January 2, 2007

Grading Tech's effort against Minnesota

For two and a half quarters the Texas Tech Red Raiders looked as though they had forgotten how to play the game of football. Perhaps a month and a half away from a real game will do that to a team. Be that as it may, the Red Raiders recalled their lessons just in time to stage the greatest comeback in college bowl game history. Tech, therefore, gets high marks for responding to a difficult test under adverse conditions.

QUARTERBACK: As with the rest of the Red Raiders, the beginning was not an auspicious one for Graham Harrell. His throws were errant early on, which resulted in an interception that led to a touchdown. His feet failed him on a fourth down quarterback sneak that also led to a Minnesota touchdown. And his pocket sense let him down on a sack deep in Gopher territory that blunted a certain Tech scoring drive. Outside of that he played a near perfect game. Harrell threw for 445 yards, but most important, he didn't throw in the towel despite being presented with every opportunity to do so. Grade: B+

RUNNING BACK: Unlike most of his teammates, Shannon Woods couldn't be faulted overmuch for the first half debacle. He played pretty well throughout even though he got very little help. And in the second half, as the Air Raid sprang to life in earnest, Woods turned into an irresistible force. For the game he logged 109 rushing yards on 19 carries (a heavy workload for him), and caught three passes for 19 yards. Woods also scored Tech's first touchdown and its last, which vaulted the Red Raiders into the history books. Fullback David Schaefer had a good night blocking as well. Grade: A

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