pass defense (in the Big XII last year, but inexperience affected the unit in their attempt to defend the short passing attack of the Eagles.
I think with a bit more game experience and the return of injured cornerback L.A. Reed, this unit will return to their 2007 form. (3.0 stars)
There are two different things I would like to address about the special teams.
First, never in my days as a fan of the Red Raiders have I seen such an aggressive unit. The Eagle kick returner never made it past the 30-yard line and the punt returner never had more than a four yard return. Of course there was the kick catch interference penalty on Taylor Charbonnet, but you can’t really fault him.
The dude is the fastest white boy I’ve ever seen! How many times did this guy make the tackle on a punt cover or kick cover? He also had a field goal block to his credit. I’ve never seen a guy come around the corner that fast. I’m excited to see this kid play at Tech for the next four years. He definitely takes after his older brother, who is also a head-hunting son-of-a-gun.
One disappointing moment on special teams was when EMo muffed a punt return that gave the other guys great field position. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t remember the last time a Tech returner muffed a punt. I’m pretty sure Danny A and Welker never did.
Another disappointing thing about the special teams was the performance of freshman kicker Donny Carona. The dude was 0-2 on field goals thanks to a blocked field goal and one that sailed wide left. He also had an extra point blocked.
It was the first Tech PAT not made in 234 attempts. I know it was his first collegiate game, but until proven otherwise, I hope we don’t have to count on him to win the game on a last second field goal. Okay, I know that was more than two things, but whatever. (2.0 stars)
Yes, we did play a bit rusty, but that’s to be expected in the first game of the season. I hope we learn from our mistakes, and become a better football team. We need to if we want a shot at that Big XII title. Let’s enjoy this victory, but prepare for a Tough Nevada team this coming weekend. Cheers to all, and as always, comments are enjoyed and appreciated.