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College Football Analysis: Future of Texas Tech Red Raiders

2010 Record: (8-5, 3-5 in Big 12)

Head Coach: Tommy Tuberville (2nd Yr at TT, 118-65 All-Time)

Last Bowl Game: 2010/2011 TicketCity Bowl (beat Northwestern 45-38)

CFBZ Texas Tech Links

2010 Season Exit Survey

Big 12 Roundtable

Pre-Spring All-Big 12 Team

Returning Big 12 Offensive Firepower


9/3: Texas State

9/17: at New Mexico (2010 result: won 52-17)

9/24: Nevada

10/1: at Kansas (2009 result: won 42-21)

10/8: Texas A&M (2010 result: lost 45-27)

10/15: Kansas State (2009 result: won 66-14)

10/22: at Oklahoma (2010 result: lost 45-7)

10/29: Iowa State (2010 result: lost 52-38)

11/5: at Texas (2010 result: lost 24-14)

11/12: Oklahoma State (2010 result: lost 34-17)

11/19: at Missouri (2010 result: won 24-17)

11/26: Baylor (2010 result: won 45-38)

2010 Offensive Statistics:

Scoring: 33.1 ppg (4th in Big 12, 23rd in Nation)

Rushing Yds/Game: 141.31 yds/game (9th in Big 12, 75th in Nation)

Passing Yds/Game: 318.9 yds/game (3rd in Big 12, 7th in Nation)

Total Yds/Game: 460.2 yds/game (4th in Big 12, 15th in Nation)

2010 Defensive Statistics:

Scoring: 30.9 ppg (11th in Big 12, 93rd in Nation)

Rushing Yds/Game: 162.54 yds/game (8th in Big 12, 69th in Nation)

Passing Yds/Game: 293.8 yds/game (last in Big 12, 118th in Nation)

Total Yds/Game: 456.3 yds/game (last in Big 12, 114th in Nation)

2010 Misc Stats:

Turnover Margin: -0.23 per game (9th in Big 12, 70th in Nation)

Penalties: 60.1 yds/game (8th in Big 12, 96th in Nation)

Returning Starters:

Offense: 7

Defense: 7

Kicker/Punter: 0

Top Returning Statistical Leaders:

Passing: QB Seth Doege, Jr (3 of 4 for 58 yds)

Rushing: RB Eric Stephens, Jr (127 for 668 yds, 5.2 ypc, 6 TD)

Receiving: WR Alexander Torres, Jr (39 rec for 481 yds, 3 TD)

Tackles: S Cody Davis, Jr (87)

Sacks: DE Scott Smith, Sr (3)

Interceptions: DB Jarvis Phillips, Soph (4)

Bowl Predictions:

Athlon: Holiday (vs Arizona St)

Phil Steele: Holiday (vs Arizona St)

Tommy Tuberville had a decent first year at Texas Tech. He led the team to a 8-5 record including 5 out of conference wins. Tuberville led the Red Raiders to a good win over a highly rated Missouri team in November but also lost to Iowa State in October.

Offensively, Tuberville was a bit out of his comfort zone but used his talent well as the Red Raiders finished in the Top 20 of the Nation in passing yards and total yardage. On the other side of the football is where most of the issues were last season as they gave up 30 or more points in 6 of their 13 games. The second year of the Tommy Tuberville era in Lubbock will be a very intriguing one. Nebraska is gone from the Big 12 and Texas had a really down year last year. Can Texas Tech take advantage of this or will the early Big 12 favorites (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M) keep them towards the middle of the pack? We talked to Seth over at Double-T Nation to get a local perspective on the 2011 Red Raiders. Make sure you check out Seth's site and follow him on Twitter @doubletnation as he's one of the good guys.

After his first year what are your overall thoughts on Tommy Tuberville?

I may be in the minority, but I think he's done a nice job.  That's not the greatest compliment, but it's also not the worst.  Tuberville walked into a job when there were a lot of fans that weren't happy with the way that Leach was terminated and I think that half of the season last year was spent on a lot of fans still dealing with those emotions. 

Nevertheless, as to the performance on the field, I think that Tuberville got it right with his hire for offensive coordinator, Neal Brown, who didn't necessarily keep pace with what Leach did, but the offense still performed to be in the top 10 last year.  Brown has mentioned, as have some of the offensive players, that they want to be more explosive this year, which is one of the places where Texas Tech was not as good last year and I think that bodes well for Texas Tech this year. 

Defensively, it appears in retrospect that the hire of James Willis as defensive coordinator wasn't a good hire.  He tried to implement a 3-4 defensive scheme that just didn't work because I don't think Texas Tech had the athletes to play man-to-man coverage on the outside receives and never really pressured the quarterback.  Willis was let go during the offseason and because hope always springs eternal, Tuberville hired TCU's secondary coach, Chad Glasgow, who will implement a 4-2-5 defense and I think that the personnel at Texas Tech will be able to adapt to that much quicker.

With the personnel that he inherited Tuberville threw the ball a lot last year. Do you see him moving back to a more grounded style in the future or will he continue Tech's history of throwing the ball around?

A lot has been made about Tuberville's desire to run the ball more and there were a lot of people who speculated that Tuberville would forgo the spread offense to a more traditional offense.  I do think that Tuberville has learned from his mistakes, which is don't try to implement an offense when you don't have the personnel.  Texas Tech ran the ball about 40% of the time and I'd expect Texas Tech to continue that trend this year.  If the spring game is any indication, Tuberville and Brown will want to continue to throw the ball and spread the field.  I'd also guess that what Leach did while at Texas Tech, which is run the ball only about 30% of the time (these are rough estimates) won't happen while Tuberville is in charge, but I also don't think you'll see a 50/50 split any time soon, or at least not while Brown is the offensive coordinator.

The defense struggled last year giving up the most yards and second most points in the Big 12. Who needs to step up this year to help get this corrected?

Everyone.  Last year was a tough year to watch, and as mentioned above, I think a lot of it had to do with trying to implement a pressure 3-4 defense that plays man coverage with the cornerbacks.  Previously, the defense was a 4-3 with zone coverage and although fans were frustrated with that bend-but-don't-break style of play, it did create an opportunity to force the offense to maintain consistent drives for long period of times, which created stops.  Last year, the Texas Tech defense gave up lots of big plays and just never had an answer for opposing offenses, especially if those offenses had decent talent at the receiver position.  As to the actual players, I think that you'll see returning players like CB Tre' Porter and S Terrance Bullitt make significant strides defensively, while JUCO DE/DT Leon Mackey will hopefully make a significant impact and DT Delvon Simmons LB Blake Dees I think will receive playing time early and often this year. 

Texas Tech losses some big contributors on offense. Who are some of the new faces that should make a splash?

The entire offensive line returns as does often starters IR Alexander Torres and IR Austin Zouzalik.  With that being said, Texas Tech will have to replace significant players in RB Baron Batch, WR Lyle Leong and WR Detron Lewis.  At running back, expect Eric Stephens to pick up where Batch left off and freshman RB Ronnie Daniels to see time in the backfield, along with RB Ben McRoy.  At wide reciever, a lot of Texas Tech fans are hoping that WR Eric Ward finally makes the leap from highly recruited receiver to productive college player.  Also, JUCO WR Marcus Kennard should see significant time as well.  He's got all the tools to be an outstanding receiver, 6-4/205 and 40-yard dash time of 4.5.

Looking at the schedule, what are the most important games this year?

In my opinion, it's a tough schedule, playing both UT and OU on the road.  Add in Missouri who almost always plays well at home and those are three road games that will be difficult to win.  With TAMU and Oklahoma St. being so good offensively, especially for a defense that struggled last year, will also be a tough home games.  Still, I think there seven very winnable games on the schedule.  Overall, I think you could make a case that every conference game is important as I think Texas Tech fans are really wanting to see improvement and a team that competes each and every game.  I think a lot of Texas Tech fans hate the fact that Texas Tech lost to what turned out to be a very beatable Texas team last year.  The offense was ineffective and while the defense played okay, for me obviously, I want to see wins, but I want this team to show up each and every game ready to play on both sides of the ball.

What is your gut feeling on the final record for the 2011 season and what makes the season successful in your eyes?

Breaking in a new quarterback, Seth Doege, is always tough, but he's had three years learning, including two under Leach.  Last year, I had the over/under at 8.5 wins and I think that's a pretty fair mark.  If I had to pick now, I'd say 8 wins is okay, I don't think I'll be happy with that, but if this team can get 9 wins, with so many questions on defense and then return Doege as a senior in 2012 with UT and OU at home as well as improved recruiting (which will hopefully have an impact by 2012) then I think a lot of Texas Tech fans are realistically thinking that 2011 is going to be tough, but 2012 this team should show significant improvement. 

Coming In August: Big 12 Preview

Next Preview: Penn State

2011 Team Previews

ACC- Boston College, Clemson, Miami

Big 12- Baylor

Big East- Louisville

Big Ten- Minnesota

C-USA- East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, SMU, Southern Mississippi, UAB, UCF

Independent- Army

MAC- Ball St, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Temple, Toledo

MWC- New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming

Sun Belt- FAU, FIU, Louisiana, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Troy, ULM, Western Kentucky

WAC- Idaho, San Jose St


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