Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Texas Tech Red Raiders 2010 Review

2010 Record: 8-5 (3-5), 5th Big 12 South
2010 Bowl Game: Ticket City Bowl, Defeated Northwestern 45-38
2010 Schedule/Results: SMU, W 35-27, @ New Mexico, W 52-17, Texas, L 24-14, @ Iowa State, L 52-38, Baylor, W 45-38, Oklahoma State, L 34-17, @ Colorado, W 27-24, @ Texas A&M, L 45-27, Missouri, W 24-17, @ Oklahoma, L 45-7, Weber State, W 64-21, Houston, W 35-20


     It was fairly obvious from day one that the Mike Leach era was over with at Tech. Tommy Tubberville is a different kind of coach, and a wide open, pass happy system is not his comfort zone. The current roster was not a prime fit for Tubberville's philosophy, so now begins the task of molding it more to his liking.
     Taylor Potts finished his Red Raider career by performing very nicely in a difficult and strange situation. Potts was learning a scaled down version of his former offense, but still managed to pass for 3726 yards and 35 TDs with just 9 picks amongst his 550 attempts on the season. The scary part of things for 2011 at the QB position will be the extreme lack of experience, as both Potts and top backup Steven Sheffield both will be moving on, leaving Seth Droege and his 13 pass attempts as the most experience left on the roster.
     Baron Batch and Eric Stephens both worked a bunch at the RB position, but Tubberville has had success at Auburn with multiple back philosophies. Batch rushed for 816 yards, with Stephens rushing for 668. They combined for 11 scores on the season, but with Batch on his way out, Stephens will likely get a bigger share of work in 2011 as a junior.
     Lyle Leong never busted 1000 yards, but he sure did score like he did. Despite his shortfall, Leong was still an all Big 12 performer in 2010, as he ran with a line of 74-926-19. That's right, 19 TDs on the season. Very nice. Detron Lewis actually outworked him on the reception end, as he posted 87-852-6. Alexander Torres and Austin Zouzalik also busted more than 40 receptions on the season.
     LB Bront Bird finished his Red Raider career on a high note as the only Tech player to bust the 100 tackle mark in 2010. Bird finished with 106, 71 of which were solo. Sophomore Cody Davis finished second with 87 on the season.
     LB Brian Duncan, also a senior was the only Red Raider that picked up double digits in making plays behind the line with 12 TFLs on the season. That's important to note, because the Red Raiders were porous up front, allowing 157 yards rushing per game. Duncan also led the team with just 7 sacks, also important to note due to the lack of pressure allowing opposing teams to pass for 306.1 yards per game. In all, Texas Tech allowed 463.1 yards per game.
     Freshman Jarvis Phillips was the only defender making plays on the ball in the secondary, as he picked 10 pass breakups in 2010. Nobody else came close, and Phillips also led the team with 4 picks. That's a lot to ask of a freshman.
     Senior Matt Williams was solid when asked to kick, although it was not often. He nailed 9 of his 11 FG attempts. In doing so, he did everything that could have been asked. Jonathon LaCour struggled as the senior punter, only averaging 39.3 yards per punt on the season. Donnie Carona, a junior, also punted, and was much better, averaging 47.5 yards on just 10 punts. He will be the frontrunner for the job in 2011.

Well, the wheels did not completely come off of the wagon for the Red Raiders after Mike Leach wasfired, but there was a major shift in the landscape in Lubbock, as Tubberville did not have the same magic, and likely never will. What Leach did for Tech was pure magic, despite his whacky demeanor. Tech was a senior laden team, and most of the statistical leaders were seniors, leaving a great deal of production void at several positions in 2011. It's going to take some magic to make it work next season, even in a scaled down conference. Unfortunately, I do not see Tech fairing well in 2011.

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