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at Texas Tech 50 … Texas State 10
Texas Tech RB Eric Stephens
Texas Tech RB Eric Stephens
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 3, 2011


Week 1 CFN Fearless Prediction - Texas State at Texas Tech

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 1 - Texas State at Texas Tech

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Sept. 3 at Texas Tech 50 … Texas State 10
CFN Analysis: Texas Tech is going to have a whole bunch of fun over the first half four games before dealing with Texas A&M if it can be sharper out of the gate. Seth Doege was excellent, completing 23-of-33 passes for 326 yards and three scores, and Eric Stephens provided the balance that Tommy Tuberville has been looking for with 118 yards and two scores, but the big story was Darrin Moore, who caught 12 passes for 221 yards and a score as the main target in the attack. Texas State ran the ball well, gaining 256 yards, but it also fumbled the ball four times and couldn’t do anything through the air against the Red Raider secondary. The Tech pass rush was strong, and the defense was a rock after the first quarter, but as long as the offense is humming, and if it can wake up faster after scoring just nine points in the first half, there shouldn’t be any problems over the first month.

(AP) LUBBOCK, Texas -- Seth Doege threw for three touchdowns and 326 yards to lead Texas Tech to a 50-10 win over Texas State on Saturday night.

The Red Raiders fell behind early but rallied and held the Bobcats scoreless after the first quarter.

Doege, who played most of the game, went 23 for 33. He threw two touchdown passes for 20 yards and one for 10.

Eric Stephens ran for two touchdowns -- one a 46-yarder where he went untouched up the middle to put the Red Raiders up 23-10. He finished with 118 yards on 21 carries.

Darrin Moore, Doege's favorite target, caught 12 passes for 221 yards.

The Bobcats (0-1) started off solid with an option-type ground game that gave Texas Tech's defense fits. Three of the Bobcats' four fumbles, by quarterback Shaun Rutherford and running backs Marcus Curry and Terrence Franks, led to touchdowns for the Red Raiders (0-1).

Once Texas Tech's offense got on track they moved easily down the field, mixing its pass-heavy offense with the run. The Red Raiders actually ran more than they passed but got more yards in the air. Texas Tech got 157 yards on 33 carries.

The Red Raiders didn't give up a lot of points but the Bobcats chewed up yardage on the ground. Rutherford, who had 82 yards on 12 carries and used Curry, Franks and Tim Hawkins out of the backfield, appeared to flummox the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech gave up 256 yards on 50 rushes by the Bobcats. That's more yardage than they gave up on the ground last season (162 yards per game).

Texas State moved the ball easily on the ground in the first quarter and built a 10-0 lead. The Bobcats also got help with sloppy tackling by Texas Tech.

Texas State got a 40-yard field goal on its first drive and then got the ball right back. Matt Harris forced a fumble after Darrin Moore caught a 5-yard pass from Doege.

Darryl Morris recovered the ball on Texas Tech's 41. Texas State kept in on the ground and Marcus Curry scored on a 7-yard run to go up 10-0.

The Red Raiders got a break when Will Johnson kicked the ball out of bounds, giving Texas Tech the ball its own 40. Two plays later, Doege found Moore along the near sideline and he pulled in a 41-yarder over his shoulder and down to the Bobcats 10.

The junior quarterback hit Brad Marquez on a fade pass in the corner of the end zone to trail 10-7 late in the first quarter.

The Bobcats got pinned at their own 1 on the kickoff when Isaiah Bell and Derek Lopez collided on the kickoff. That field position wasn't what hurt Texas State, though.

On the next play quarterback Shaun Rutherford threw the ball out of bounds, but he hadn't left the pocket and was still in the end zone, which gave Texas Tech a safety and a 10-9 deficit going into the second quarter.

Texas State (0-0) at Texas Tech (0-0) Sept. 3, 7:00
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Here’s The Deal … Texas State is one of the WAC’s answers to losing all the good programs to the Mountain West next year. While the program is on the rise as former TCU/Alabama/Texas A&M head man Dennis Franchione is building things up, it’s going to take a while before this is an FBS team in more than just name. The Bobcats get one more year in the Southland Conference as a token program – it’s not eligible to win the conference title – and then it’s off to the WAC. In the meantime, it’s going to try to get paid in Lubbock.

Texas Tech is coming off a disappointing 8-5 season, and while all the buzz is gone from the good old days from the Mike Leach era, Tommy Tuberville is recruiting well and he has the program looking strong for down the road. However, with the Big 12 changing, it’ll take more of the Red Raider fireworks of old, and an improved defense, to rise up and become a factor in the title chase. With this layup followed up by another breather at New Mexico, the Red Raiders will have time to work out all the kinks and they’re going to get time for several new parts of the offensive puzzle to see the field. Even though this game is supposed to be used as a preseason warm up before the bigger games, if Tech doesn’t put up astronomical numbers in an easy win, the panic sirens will go off.

Why Texas State Might Win: Has Texas Tech been able to improve the defense? You and ten friends could’ve put thrown for close to 300 yards on the Red Raider secondary last year, and while the D looks like it should be better, and the 4-2-5 alignment should be more aggressive, there are some extremely green players at some key spots. No, Texas State isn’t going to have the firepower or the talent to keep up the pace, but it gets a big boost at quarterback with Tyler Arndt back after missing a big chunk of last year with a torn ACL. The spread attack should keep the still-emerging Red Raider defense on its toes, and if Arndt is back to form, TSU should be able to move the ball.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: Texas State doesn’t have a secondary. The defensive backfield struggled throughout last year against the sharper passers, finishing 93rd in the FCS in pass efficiency defense while allowing 207 yards per game. Darryl Morris is a good, all-conference caliber corner, but that’s it. Considering TSU doesn’t have any semblance of a pass rush, the Red Raider quarterbacks will have ten days to throw against the green secondary. Everyone else is new and the Bobcats will have to weather the storm of a Texas Tech passing game that’s going to turn it loose just to show it can. Yes, the Red Raiders really do want to balance out the offense a bit, and no, Tuberville won’t blow up the stats like Leach would’ve, but 400 yards through the air is a must.

What To Watch Out For: Alright, Seth Doege, the job is yours. It was sort of assumed that he’d be the new Texas Tech starting quarterback, but it took all summer to beat out Scotty Young, Jacob Karam, and Michael Brewer for the keys to the car. A big-time recruit in 2008, Doege was expected to be the next superstar in the high-octane passing attack, he has the arm and he has the accuracy, but he has to show that he can actually play in live action again after not seeing regular work for five years, missing his final two years in high school hurt. However, his 2,439-yard, 27-touchdown season as a high school sophomore was enough for several top programs to get interested. The spotlight is on, and while he won’t put up typical Texas Tech quarterback numbers this year with a shift to a more balanced attack, he needs to light up the bad TSU secondary like a Christmas tree.

What Will Happen: Texas State will show good improvement ... next week against Wyoming. This is the true essence of a tune-up game for Texas Tech, who'll use this game to try out several quarterbacks and to see if the running game can do more. Doege will be phenomenal, but so will the backups. The Red Raiders really will be balanced offensively, while the defense will temporarily be good enough to let the fans think things have changed. Call this a learning experience for the Bobcats.

CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 50 ... Texas State 17

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