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Texas Tech 59 ... at New Mexico 13

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 17, 2011


Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Texas Tech at New Mexico


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Texas Tech at New Mexico

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Sept. 17 Texas Tech 59 ... at New Mexico 13
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Seth Doege threw for 401 yards and five touchdowns to lead Texas Tech to a 59-13 victory against New Mexico on Saturday.

Doege tied a school record by completing his first 15 passes en route to finishing 40 for 44 -- a 90.9 completion percentage, a national record for quarterbacks with at least 40 completions.

"It's a tribute to the entire offense," Doege said. "The receivers caught some balls that probably shouldn't have been caught.

"I think I got hit one time, and that was my own fault because I called out the wrong blocking assignment."

Darrin Moore caught nine passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns for the Red Raiders (2-0). Eric Ward had two TD receptions.

Deon Long had three catches for 139 yards for the Lobos (0-3), including a 69-yarder to set up their only touchdown. New Mexico has been outscored 127-26 this season.

Texas Tech amassed 624 yards of offense.

Two lightning delays postponed the game a total of 95 minutes.

The Red Raiders built a 28-0 first-half lead behind Doege's hot hand. After his first incompletion, he connected on his next seven passes.

"It's pretty wild for an offense to be on like that," Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. "It all started with protection. He got hit quite a bit in the first game, but I don't think he got hit much today.

"When you are as proficient as we were today, it makes it easier on everybody."

Texas Tech(1-0) at New Mexico (0-2) Sept. 17, 3:30, Versus

Here’s The Deal … The geographic rivals have played off and on since 1932, with Texas Tech – from the Border Conference – kicking off the series with a 39-6 win over league rival New Mexico. The problem is that it hasn’t been much of a series, with the Red Raiders going 34-6-2 and after a brief hiatus, winning the last two by a combined score of 100 to 45. This year, Texas Tech might not be a juggernaut, but the gap between the two teams might be farther apart than ever.

New Mexico can’t turn it around under head coach Mike Locksley, opening up the year with a home loss to Colorado State before getting destroyed by Arkansas. The offense can’t find anything that works, and the defense has been shelled for years and hasn’t shown any signs of improvement. The break comes next week with Sam Houston State coming to town before the rivalry date with New Mexico State, but first, simply making the Texas Tech game interesting would be a nice boost.

The Red Raider are flying under everyone’s radar. There isn’t a recognizable name to promote, and the defense that has so much potential is going to be a work in progress for a little while, but everything was humming from the start in a 50-10 win over Texas State, cranking out 505 yards of total offense in the laugher. There’s work to be done on the defensive front, and the O line has to be stronger than it was in the opener, and this is the time to jell with Nevada up next and the Big 12 opener at Kansas to follow.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: The New Mexico secondary is awful, and the lines are worse. The only way to beat Texas Tech is to generate a steady pass rush, and in the first two games the Lobos haven’t applied anything more than a stiff breeze on the quarterbacks. The three sacks in two games aren’t too bad, but the pressure hasn’t been consistent and the plays in the backfield have been spotty. On the offensive line, the pass protection has been non-existent, getting ripped up for ten sacks in two weeks. Texas Tech should be able to throw off the Lobo passing game without doing anything creative, while the Red Raider passing attack should put up video game-like numbers against a defense that let Colorado State’s Pete Thomas completed 22-of-26 passes and gave up 373 yards and two scores to the Arkansas quarterbacks.

Why New Mexico Might Win: The Texas Tech secondary was supposed to be the concern to start the season, but against the quirky Texas State running game, it was the defensive front that had a hard time. The game was never in doubt, but the Bobcats were able to run for 256 yards and jumped out to a 10-9 first quarter lead by being creative and working the ground attack inside and out. Texas Tech was able to score quickly, but TSU was able to hang on to the ball and crank out a few long drives to control the pace of the game – at least a little bit – when the score started to get out of hand. The Lobo offensive line might be a problem, but the backfield has just enough athleticism and just enough promise to get the ground game moving to shorten the game and keep the score down.

What To Watch Out For: Who is Darrin Moore? The Texas Tech junior inside receiver made a little bit of noise last year, catching 15 passes for 117 yards and a score, and against Texas State, he turned into Michael Crabtree. At 6-4 and 210 pounds he has tremendous size to go along with good hands, and he showed he could be a reliable target with 12 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago, and now he has to show he can be consistent on the inside. Helping to take the heat off, and possibly being the team’s No. 1 target, is Alex Torres, a 6-1, 199-pound veteran who finished third on the team with 39 catches for 481 yards and three scores. He’ll get the first look at the Y after starting out his career on the outside. He was never right last year, having a hard time staying healthy, but when he’s at full-tilt he’s a fantastic talent who can be a star. Not only does he cut on a dime and run precise routes, but he catches everything that comes his way.

New Mexico needs more firepower, and that could be a problem with some of the key parts of the puzzle banged up. Running back Kasey Carrier was supposed to be a top runner this year after running for a team-leading 373 yards last season, but he hasn’t been able to get a sore ankle healthy enough to make the cuts he needs to. Ohio State transfer Lamaar Thomas made seven catches in the first two games and is expected to grow into one of the team’s top deep threats, but he’s out for at least the next several weeks with an injured back.

What Will Happen: Texas Tech will be able to do whatever it wants. New Mexico simply doesn’t have the offensive line to keep the Red Raiders out of the backfield and it doesn’t have the offense to match Seth Doege and a passing game that should be able to crank out 400 yards without breathing too hard. The Lobos, though, will come up with its best offensive production this season, getting into the end zone twice.

CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 48 … New Mexico 17
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Texas Tech -20    O/U: 56.5

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