Lubbock, TX (Sports Network) - Kliff Kingsbury will try to stay perfect as a
head coach as his 25th-ranked Texas Tech Raiders host the undefeated Texas
State Bobcats for a Lone Star State showdown at Jones AT&T Stadium.
TTU will be facing Texas State for the third time and looking to stay
undefeated against the Bobcats. The Red Raiders coasted to a 58-10 decision
when these teams clashed last season.
Texas State had an extra week to prepare for its Big 12 foe as it had a bye
after its 28-7 victory over Prairie View A&M in week two. The program is 2-0
for the first time since 2005 thanks to the win. Coach Dennis Franchione
guided his squad to a 22-15 decision at Southern Miss in the season opener as
well. The Bobcats are in their first campaign as a member of the Sun Belt
Conference. They went 4-8 last season in their first season as an FBS program
and only year in the Western Athletic Conference.
Senior QB Tyler Arndt will lead TSU's offense into Lubbock after passing for
258 yards on 27-of-39 efficiency in his first two games. Arndt saw some action
against TTU last year and finished 5-of-9 for 37 yards off the bench. The
passing attack that yields only 150 ypg to rank 110th out of 123 FBS programs
does not have a standout receiver. Bradley Miller is the most productive
player on the squad with 35.5 receiving yards and three catches per game.
The Bobcats punished Prairie View A&M with their rushing attack in week two as
they amassed 242 yards and four touchdowns on 43 carries. Chris Nutall was
unstoppable as he piled up 132 yards and two touchdowns on just eight
attempts. The sophomore tailback was bottled up and held to only 37 yards on
10 rushes by USM in the opener.
Defensively, TSU has played well against inferior competition in its first two
games. It did allow Golden Eagles QB Allan Bridgford to throw for a career-
high 377 yards in week one, which could be a sign of bad things to come
against the Red Raiders' elite aerial assault, which is ranked fifth in the
FBS. Junior linebacker David Mayo is the leader of the Bobcats' defense with
14 tackles and two interceptions. Colorado State transfer Michael Orakpo has
already forced three fumbles.
Since taking over at his alma mater, Kingsbury has led the Red Raiders to
three consecutive wins over SMU (41-23), Stephen F. Austin (61-13) and TCU
(20-10), despite entering the season without any quarterbacks with at least
one career start. Baker Mayfield became the first walk-on true freshman to
start a season opener at a BCS school in week one against the Mustangs.
Mayfield was sensational to start off his career, completing 85-of-130
attempts for 996 yards with eight touchdowns to eight interceptions. TTU has
averaged 40.7 points and 509.3 yards of total offense through its first three
games with its high-octane passing attack. Mayfield had a rough outing against
TCU, going 21-of-40 for 216 yards with one TD to three interceptions before
being knocked out with an injury late in the fourth quarter.
Fellow freshman QB Davis Webb stepped in and led the Red Raiders on a nine-
play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Brad Marquez.
With Mayfield questionable for this week, Webb may get his first career start
after his impressive stint versus the Horned Frogs.
"(Webb) provided a big spark," said Marquez on the rookie passer's performance
in his debut. "He was prepared for the situation and it's credit to his
preparation to be able to come in there at that point in time in the game to
be able to come in there and do the job that he did. You know, there was no
falloff, and definitely a spark for all of us and for him to control the game
Whichever passer is in the pocket for TTU they will be looking towards Jace
Amaro, who leads the team with 20 receptions and 281 yards. Eric Ward, Jakeem
Grant and Marquez all have double-digit catch totals and at least 153 yards
While TTU has little trouble moving the ball through the air, it has seen very
little success in its running game. It gained only 43 yards on 26 carries
against TCU and still does not have a player with 100 rushing yards on the
The Red Raiders have been just as impressive on the defensive side of the ball
under Kingsbury, allowing only 15.3 points and 415.7 yards of total offense
per game. TCU could not get anything going against them last week as six of
its first eight possessions ended with a punt and the other two concluded with
an interception and turnover on downs.
"We put them in bad spots all night offensively," said Kingsbury. " They kept
stepping up and turning them over and getting stops against a talented offense
with a really talented quarterback. So couldn't be more proud of that side of
Tre' Porter and Micah Awe are the team's leading tacklers with 22 and 21 total
stops each, respectively.
The Sports Network