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2003 PREVIEW: Texas Tech Red Raiders

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Forgetting the teams that have ridiculous offensive talent, there are two types of offenses that no one wants to go against without two weeks to prepare: the option, and the Texas Tech high-octane passing attack. Sometimes the Red Raiders are going to sputter a bit, sometimes they're going to be average, but there are times, like against Texas last year, when they have a knockout artist's chance at beating anyone in America. When this thing is humming, there are few teams in college football with the defensive back seven to hold it down. The Longhorns had that secondary and couldn't do much. Texas A&M had NFL-caliber defensive backs and couldn't do anything against it. If you listen closely, you can hear Kliff Kingsbury completing yet another pass on Clemson. This season shouldn't be much different with the four starting receivers returning, two great running backs, and a decent veteran backup quarterback ready to shine in the starting role. And then there's the defense. Texas Tech's offense might be able to score on anyone, but the defense can get lit up like a Christmas tree by top flight offenses. This year's defense is going to take some lumps with several redshirt freshmen and sophomores needing to play key roles. What does it all mean? Most Texas Tech games are going to be must-watch for fans of exciting, high-scoring games. If you saw the NC State game, the Texas A&M classic or Texas thriller, you know what kind of games this team can play. Tech might sometimes be unbelievable, sometimes bad, but always fun.

Team Information
Head coach: Mike Leach
4th year: 23-16
Returning O Lettermen: 27
Returning D Lettermen: 19
Returning ST Lettermen: 1
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best Players
1. FS Ryan Aycock, Sr.
2. RB Taurean Henderson, Soph.
3. WR/KR Wes Welker, Sr.
4. WR Nehemiah Glover, Jr.
5. WR Mickey Peters, Sr.
6. C Toby Cecil, Sr.
7. WR Carlos Francis, Sr.
8. OT Daniel Loper, Jr.
9. FS Vincent Meeks, Soph.
10. RB Johnnie Mack, Jr.
2003 Schedule
8/30 SMU
9/6 New Mexico
9/20 at NC State
9/27 at Ole Miss
10/4 Texas A&M
10/11 Iowa State
10/18 at Oklahoma St.
10/25 at Missouri
11/1 Colorado
11/8 at Baylor
11/15 at Texas
11/22 Oklahoma
The Schedule: The schedule starts off far easier than it was last year when the Red Raiders had to play Ohio State. Kicking off with SMU will be wee bit easier. New Mexico is going to be far, far better than the team that Tech blew up 49-0 last season. After playing close games against Ole Miss and NC State in Lubbock, Tech has to go on the road to face these good teams led by two Heisman-caliber quarterbacks. Missing Kansas State from the North is big. Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas A&M have to come to Lubbock, while road games at Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas will be nasty. Best Offensive Player: Sophomore RB Taurean Henderson. Wes Welker is explosive as both a receiver and a kick returner, but Henderson is more valuable for what the offense wants to do. He's the leading returning receiver and rusher gaining 1,453 total yards. Not having to carry as much of the load with Johnnie Mack helping out, he should be more rested and even more effective. Best Defensive Player: Senior SS Ryan Aycock. The team's leading returning tackler, the big hitting Aycock made 151 tackles and broke up 12 passes. He should be one of the top tacklers in the Big XII again this season. Key player to a successful season: Kliff Kingsbury threw 5,017 yards and 45 touchdowns last season, but most impressive was his 67% completion percentage only throwing a mere 13 interceptions. Quarterback B.J. Symons might not put up the massive numbers that Kingsbury did, but the coaching staff will hope he can be as good at avoiding mistakes. The season will be a success if: Tech wins eight games. The schedule is going to make things tough with road games at NC State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Texas to go along with home battles against Colorado, Texas A&M, Iowa State and Oklahoma. An 8-4 record would be a huge success. Key game: Oct. 4 vs. Texas A&M. The Aggies are going to want to make a statement in the first Big XII game in the Dennis Franchione era. With a tough conference schedule ahead, this is a must home win for Tech. If it's anything like the 48-47 overtime thriller of last year, this will be a must-watch. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Fourth quarter scoring: Texas Tech 158 - Opponents 105
  • Passing attempts, interceptions: Tech 718, 15 - Opponents 416, 12
  • Fumbles: Tech 30, lost 14 - Opponents 15, lost 3
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Chauncey Clark DE 6-2 228 Jr-TR Lakeland, Fla. (CC of San Francisco)
    Recorded 36 sacks in two seasons, including a school record 21 in 2001 ... also recruited by Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and USC ... high school and CCSF teammate of current Red Raider Johnnie Mack. Phillip Daugherty QB 6-3 205 Fr-HS Bridgeport, Texas (Bridgeport)
    Keyunta Dawson DE 6-2 245 Fr-HS Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian)
    Joe Garcia FS 6-1 200 Fr-HS Clovis, N.M. (Clovis)
    Ben Griffin OL 6-4 278 Fr-HS Ennis, Texas (Ennis)
    Matt Grisel OL 6-4 275 Fr-HS Houston, Texas (Episcopal)
    Sione Havil RB 6-2 255 Jr-TR Salt Lake City, Utah (El Camino College)
    Antonio Huffman CB 6-0 175 Fr-TR Lovejoy, Ga. (Garden City CC)
    *Jamaal Jackson CB 5-11 175 Jr-TR Bruce, Miss. (Northwest Mississippi CC)
    Chad Johnson DB 5-11 185 Fr-HS Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian)
    Josh Morris OT 6-4 270 Fr-HS Midland, Texas (Midland)
    Chris Parker CB 5-10 173 Fr-HS Dallas, Texas (Sunset)
    Ryan Phillips CB 5-11 190 Jr-TR Seattle, Wash. (Mt. San Antonio College)
    Tommie Pratt DL 6-2 265 Jr-TR San Jose, Calif. (CC of San Francisco)
    Taurance Rawls RB 5-10 192 Fr-HS Garland, Texas (Garland)
    Alex Reyes P 6-1 200 Fr-HS Allen, Texas (Allen)
    Raymond Serres OL 6-5 255 Fr-HS Humble, Texas (Humble)
    *Jabari Smith CB 5-11 177 Jr-TR Mayer, Ariz. (Arizona Western College)
    Brock Stratton LB 5-11 225 Fr-HS San Antonio, Texas (Roosevelt)
    David Weems TE 6-4 231 Fr-HS Conroe, Texas (Oak Ridge)
    Paul Williams LB 6-2 210 Fr-HS Tyler, Texas (Lee)
    Tyler Yenzer DE 6-4 220 Fr-HS Midland, Texas (Midland)
    *Potential Instant Impact Players

  • Tagged: Ohio State, Arizona State, UCLA, Mississippi, Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico

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