September 17, 2011

Offense puts concerns to rest

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., - Texas Tech head football coach Tommy Tuberville told his coaching staff not to over coach the Red Raiders during two lightning delays which added more than an hour and 25 minutes to the Tech-New Mexico game Saturday in Albuquerque. If it's not broken, why fix it?

Tech started red hot against New Mexico thanks in large part to quarterback Seth Doege who opened the game completing 15-of-15 passes on his way to completing 40-of-44 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns - a new NCAA record for completion percentage for a quarterback that completes more than 40 passes in a game.

Three of Doege's four incompletions landed within proximity of a receiver in the endzone.

"I didn't know anything about a record until that last play (I played)," Doege said after the game. "It's a tribute to the entire offense. It was as good as it could have been. 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."

Doege and Tuberville seemed more excited that the Red Raiders were able to get clicking as early as it did considering Tech was coming off a bye week than they did about the NCAA record.

"I thought we came out and played well after an open date," Tuberville said in his opening statement. "It's pretty unusual for an offense to be on like that. But what a day. It all started with protection. We challenged our offensive line the last 10 to 12 days.
"Our quarterback got hit quite a bit in the first game. I don't think he got touched today. That enables you to set back in the pocket and get the ball off and make plays. It was a fun day and I'm proud of Seth."

Doege wasn't the only guy to get involved with the Red Raider passing game.

Tech also took over the team passing completion percentage for teams with over 40 attempts in a game, completing 45-of-50 total passes Saturday.

Inside receiver Austin Zouzalik, a quarterback in high school, threw a 26-yard pass to wideout Darrin Moore on a trick play and backup quarterback Jacob Karam completed four-of-five passes for 19 yards while closing out New Mexico.

Other, minor, recent school milestones came close to being beaten.

Receiver Darrin Moore tied now San Francisco 49er Michael Crabtree's career-high three touchdowns in a first half set back against Oklahoma State in 2007. Running back Eric Stephens fell three yards shy of tying former running back Shannon Woods' 80 yards in a half, a record set against Massachusetts in 2008.

Not bad at all for an offense that wanted to start out hot and finish hotter after starting its first game by helping Texas State get out to a 10-0 lead.

"We improved a lot during the off week that we had," receiver Eric Ward said. "We focused on things we weren't as good at during that time and capitalized on them today. I think we did good, real good."

With an offense moving the ball as successfully as the Red Raiders did, only a lightning storm could shut them down. But the storm was the only thing that could stop the Red Raiders this shining Saturday.

"That's the best we looked," Tuberville said. "I was a little nervous going into this game after the way we played the first game. On the road… Very good second game and if we can continue to make that kind of improvement every week we'll have a chance.

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