football Edit

The Juice: Scattershooting the Red Raiders after their win over ASU

David Gibbs
David Gibbs (Steven Leija)

... Texas Tech's defense allowed 45 points and 494 yards - 168 rush, 326 pass - to Arizona State's offense in its win Saturday. The Sun Devils ran 85 plays, logged 27 first downs and converted 7-of-15 third-down opportunities.

No one will mistake that performance for a display of defensive dominance, but it definitely represents an improvement from last year's matchup in Tempe. The Red Raiders allowed 23 fewer points and 158 fewer yards - 133 rush, 25 pass - on Saturday. ASU ran five fewer plays, gained eight fewer first downs and converted two fewer third-downs.

Texas Tech improved across-the-board in those categories, but how does Saturday's showing stack up to the team's 10 games against Power Five opponents in 2016?

Category 2017 ASU  Where It'd Rank? 2016 Avg. vs. P5



T-No. 5


Total Yards


No. 4


Rush Yards


No. 2


Pass Yards


No. 5


First Downs


T-No. 5


Third Down %


No. 7




No. 7


Yards Per Play


No. 4


... Nic Shimonek completed 37-of-50 passes for 543 yards and six touchdowns. His 543 yards ranks ninth on Texas Tech's single game passing yards list.

... There have now been 16 500-yard passing performances in Texas Tech's Air Raid era. Shimonek produced the ninth-most yards (543), had the fourth-fewest completions (37), attempted the third-fewest passes (50), posted the second-best completion percentage (74) and tied for the second-best TD:INT ratio (6:0).

... Shimonek never threw more than two incompletions in a row on Saturday.

... In the Red Raiders' two-game non-conference series against Arizona State, Shimonek and Pat Mahomes combined to complete 75-of-103 passes (72.8 percent) for 1,083 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.

... Texas Tech is now 8-8 in the Air Raid era when its quarterback has passed for 500-plus yards. The Red Raiders have won two of these games in a row (Arizona State 2017, Baylor 2016), the first such streak since the team won the 2004 Holiday Bowl (Sonny Cumbie, 520 yards) and the 2005 Kansas State game (Cody Hodges, 643 yards).

... Texas Tech leads the nation in passing yards per game (496). Four of the top 10 and five of the top 12 passing offenses in the FBS reside in the Big 12: No. 4 Oklahoma (438.7), No. 7 Oklahoma State (407.3), No. 10 West Virginia (369.3) and No. 12 Kansas (343.3).

... Next week's game at Houston will feature two of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country, as Cougar quarterback Kyle Allen has completed 86.2 percent of his passes through two games while Shimonek is completing 78.8 percent of his.

... Last week against Eastern Washington, Texas Tech allowed 11 plays of 10-plus yards. Arizona State managed 19 such plays on Saturday. For the sake of comparison, that's the same number as Stephen F. Austin had last year against the Red Raiders.

... Arizona State faced an average of 5.7 yards to gain on third downs. The Sun Devils converted 7-of-11 3rd and Shorts (0-4 yards) and failed to convert any of their three 3rd and Longs (9-plus).

... Texas Tech faced an average of 6.9 yards to gain on third downs. The Red Raiders were better when facing 3rd and Long (2-of-3) than 3rd and Short (1-4).

... Keke Coutee led Texas Tech with 16 targets. Dylan Cantrell had 10, Cameron Batson had seven, and Justin Stockton and Derrick Willies each had six. No reserve receiver caught a pass, and Donta Thompson was the only such player to be targeted (1).

... Desmond Nisby's 15-yard run in the second quarter was Texas Tech's only run to span 10 yards or more. The team had five such plays against Eastern Washington.

... The Red Raiders are one of five Big 12 teams that have blocked a punt or kick this season, along with Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU and Texas.

... Texas Tech (plus-3) is one of five Big 12 teams with a positive turnover margin on the season, along with Kansas State (plus-5), Iowa State (plus-4), Oklahoma State (plus-2) and West Virginia (plus-1).

... The Red Raiders have the fewest lost turnovers in the Big 12 (1).

... Return of the AFROS. Three of the Big 12's seven leading receivers play for Texas Tech. Keke Coutee leads the league with 142.5 receiving yards per game, Dylan Cantrell ranks sixth (97.5) and Derrick Willies is seventh (91.0). Willies ranks fifth in the Big 12 in yards per catch (22.75).

... Texas Tech has scored 50-plus points in 12 of its last 14 home games.

... The Red Raiders logged 26 plays of 10-plus yards and eight plays of 20-plus yards against Arizona State.

... Texas Tech's win over Arizona State took 3:39. Its opening win over Eastern Washington took 3:18.

... The Red Raiders are 12-0 on FSN under Kingsbury. Saturday's game against Houston will air on ABC, where the team is 0-5 under Kingsbury.