LUBBOCK (AP) – New Mexico coach Bob Davie knows his Lobos are facing a red-hot Texas Tech offense Saturday night.
Red Raiders quarterback Seth Doege threw for five touchdowns and 319 yards in a 58-10 win at Texas State last week. Twelve receivers caught at least one pass and Texas Tech mixed things up with 186 yards rushing.
Davie, in his first year at New Mexico, is no stranger to the passing versatility of the Red Raiders and their schemes, having watched Texas Tech’s pass-happy offense the past 10 years while a TV football analyst.
“If you watch them against Texas St. . . . quite honestly . . . they were on fire,” said Davie, whose team is coming off a 45-0 loss at then-No. 17 Texas. “That’s as good as I’ve seen them play. The quarterback was hot.”
And there’s more: Texas Tech, which finished near the cellar in total defense last year, is No. 4 in the country, allowing just 177 yards per game.
That could create problems for true freshman quarterback Cole Gautsche, who’ll probably start for the Lobos (1-1). Starter B.R. Holcomb is doubtful, Davie said, having injured his ribs after a hit in the second quarter in Austin.
Holcomb, who rushed for 39 yards and completed five of eight passes for 32 yards before leaving the Texas game, did throw earlier this week.
“But he’s extremely sore,” Davie said. “But if there’s a guy that can do it it’s B.R. He’s been in that training room and through treatment a few times over his five-year career.”
Gautsche threw an interception but had no completions in four attempts after he took over for Holbrook. He had 35 yards on 13 carries. Davie said Holbrook’s absence “definitely affects everything we do.”
“With that said, I expect Cole Gautsche to get better each and every week. He started out pretty good against Texas,” he said. “I think when the game started sliding a little bit, when they started to impose their will a little bit on us, and the magnitude of the situation caught up to him in the third quarter.”
Texas Tech (2-0) had three receivers, Javon Bell, Jakeem Grant and Darrin Moore, with five catches and they each got more than 70 receiving yards. Doege, who has gotten good protection with just one sack this season, said the offense got in rhythm against Texas State and the receivers were unselfish.
“That’s what it’s going to take to make us a team and make us good in the long run,” he said. “Guys understand there are a lot of guys that can make plays and everybody’s going to get their chance.”
The Red Raiders also have three productive running backs this season, adding a dimension to their offense that Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville says will make the passing attack even more effective. Kenny Williams, Eric Stephens and SaDale Foster each had more than 55 rushing yards in last week’s win.
Tuberville wanted to open up the offense more against Texas State and saw good progress. He also liked the balance the defense brought, holding the Bobcats to 270 total yards. He’s looking for improved technique each week and said he’s “very worried” about New Mexico.
“Now we’re to the point where we have to know we’re going to take more baby steps than giant leaps in a lot of areas,” he said. “The baby steps being focus, understanding that the only way we’re going to get better now as we get into each week is technique. There are some rough areas of technique in the game that we’ve got to get better at.”
Davie was a linebackers coach and defensive coordinator at Texas A&M from 1985 to 1993, and the Aggies went 7-2 against the Red Raiders at that time.
His Aggie defenses in the early 1990s were known as the “Wrecking Crew,” and it led the Southwest Conference in all four major defensive categories — total, scoring, rush and pass — in 1991-93.
Davie’s experience and knowledge aren’t lost on Texas Tech, said Tuberville, who replaced Davie at A&M in 1994.
“It’s not like bringing a guy in that’s never been a head coach before just looking around at, ‘What do I do next?'” he said. “He understands how to get the guys ready. He won the first game by a lot of points. There is a lot more excitement there.”
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