college football picks Texas Tech at New Mexico 9-11-10

September 10, 2010


DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 11th, 8:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: University Stadium (37,000) — Albuquerque, New Mexico. Television: The Mountain. Home Record: Texas Tech 1-0, New Mexico 0-0. Away Record: Texas Tech 0-0, New Mexico 0-1. Neutral Record: Texas Tech 0-0, New Mexico 0-0. Conference Record: Texas Tech 0-0, New Mexico 0-0. Series Record: Texas Tech leads, 33-6-2.

GAME NOTES: The Texas Tech Red Raiders invade University Stadium in Albuquerque for a non-conference clash with the New Mexico Lobos.

Texas Tech fended off a gritty SMU squad in its season opener, 35-27, in the debut of new head coach Tommy Tuberville’s. If there were any questions whether the Red Raiders’ elite passing attack would keep churning along with Tuberville at the helm, those questions were answered by quarterback Taylor Potts and the offense. Texas Tech is looking to build some momentum heading into next week’s showdown with Texas.

Meanwhile, New Mexico is coming off an embarrassing showing in last Saturday’s 72-0 loss at Oregon. The Lobos were inept on both sides of the ball, and a slew of turnovers turned the game into a laugher rather quickly. The special teams is also a significant problem area after the Ducks ran back two punts for scores.

In terms of the all-time series between these two schools, Texas Tech holds a 33-6-2 advantage.

Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts picked up right where he left off from his MVP performance of the 2009 Alamo Bowl. Potts picked apart the SMU secondary by completing 34-of-53 passes for 359 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Lyle Leong caught three of those touchdown passes and finished with an impressive 142 yards on 11 catches. The offense converted 9-of-18 third downs and got into the end zone on all five of its red-zone trips. If there was one soft spot, it was the run game as Baron Batch found little running room and finished with just 52 yards on 15 carries (3.5 ypc).

Defensively, Texas Tech came away with three interceptions against SMU quarterback Kyle Padron, who finished with 218 passing yards. The Red Raiders’ pass rush was in mid-season form, compiling five sacks for the game. Senior linebacker Brian Duncan had three of those sacks. Mustangs’ running back Zach Line did catch the Tech defense off guard a few times, as he picked up 72 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. Franklin Mitchem led the Tech defense with six tackles and a fumble recovery.

New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley knew his team would have to put forth a near flawless game in order to stand toe to toe with Oregon. Instead, the offense committed five turnovers and all but gift-wrapped an easy victory for the high-flying Ducks. And when they weren’t turning the ball over, the Lobos weren’t exactly moving it, as they finished with just 107 total yards. B.R. Holbrook made his first start under center for UNM and finished with two interceptions and just 70 yards on 11-of-24 passing. Demond Dennis was the top rusher with 10 yards on 11 carries, as the Lobos managed a mere eight first downs for the game.

All of those turnovers certainly didn’t make things any easier on the New Mexico defense. The Lobos trailed 59-0 at halftime and the second half was merely a formality. By game’s end, they had allowed a staggering 720 yards of total offense. Oregon moved the chains at will, converting 13-of-19 third downs and racking up 35 first downs. Sophomore linebacker Joe Stoner came up with an interception to end Oregon’s very first drive, but that was the last big moment for the New Mexico defense. A.J. Butler led the team with 10 tackles.

Scheduling Oregon and Texas Tech in the first two weeks of the season was supposed to ultimately benefit the Lobos in the long run. However, it likely wouldn’t have mattered who they played last week with the barrage of miscues. And unfortunately the film from this week’s game is likely to include more of the same, with Texas Tech lighting up the scoreboard and filtering in subs in the second half.

FREE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS : Texas Tech 52, New Mexico 10

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