So, I was very bored, so I gathered a bunch of stats that are undoubtedly useless regarding Texas Tech of 2005 and 2008. The last time we had such a prime matchup between these two teams was when #7 Texas Tech visited #2 Texas, only to get thrashed 52-17. I was curious how this year's version compared to that one statistically.
A few disclaimers. While I will try to give a little analysis, these are just numbers and there are tons of things you can point out that make them imperfect comparisons. For instance, Tech in '05 only played 6 games before playing us while this one is 8-0. I projected their stats to eight games IF THEY HAD PLAYED 8 BEFORE US, but that's not accurate on many levels. You can say that this year's Tech played one more conference game... or you can say this year's Tech had the luxury of beating up on one more non-conference opponent. You can argue 2005 A&M, while bad, was better than this year's version. Blah blah blah. The gist: Take this with a bucket of salt. It's just an exercise of numbers.
Anyway, here goes:
|CH projected through 8||256||357.3333||3281.333||29.33333||6.666667||20|
Statistically, pre-Texas, Hodges looks slightly better, but I think Harrell is the better quarterback regardless. After all, Cody Hodges had the luxury of posting an absurd 80 points on Sam Houston State. Then again, it does show how remarkably Leach's system is when it comes to passing. If a good passer can learn his system, he can post some pretty impressive numbers. Harrell is better, in my opinion, but their stats are eerily similar.
The biggest difference is in sack total. Harrell has been dropped only three times while Hodges was dropped 15 times in 6 games, and projected to 8, he would have been sacked 20 times. That's a pretty big difference and is a testament to Tech's improved O-line and Harrell's ability to get rid of the ball.
In this case, while Henderson wasn't bad and performs better than both Batch and Woods in some areas, the fact that Tech has utilized two backs effectively makes this Tech team a better running team. After all, Cody Hodges had the second most rush attempts last year, even if you adjust for sacks. How bizarre. Henderson is arguably superior to either as a receiver, but there is reason why people argue that this is the best running team under Leach. Considering Tech posted a laughable 10 yards on the ground last year, this can help them from being overly one-dimensional against us. Of course, we all expect them to pass. A lot.
|Jarret Hicks (5 games)||31||393||5||12.67742||6.2||78.6||1|
I only listed the top three receivers of each team. As far as Hicks, he didn't play or didn't get a reception in the first game so I counted him as playing only five games while projected him to eight. In any case, it seems that this year's Tech is a bit more reliant on one player, and for good reason: Crabtree is sorta good. While Filani is projected to have more yards than Crabtree, it is worth noting that Filani (as well as many others in the 2005 offense) dropped off significantly as they reached the tougher portion of their schedule. However, to be fair, Tech is just about entering their challenging portion as well, but there's no question Crabtree is superior to anyone on 2005 (big duh).
The '05 Red Raiders did seem to spread the ball around slightly more while this year's Tech is slightly more "top heavy" in receiver production. Swindall has 31 receptions right now and Britton has 20. Henderson was a more productive RB in the passing game, for whatever reason, and he was the fourth leading receiver for Tech in 2005. What does all this mean? Not totally sure. This year's Tech most certainly has the best receiver and perhaps has the stronger collection of receivers between the two versions.
|tech||opponents||tech avg.||opp. Avg.|
So, 2005 Tech averaged more points per game through six compared to 2008's eight and also averaged less points given up, whatever that means. They scored over five more per game and gave up five less, for a difference of about 10. That's a lot, but again, it's not a perfect comparison. Winning 80-21 against Sam Houston State will skew numbers a bit, but Tech this year certainly played some cupcakes.
|Sacks||TFL||Sacks avg||TFL avg|
Since this has been touted as perhaps Tech's best D-line under Leach, especially the DE's, I looked at sack numbers up to the Texas games. As you can see, this year's version is averaging about a half-sack more per game but averaging less tackles for loss. Again, conclude what you will. Brandon Williams and Dixon have combined for 14 sacks, so I'm inclined to agree that this is Leach's most impressive line, regardless of cute little numberse.
|rush yards||rush attempts||td||Y/Att||Y/game||Att/game||TD/game|
Very similar. 2008 has given up less yards per game but more TD's per game in the running game. What does this mean? You tell me. I'm getting tired.
2005's defense seems to have the advantage, but 2008 does have an impressive 14 interceptions so far. You can easily project 2005's numbers to 8 games if you think that is appropriate. In any case, 2008 did have to play Kansas and Todd Reesing, although he ended up throwing three picks.
Not many, to be honest. Like I said, it's a stretched comparison. Both teams played a relatively weak schedule before Texas, although this year's Tech at least played a ranked Kansas team and walloped them. Texas Tech scores a lot. Mike Leach likes to pass. Etc...
I will say this. One great way to stop the spread is to simply have better athletes. In 2005, that was true. We could lock down with our DB's, disrupt with our pass rush, and shut down the run game all at the same time. Hodges threw for a lot of yards but had to throw a ton of times to do it, finishing with a paltry 5.77 yards per attempt and getting sacked six times. Here is our 2005 secondary compared to this year:
Michael Huff - Earl Thomas
Michael Griffin - Blake Gideon
Cedric Griffin - Chykie Brown (healthy?)
Tarell Brown - Curtis Brown, Deon Beasley
Aaron Ross - Ryan Palmer
Um... I love our guys right now, but not even close.
Our linebackers are arguably better than 2005's, but we did have Aaron Harris. As far as the pass rush, Orakpo is arguably superior to anyone in 2005, but the Robison/Crowder combo was pretty nice too.
I'll try a conclusion: Their offense is a bit better than 2005, offering more pass protection and running the ball better. Their D-line is better, although their back seven may remain suspect. Our defense in 2005 was better in the secondary but perhaps didn't have as good a pass rush. And of course, we had a more explosive and balanced offense in 2005. And we were in Austin. In other words... we're not winning 52-17 again. I'd be thrilled if we did, but I'm betting we're going to have to tough this one out to the very end.
There, I'm a loser. All you other losers can stare at those useless numbers now to come to the conclusions that simple observation would have told you. At the least, it is interesting to see how this Tech offense looks statistically in different years.