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June 3, 2009

2008 Season in Review: UMass

All summer long we have been looking back at the Red Raiders' 2008 campaign game-by-game, and today we feature the final non-conference contest of the season. Texas Tech clobbered the University of Massachusetts behind the legs of Shannon Woods and Baron Batch as together they gouged the Minuteman defense for more than 160 yards on the ground. In the aftermath they basked in the victory.

RECAP: The final score was 56-14 Texas Tech over Massachusetts, but even that wide margin does not indicate how thoroughly the Red Raiders dominated the game. Hence, Tech led 42-7 at the halftime break with UMass' only score coming on a 53-yard fumble return off of a pass to Tramain Swindall that the Red Raiders thought had been ruled incomplete. Tech opened up the second half with yet another touchdown on Massachusetts' opening possession to make the score 49-7. Taylor Potts played the final 11 minutes of the contest, and the Minutemen's only offensive touchdown came on a two-yard run with 51 seconds remaining in the game. And oh yeah, Swindall, Michael Crabtree and Detron Lewis all dropped touchdown passes.

STAR OF THE SHOW: The running game was certainly clicking well for the Red Raiders early in the 2008 season. If it wasn't Baron Batch, then it was the starter Shannon Woods. And it was indeed Woods who had the big night against the Minutemen. He dashed for 108 yards on an amazing 10 carries. Woods also rushed for three touchdowns, one a lengthy sprint of 38 yards, and caught three balls for 53 yards. Bye bye to the bad old Shannon Woods; hello to the new and improved model.

KEY MOMENT: There was no key moment in this game per se. The Red Raiders thoroughly dominated an outclassed opponent and the game was never in doubt. The first play of the game will suffice as well as any in this regard. Graham Harrell hit Lyle Leong for a nine-yard gain that immediately put Tech in UMass territory at the 49-yard line. From that moment on, the vast majority of the contest was played on Massachusetts' side of the field.

BIGGEST PLAY: Well the longest play for the Red Raiders was actually a defensive play. And it was pretty big, too. On UMass' opening possession of the second half Tech safety Darcel McBath stepped in front of a Liam Coen pass at the Minuteman 45 yard line and took it to the house to give the home team a 49-7 lead. If Massachusetts had any hopes of making this game respectable, McBath's pick-six squelched them.

STAT OF THE GAME: Graham Harrell's 79-percent completion percentage was mighty nasty. He hit 27 of 34 passes and did not throw an interception, while connecting on four touchdowns (keep in mind that three other touchdown passes were dropped). When an Air Raid quarterback is that efficient it means that he is not being molested and that receivers are running free in the secondary. And when those things happen the opposition's only hope is to score 60 or more points.


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