football

The Wrap: Season under way

Texas Tech beats Texas State 50-10 •
Notebook: Darrin Moore sets record •
Photo Gallery
Notes: Tech shakes off slow start
Tech adjusts, stifles option  •
RRS TV:
Matador Report
Texas Tech is 1-0 after its 50-10 victory over Texas State on Saturday. The end
result wasn't a surprise, but the course of the game definitely was. The Red
Raiders trailed 10-9 at halftime and struggled to stop the Bobcats' option
attack.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
1. Darrin Moore lived up to expectations. Darrin Moore is
someone that we've been championing all offseason as a guy who was capable of
assuming the No. 1 receiver role for the Red Raiders this season. He performed
up to that level during the spring and fall camp -- it seemed like he
embarrassed a defender at least once every day in practice -- but there was
still a lingering question of whether or not he could do the same in an actual
game.
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Click Here to view this Link.Moore
obviously erased those questions last night, setting a school record for
receiving yards (221) in an opener. Granted, Moore will go up against much
better defenders than Texas State's Craig Mager, but he's obviously established
a rapport with Seth Doege and the importance of that shouldn't be
underestimated.
2. Tech showed its youth, inexperience on defense.
Tommy Tuberville said after the game that at one point in the first half, the Red
Raiders had "seven or eight first-time (defensive) players" on the field against
Texas State. Blake Dees, Sam Eguavoen, Kindred Evans,
Leon Mackey,
Jackson Richards,
Pete Robertson,
Delvon Simmons,
Sawyer Vest and
Dennell Wesley all
played Red Raiders for the first time on Saturday, while
Terrance Bullitt, Dartwan Bush, Cqulin Hubert and Derrick Mays all saw by far the most extensive action of their careers.
That inexperience was compounded by the fact that Tech was facing a Bobcat
offense that looked much different than expected.
"You have to remember we didn't have a clue what formation they would be in,"
Tuberville said. "Defense, you have to have defense formations. And we'll have
some -- we'll have a few sessions right in this room here Monday and there will
be a lot of mistakes, probably alignment mistakes that just got us in trouble.
Couple times our three-technique couldn't get to the ball possibly because he
lined up too wide or something like that."
The Red Raiders' youth moment on defense also provided some bright spots -- an
inexperienced group, yes, but also faster than the defensive outfits Tech has
fielded in the recent past. Dees, the first true freshman to start at linebacker
for the Red Raiders since 2003, was second on the team with eight tackles and
also chipped in a TFL and a forced fumble.
3. Tech's offensive line is not the strength of the team.
Even with Terry McDaniel starting at center after spending just three
weeks at the position, Tech's starting five up front entered Saturday's game an
experienced, veteran unit with 68 combined starts under their belts.
And they got whipped in the first half, especially on the edges. Through the
first two quarters, Texas State's undersized and inexperienced defensive front
kept the Red Raiders' running game in check to the tune of 27 rushing yards on
15 attempts and was able to consistently put pressure on Doege.
Tech's offensive line settled down in the second half, but it's hard to label
that unit -- considering its experience and how it underperformed -- a strength
at this point. As terrible as New Mexico was last year, their defensive front is
notably more talented than the group that Texas State fielded on Saturday.
OBSCENELY OBLIGATORY OVERREACTION
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operating mostly out of the pistol formation with 22 personnel, the Bobcats
generated 256 rushing yards on 50 carries. Even if you take into account the
fact that the Red Raiders weren't expecting and hadn't prepared for that kind of
offensive attack, the team's Sept. 24 home game against Nevada just got a whole
lot more interesting.
The Wolf Pack's base offense is very similar to what Tech faced on Saturday:
pistol formation, incorporates option elements, tight ends and fullbacks. The
only differences? Nevada has a better coaching staff, legitimate Division I FBS
personnel and is infinitely more experienced running that kind offense than
Texas State.
Gulp.
Fortunately for the Red Raiders, they won't face the Wolf Pack for three more
weeks.
WEEKEND SUPERLATIVES
Best Same-Team Tackle - The Bobcats' primary kick returners, defensive
back Derrick Lopez and wide receiver Isaiah Battle, seemed to have communication
issues throughout Saturday's game. At no point was this more obvious than the
waning moments of the first quarter. Lopez and Battle were back deep to return a
kickoff following Tech's first score of the game. Donnie Carona's kick
sailed a couple of yards deep into the endzone and both Lopez and Battle moved
to field it; Battle caught the ball, but got tangled up with Lopez and ended up
falling at the one-yard line. This play led to the day's...
Most Predictable Safety - Who didn't see a safety coming on the very
next play? Tech was able to get pressure on Texas State quarterback Shaun
Rutherford, which caused the converted wide receiver to show his inexperience
and just chuck the ball out of bounds. Intentional grounding. Safety.
Best Quote - "I thought (Doege) did a really good job of not panicking.
The wind storm wasn't a big deal for him. They probably happen all the time at
Crane and Iraan and wherever else he was." - Tech offensive coordinator
Neal Brown
Story of the Game - Darrin Moore's record-setting performance against
Texas State is even more notable considering what he has been through over the
last month and a half. His father died unexpectedly in late July, and Moore
started camp little more than a week later. That's a lot for any person to deal
with under any circumstances, let alone a Big 12 football player preparing for a
season.
"The last month's been pretty hard," Moore said. "After I came back to camp, I
felt like I tried to block it out of my mind, just try to use it as motivation."
AROUND THE LEAGUE
• If not for the Pac-12's terrible opening Saturday -- I'm looking at you,
Oregon State -- the Big 12 would be under a media microscope for posting a very
underwhelming undefeated (so far) weekend. Kansas State and Iowa State are both
lucky to have escaped with wins over Eastern Kentucky and Northern Iowa,
Missouri looked uninspiring against Miami (OH), Oklahoma State had a sloppy romp
over Louisiana-Lafayette, Tech trailed at the half to Texas State and Texas had
a slow start of its own.
Robert Griffin is a star.
Called it.
• Speaking of Baylor,
Phil Bennett's debut in Waco was pretty ugly. A TCU
offense with a lot of new faces -- running back Ed Wesley missed most of the
game due to injury -- rolled up 466 yards of offense and scored 48 points.
There's no doubting the potency of the Bears' offense, but scoring points wasn't
their problem in 2010.
• Consider me underwhelmed with James Franklin. The Tigers returned practically
everyone on offense -- granted, left tackle Elvis Fisher is out with an injury
-- yet Franklin barely topped 200 yards of total offense. Of course, since Tech
doesn't play Missouri until November, Franklin will likely be much improved by
the time he faces the Red Raiders.
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