Texas Tech is playing this season as a member of the elite. A top ten ranking will draw the attention of your opponents. So far the results have been mixed, good games mixed in with not so good games, such as last week against Nebraska. On the other side of the ball this week are the Texas Aggies. Under first year coach Mike Sherman they have been terrible. Apparently Fran did not leave much talent on campus when he departed after the Texas game last week. Maybe he knew it would be wise to miss out on this season. The Red Raiders will visit the Aggies this week and the new rivalry between the two will heat up again. (Aggies, having a rivalry with Tech may not be such a bad thing.)
THIS WEEK’S GAME:
Texas A&M enters this game having lost its first two conference games this season. The Aggie offensive however has out gained it’s opponents the last three games averaging 473 yards a game in Big 12 play. Last week Aggie signal caller Jerrod Johnson set a school record with 487 total yards and 419 yards passing. He completed 29 passes, 21 to freshman receivers. Johnson is playing for the injured Stephen McGee. Johnson is 31-44 in third down throws, that’s 70% for you math wizards. Redshirt freshman Ryan Tannehill, the third string quarterback now playing receiver, had 12 catches for 210 yards, becoming just the 4th Aggie to collect over 200 yards receiving in a game. True freshman Jeff Fuller has set the Aggie freshman receiver record for touchdowns. Tannehill and Fuller will battle the rest of the season for the freshman receiving records. It’s a bit harder to find something good to say about the defense. Freshman Trent Hunter has been a bright spot for the Aggies. In his first start ever against Army, he recorded 17 tackles from his defensive back position and was awarded the Big 12 Defensive Player of the game. Punter Justin Brantly is the nations #3 punter with a 44.0 yard average. Maybe A&M can be known as “Punter U”
Texas Tech is of course known for its high flying offensive. Tech has 3 of the top 20 offensive games this season, with 693 yards against SMU, 639 yards against Eastern Washington, and 626 yards at Kansas State. They are averaging 46.3 points per game, which if it holds up would be a school record. They are led by quarterback Graham Harrell who has 12,993 career passing yards, ranking 5th all time in the NCAA. His favorite target is out of this world receiver Michael Crabtree who has 32 touchdown receptions in just 19 games played. The running game has been the best under coach Mike Leach as well, averaging 143 yards a game. On defensive the unit won the game against Nebraska with an OT interception to seal the victory. Tech ranks 3rd nationally with 11 interceptions this season. Defensive end Brandon Williams helps provide pressure on the quarterback and has moved into the top ten in Tech history with 14.5 sacks, his last coming against Nebraska on Saturday.
Texas A&M leads the all time series 37-31-1, however Tech has won 10 of the last 13 meetings. A&M will try to reverse the trend on Saturday at 11 AM on FSN (National Broadcast). It was Tech knocking off a highly ranked Aggie team in 1995 that started their 10 of 13 streak, maybe the Aggies can turn the tables.
SWC MEMORIES PLAYER PROFILE:
The 1985 Texas Aggies won the SWC and earned a berth in the 1986 Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1968. They were led that year by quarterback Kevin Murray. He was an All-State QB at North Dallas High School and the Dallas Area Offensive player of the year his senior year of high school before starting at A&M 4th on the depth chart at QB. But he would soon be the #1 guy and in just his fifth start he three 3 touchdown passes in the 3rd quarter against Arkansas at Kyle Field (in the span of 6 minutes) and added a 4th in the fourth quarter, setting an A&M freshman record for TD throws in a game. He was the SWC Newcomer of the year after that season, after passing for over 1500 yards and 14 touchdowns at a 53% completion rate. In just the third game of his sophomore season he shattered his angle, requiring surgery and putting him out for the season. He received a medical redshirt for that year and in 1985 he passed for 2,463 yards, an A&M record. They beat SMU, Arkansas, and Texas in three late season home games, all on ESPN. The 42-10 victory over rival Texas sent them to the Cotton Bowl for the first time in 18 years. He was a 2nd team All-American and the Cotton Bowl’s most valuable offensive player, passing for 292 yards and besting Joe Montana’s Cotton Bowl record. The 1986 season saw Murray set most of the A&M records, and become the SWC’s all time touchdown leader. He lead a comeback from a 17-0 hole against Baylor to win 31-30 in what Texas Football called the game of the decade. The Aggies returned to the Cotton Bowl, but lost to Ohio State in what would be Murray’s last game as the Aggie’s signal caller. Murray would declare for the NFL draft early that year, but would go undrafted due to worries over his ankle. He had a brief pro career with the San Francisco 49er’s and the Calgary Stampeders. He soon retired due to the nagging ankle injury and now coaches high school football in the Dallas area. He was the Aggie’s all time winning quarterback before being passed by Corey Pullig, and will always be remember for bringing the Aggies back to the Cotton Bowl.
OTHER GAMES THIS WEEK:
Arkansas at Kentucky (Bobby Petrino records first big win for the Hogs, now they look to start a streak)
Baylor at OK State (Baylor gets a streaking OK State who won a big game last weekend)
Houston at SMU (Another matchup of former SWC foes, SMU still looking to break through, UH looking to take command of CUSA race)
Southern Mississippi at Rice (Rice back in action at home after bye week)
Missouri at Texas (This game lost a bit of luster after Missouri lost to OK State, but will still be another test for the Horns)
BYU at TCU (Thursday) (Big game for TCU, another chance to beat a ranked opponent, this time at home on national TV)
RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK:
SWC Game of the Week:
Texas 45 OU 35 (Texas pulls off upset, beats #1, gets a golden cowboy hat, and while they don’t have the tunnel end, they have a view of the scoreboard, which was a nice view this past Saturday.)
Arkansas 25 Auburn 22 (Big Upset in SEC, Michael Smith rushes for 176 yards, including go ahead 63 yard TD run)
Baylor 38 Iowa State 10 (Baylor gets first Big 12 win since 2006 in big fashion, as someone I know might say, “Go BEARS!”)
Houston 45 UAB 20 (Houston has big second half to beat UAB on Thursday night)
Tulsa 37 SMU 31 (SMU gives up two fourth quarter TD’s to loss upset bid, getting closer)
Kansas State 44 Texas A&M 30 (QB Johnson has 487 total yards, a school record, but Ags still find a way to lose, too many things are going wrong with the Farmers)
TCU 13 Colorado State 7 (TCU survives sloppy game, no points scored in the second half)
Texas Tech 37 Nebraska 31 OT (Big 4th down play for Tech, followed by a nice drive by the Corn folks to tie it, then Tech intercepts Nebraska in OT to win)
W L W L
Texas 2 0 6 0
TCU 1 0 6 1
Texas Tech 0 0 6 0
Rice 1 1 3 3
Arkansas: 0 1 3 3
Baylor 0 0 3 3
Houston 0 0 3 3
Texas A&M 0 0 2 4
SMU 0 2 1 6
ON THE BLOG:
Read about “Fish Spurs”, a tradition that has moved from the SMU game to the Tech game.
Well, the SWC has a team ranked #1 this week, the Texas Longhorns. Of course the Texas Longhorns have been ranked #1 in the past history of the SWC lots of time. But they aren’t the only team worth watching, which might be a bit different than past SWC seasons. The Red Raiders are #5 in one poll, their highest ranking ever. TCU is looking to beat a Top Ten team in BYU this Thursday at home and propel their conference championship aspirations. UH and SMU also meet this week in a former SWC matchup. A good week of football as this season continues.
A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.