football

Wrap: Near perfection in the ABQ

Texas Tech
dominated New Mexico from start to finish on Saturday thanks to a near-perfect
outing by Seth Doege. The Red Raiders jumped out to a 52-7 lead before the
starters were pulled, and then coasted to a 59-13 victory in Albuquerque.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
1. Doege can be really good. It's a big deal anytime you set an NCAA
record, regardless of who your opponent is. Seth Doege did exactly that
yesterday afternoon, completing 40-of-44 passes for 401 yards and five
touchdowns. He was everything that Texas Tech fans have grown to expect out of
their quarterbacks -- calm in the pocket, confident in his decisions and
assertive with his throws.
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did what Taylor Potts struggled with during his two years as the starter, he
made a record-setting performance look effortless.
Still, questions remain about Doege. We haven't see him play against a good --
or even above average -- team, and he hasn't faced a whole lot of adversity
through two games. But the potential is clearly there, and he hasn't shown any
bad tendencies or habits to this point. In 2009, despite facing two overmatched
opponents in North Dakota and Rice, Potts displayed some frustrating
tendencies that would stick with him for the remainder of his career.
So far, Doege's been on-point, but his next big test will be Oct. 8 against
Texas A&M.
2. Darrin Moore is the headliner, but Tech's receiving corps is deeper than
expected. Doege completed passes to 11 receivers during his three quarters
of action against New Mexico, compared to just eight in the opener against Texas
State. Darrin Moore still got his -- nine catches for 118 yards and three touchdowns --
but Eric Ward, Eric Stephens and Cornelius Douglas all caught four or more
passes a piece; only Moore and Alex Torres had four or more receptions against
Texas State.
Raise your hand if you thought Ward would be the Red Raiders' second-leading
receiver after two weeks? I certainly didn't think that would be the case, and
Ward said Saturday that he wasn't expecting to start this early in the season.
"It actually took me by surprise, because I had come off an injury and I wasn't
really expecting to start a couple of weeks ago," he said. "I didn't really know
until this past week, coach told me."
The emergence of Ward as a reliable option at X-receiver is obviously a very
positive development for the Red Raiders, as they need a threat on that side to
take some heat off of Moore. Ward may not duplicate his UNM stat line week after
week, but it looks like Tech has found its full-time starter at X for this
season.
3. The Red Raider defense has a script and, so far, is
sticking to it. The names and jerseys of Tech's opponent changed, but the
story remained largely the same The Red Raiders gave up some yards, but forced
three turnovers and only let New Mexico convert two of its three redzone
opportunities.
Tech only logged three sacks on Saturday, but succeeded in its larger goal of
keeping UNM quarterback Tarean Austin contained in the pocket. Austin logged 12
rush attempts for 38 yards and didn't have a run longer than 10 yards.
OBSCENELY OBLIGATORY OVERREACTION
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versatile on offense than they were in 2010. We suspected going into this season
that the Red Raiders would probably be a little more balanced in terms of
run-pass than last season, but I'm not sure if anyone expected the team's
offense to be this versatile.
Consider what you saw Saturday. Tech used the Pistol formation quite a bit, ran
play-action out of it several times, couple of bootlegs and a wide receiver
pass. The Red Raiders also ran a fake double screen in the second quarter. All
that, and Tech still passed basically 60 percent of the team.
WEEKEND SUPERLATIVES
Biggest Nightmare - If things could go wrong in Albuquerque, they did
on Saturday. Random and isolated lightning strikes delayed the game for two long
stretches that combined to last over an hour and a half. The instant replay
system wasn't functioning correctly. The Versus broadcast, by all accounts, was
terrible -- the crew mistook director of operations Tommy McVay for
Tommy Tuberville for most of pregame, and the feed cut out completely in the second
half. The chain connecting the first down markers broke in the first half and
had to be reconnected. And, to top it all off, the Internet in the press box
stopped working in the fourth quarter.
The Record Breaker - Seth Doege set an NCAA record for completion
percentage (90.9 percent) and tied a school record for consecutive completions
(15) on Saturday. Not bad for his second start, right? After the game, Doege was
quick to credit the entire offensive unit for his success.
"There were probably incompletions that the receivers caught, the offensive line
played really well. I think I got hit only one time and it was because I missed
the assignment and called the protection wrong.
"Those guys did a great job and, like I said, it's a tribute to the entire
offense."
Mr. Redemption - Austin Zouzalik, a former high school quarterback, has
been waiting nine months to try his hand at attempting his second collegiate
pass. His first official pass attempt came last November against Missouri, an
underthrown ball to Detron Lewis. Zouzalik's number was called two months later
in the TicketCity Bowl, but his pass to Taylor Potts that resulted in a 13-yard
catch and score was officially ruled a lateral.
Zouzalik made good when called upon against UNM. He threw a nice ball to Moore
with enough zip on it, away from a defender, that resulted in a 26-yard
touchdown.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
• Kansas was exposed for the terrible team they are on Saturday, giving up 768
yards of total offense and 66 points to Georgia Tech. The Jayhawks are just the
second Big 12 team to lose so far this season -- Missouri fell to Arizona State
in overtime last week -- but were the first league team to be thoroughly
embarrassed. Including KU-GT, there were eight games on Saturday that involved
Big 12 teams, the other seven teams combined gave up less points than Turner
Gill's crew did in Atlanta.
• Speaking of the Big 12, the league may be falling apart, but it continues to
flex its muscle on the playing field. Kansas did get pantsed by Georgia Tech,
but Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas all beat BCS AQ teams on the road, and Texas
Tech and Oklahoma State both notched road wins against regional rivals. The Big
12 heads into Week 4 of the season 23-2 overall and 18-7 against the spread.
• Tech's Seth Doege threw four incompletions on Saturday against New Mexico.
Very impressive. Baylor's Robert Griffin, though, has thrown just eight
incompletions in two games. Equally as impressive. Griffin has completed
41-of-49 passes for 624 yards and eight touchdowns in games against TCU and
Stephen F. Austin, and leads the country in passing efficiency.
• There are only five games involving Big 12 teams on the docket next week, but
three of them are doozies. No. 8 Texas A&M hosts No. 7 Oklahoma State, Kansas
State hits the road to face Miami (Fla.), and No. 1 Oklahoma looks to avenge
last season's loss to Missouri.
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