Texas Tech is ASU’s first and only non-conference opponent this season from a Power 5 conference. Last year, almost 90 points per game was scored whenever Texas Tech played (45.1 versus 43.8). There was a distinct difference in points being scored when the Red Raiders played at home compared to their road contests. The Red Raiders averaged 56.1 points per game at home, while giving up an average of 46.9 points per game at Jones AT&T Stadium. When they played on the road, they averaged 32.1 points per game and gave up 39.8 points per game. That big drop in scoring on the road bodes well for a game in Tempe next month.
Here is a snapshot of Texas Tech’s stats from last year’s team:
– The Red Raiders averaged more than one and a half yards per carry in home games compared to those on the road
– Roughly one-in-five running plays for the Red Raiders went for ten yards or more last year
– Last season, the Red Raiders averaged converting a first down more than three out of every four times they ran the ball on third and short yardage
– The 34 rushing touchdown generated by Texas Tech would have tied the Oregon Ducks for first place in the Pac-12 Conference last year
– In the first four games of 2015, the Red Raiders averaged scoring a rushing touchdown on 11.8-percent of their run attempts, in the next nine games the average dropped to 5.6-percent
– The Red Raider ground game averaged over five and a half yards per carry on third down runs
– The Red Raiders played eleven games on turf and averaged 5.74 per carry, while playing two games on grass and averaging only 3.04 yards per carry
– The Red Raider quarterbacks averaged completing about 30 passes per game last year, with an average of about four of those passes gaining 25 yards or more in the game
– In their home games, the Red Raider passers averaged only about one interceptions for every 100 pass attempts, while on the road, the averaged dropped to one in about every 27 pass attempts
– The Red Raider passers threw more than one interception in a game four times last year, and only won one of those games
– The Red Raider passers threw for 300 yards or more in eleven of their 13 games last year
– Twenty-nine of the passing touchdowns for the Red Raiders came in the first half of their games, while only ten came in the second half
– The Red Raiders only had three touchdown passes in the third quarter last year
– When Texas Tech was ahead, they threw only two interceptions in 269 pass attempts, while they threw 13 interceptions in 351 pass attempts when they were tied or behind
– The Red Raider pass completion rate increased in each month of the season
– The Red Raider offense had the best third-down conversion rate in the nation last year
– Over the last four years, the Red Raiders have averaged losing the ball 27 times a season; that number would have placed them last in the Pac 12 conference last year
– In 2013 and 2014, the Red Raider offense scored a red zone touchdown about 57-percent of the time, while last year, the percentage jumped to 67-percent
– The Red Raider offense produced the fifth highest number of first downs in the nation last year
– In four of their first six games, the Red Raiders scored seven or more touchdowns, while in the next seven games that happened only twice
– The Red Raider run defense gave up over 900 yards more than than the Pac-12 Conference’s worse rush defense team
– Nearly 30-percent of all running plays the Red Raider defense faced ended up getting a first down.
– The Red Raider defense allowed 300 yards or more on the ground in seven of their games last year
– Roughly, 53-percent of the running plays on third down against the Red Raider defense last year got a first down
– About one in five first down running plays gained another first down against the Red Raider defense; for the Devil defense, it was only one in ten running plays
– In the first nine games of the year, the Red Raider defense gave up 22 touchdown passes, while in the last four games, they gave up only three touchdown passes
– In the first nine games of the year, the Red Raider defense allowed 65-percent of pass attempts to be completed, while in the last four games the completion rate dropped to only 50-percent
– Only two of the 122 opponent pass attempts within Red Raider forty-yard line were intercepted
– Ten of the Red Raider interceptions happened when they were ahead in their games, while only five happened when they were behind
– Over 43-percent of the first quarter pass attempts against the Red Raider defense gained a first down
– The Red Raider defense allowed almost 70-percent of third and short yardage passes to be completed, whereas the Sun Devil defense only allowed 38-percent
– The last two seasons Texas Tech has been last in the Big 12 conference in allowing opponents to convert third down situations into first downs
– The last three seasons, Texas Tech has been last in the percentage of times they allowed opponents to score red zone touchdowns
– Last year, Texas Tech tied for fifth in the Big 12 conference in the number of takeaways they generated (25)
WHAT THE NUMBERS MEAN
The Red Raider offense can definitely move the ball and score points; better at home, but still potent. Their ability to keep drives alive by converting on third down was outstanding last year. The passing game seemed to be a bit more productive in the first half of their games and really struggled to get touchdown passes in the third quarter. They also seemed to get a little careless or riskier in the passing game when they were not ahead. Over the last couple of years, they did give the ball away a little too often.
On the defensive side, the Red Raiders were awful. Their run defense was bad on every down and in each half. They averaged giving up almost four rushing touchdowns per game last year, and they struggled to force turnovers and get to the quarterback.
One thing is for sure with the game this year; points will be scored. A turnover here or there, or a missed golden opportunity may end up determining the outcome for either team.