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September 22, 2011
Ultimate Preview: Nevada
Preview: Offense | Defense • Ask The Expert • Matchups • Game Predictions
When it came time to rating quarterback Seth Doege's record-setting performance in Texas Tech's win over New Mexico, coach Tommy Tuberville looked beyond Doege's 40 completions in 44 attempts.
"The thing that I was most impressed with, I know he can throw the ball, but you gotta throw it to the right guy and the person that's open and go through your reads," Tuberville said. "And I was more impressed with that than I was the 40 completions of throwing it to the right guy.
"And Saturday he was on."
No doubt about that. Doege threw for 401 yards and five touchdowns in Tech's 59-13 romp past the Lobos.
Is a repeat coming when Tech is host to Nevada?
The Wolf Pack gave up 69 points to Oregon in its last outing, but Doege is taking nothing for granted.
"I know they're going to be ready to play us," Doege said. "So I think we need to concentrate on improving this week and being ready to play."
The home game against the Wolf Pack will wrap up Tech's non-conference schedule. The Raiders open Big 12 play at Kansas on Oct. 1.
-- Sports Xchange
THREE WOLF PACKERS WATCH
RB Mike Ball - 43 att., 223 yards, two TDs - Ball is the reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 124 yards and two scores against San Jose State. He ranks fourth in the WAC in all-purpose yards and is the only Nevada player to have caught a touchdown pass this season.
LB Brandon Marshall - 18 tackles, TFL, FF - Marshall leads Nevada and ranks fourth in the WAC in tackles. He is one of four Wolf Packers to notch a TFL on the season, and one of three defenders that has forced a turnover.
WR Rishard Matthews - 15 rec., 177 yards - Matthews, Nevada's leading receiver from a year ago, is the team's only real weapon in the passing game. His 7.5 receptions per game average leads the WAC, and he ranks third in the conference in yards per game.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Tap The Brakes: When coming off of a blowout victory, it's important to not be overconfident. Since the Red Raiders curb stomped New Mexico 59-13, there's a possibility of overlooking an opponent like Nevada who got checked by Oregon two weeks ago. If Tech looks past the Wolf Pack, they may be in for a wild ride similar to the Texas State game.
Go With The Flow: After seeing how quickly Tech's offense can get into a groove, it's clear that they'll absolutely clown a few defenses this year. Several players and coaches said that just taking what the defense gives them was a key to the rhythm, so it will be important for Tech to do the same thing against Nevada's defense this week. Find a groove and roll with it.
Pistol Whipped: The Red Raiders frequently loaded the box with seven or even eight defenders against New Mexico, and I think they'll have to do the same thing in order to stop Nevada's potent run game. However, Tech's secondary will have to step up this week. They got lucky on several overthrown deep balls against the Lobos, and luck eventually runs out. Tech must play well against the run, but must also play much tighter coverage than they did a week ago. Nevada will gash you one way or another if you don't.
• Texas Tech is 48-9 in home games since 2002, a winning percentage of 0.842 that ranks third in the Big 12 behind Texas and Oklahoma. In non-conference home games, Tech is 27-1 since 2000, beating their opponents by an average score of 48-16.
• Tech lists 12 freshmen on its depth chart for this week, including three on the offensive line. LB Blake Dees and LB Sam Eguavoen are the only true freshmen that are expected to start on Saturday, but WR Bradley Marquez and DE Kindred Evans are listed as co-starters.
• The Red Raiders are currently riding a five-game winning streak, second only to Oklahoma (7) in the Big 12.
• DE Leon Mackey suffered a deflated lung injury as a result of a hit he took in the opener against Texas State and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks, if not the season.
• Reserve LB Sam Fehoko and DL Pearlie Graves voluntarily left the Red Raider football program last week.