FACTS & STATS: Site: Bobcat Stadium (30,000) -- San Marcos, Texas. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Texas Tech 1-0, Texas State 0-0. Away Record: Texas Tech 0-0, Texas State 1-0. Neutral Record: Texas Tech 0-0, Texas State 0-0. Conference Record: Texas Tech 0-0, Texas State 0-0. Series Record: Texas Tech leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Lone Star State programs attempt to build off impressive starts to the season and move to 2-0 when the Texas State Bobcats play host to the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday night.
Texas Tech's season got off to a roaring start, having its way with Northwestern State en route to an easy 44-6 victory. It was the Red Raiders' first win since Oct. 22 of last year. They had lost their last five games of the 2011 season.
As great as Texas Tech's start to the season was, few season openers were more impressive than Texas State's. In their first game as an official member of the FBS, the Bobcats went on the road and defeated Houston, 30-13. Houston had just one loss last season en route to the Conference USA title, while Texas State was mediocre (6-6) in 2011, playing mostly an FCS schedule.
Texas Tech won the only previous meeting between these two teams, 50-10, in the season opener last year.
The Texas Tech offense appeared to be in mid-season form in its lidlifter, gaining 500 yards of total offense, converting 10-of-16 third-down attempts, and scoring on all eight of its trips to the red zone.
Seth Doege started the game at quarterback for the Red Raiders and completed 23-of-34 pass attempts for 199 yards, a touchdown and an interception. With the game well in hand, Tech turned to backup Michael Brewer, who was even more effective (10-of-13, 122 yards, two TDs).
Eric Stephens played well in his first game back since suffering a season- ending knee injury last year, carrying the ball 16 times for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Kenny Williams (15 carries, 74 yards) and SaDale Foster (11 carries, 44 yards) also had solid days on the ground.
Ten different Red Raiders caught a pass in the win, paced by Bradley Marquez with seven receptions and 92 yards. Marcus Kennard caught two touchdown passes, while Kenny Williams found the end zone on a two-yard strike from Doege midway through the second quarter.
Although the performance came against a weak opponent, it would be hard to expect Texas Tech to put together a better effort on defense. The unit held Northwestern State to just 84 yards of total offense, including a measly 13 yards on the ground.
Cody Davis led the team with nine tackles. Kerry Hyder made several plays in the backfield with three tackles for loss and a sack. Delvon Simmons and D.J. Johnson also recorded sacks.
Texas State did not appear to be overwhelmed in the least when it took the field for its first game as a member of the FBS, gaining 444 yards of total offense at Houston.
Quarterback Shawn Rutherford got sacked four times, but otherwise he kept his mistakes to a minimum. He threw for 196 yards on 19-of-25 passing and connected on a 21-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter to get the Bobcats out to an early lead.
Marcus Curry spearheaded a potent Texas State rushing attack with a career- high 131 yards on the ground. He also tallied all three of his team's touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving). Tim Gay (six carries, 64 yards) was also effective in limited action.
Junior college transfer Isaiah Battle was impressive in his first game for the Bobcats, leading the team in both catches (five) and receiving yards (75).
Texas State's defensive performance in the opener was incredible. The unit limited one of 2011's most explosive offenses (50.8 ppg) to just 326 yards and 13 points.
The Bobcats forced the Cougars into two turnovers -- a fumble recovery by Brian Lilly and an interception by Craig Mager. Xavier Daniels recorded eight tackles and forced a fumble. Lilly and Chase Harper each tallied sacks.
Texas State's triumph in its season opener is a great story, and it comes into this week's game with a world of confidence. The Bobcats may not be explosive on offense, but they have a capable running game that can wear Texas Tech out. Texas State managed to shut down an explosive offense last week, but it'll have a tough time slowing the Red Raiders' potent passing attack, even with the hometown faithful doing their part to cheer the team on to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas Tech 34, Texas State 20Game Date and Time
Saturday, September 8, 7:00 p.m. (et)