Previewing the Texas Game...
Date: Saturday, November 9, 1996
Tech Expects 3rd Straight Sellout vs. Texas: Texas Tech (5-3, 4-2) expects a third-straight home sellout crowd when the Red Raiders take on Big 12 rival Texas (3-4, 2-2) on Saturday, November 9 at 6 p.m. in Jones Stadium. The game will be televised by Fox Sports and will mark the fifth-straight tv game for Tech and the 10th in the last 11 games. The game should also mark the third-straight capacity crowd for Texas Tech in Jones Stadium.
The two teams have split the last 10 meeting since 1986 with an even 5-5 record. Texas won last year's contest 48-7 in Austin, while the Red Raiders won the last game in Lubbock. The last time Tech and Texas played a night game in Jones Stadium was on Sept. 30, 1978 when the two teams squared-off at 7:30 p.m. in Lubbock.
Texas Tech is rated 25th in the Nov. 4 Sporting News poll and was listed 12th nationally in the Oct. 27 Sagarin ratings released by USA Today.
Last Outing: Texas Tech is coming off an emotional 13-10 victory at rival Texas A&M two weeks ago in College Station. Quarterback Zebbie Lethridge connected on an 81-yard pass to redshirt freshman Sammy Morris with 6:20 left for the game-winning TD. Junior tailback Byron Hanspard recorded the best-ever rushing performance for a Texas Tech running back against the Aggies with 198 yards on 41 carries. Junior defensive end Tony Daniels recorded two crucial sacks in Texas A&M's last two drives to help seal the victory for the Red Raiders. The win was Tech's first at Kyle Field since 1984 and the second-straight over Texas A&M.
Texas raced to a 21-0 first-half lead, then held on for a 28-23 victory over Baylor last weekend in Austin. Shon Mitchell led Texas with 114 yards on 18 carries, while quarterbacks James Brown and Richard Walton combined for 297 yards passing. Rickey Williams led all Texas receivers with three catches for 57 ayrds. Overall Texas rolled to 510 yards of total offense in the game with 213 yards coming in the running game. The Longhorn defense held the Bears to just 153 yards passing.
Television/Radio: The Texas at Texas Tech contest will be televised live over national cable network Fox Sports beginning at 6 p.m. (central). In Texas, the game will be telecast on Fox Sports Southwest. Nationally it will be seen on the fx cable network. Drew Goodman will handle play-by-play duties, while Dave Lapham will offer color analysis and Greg Lucas will serve as the sideline reporter.
All Sports Radio Network is in its second year of broadcasting Texas Tech football on a network of 25 stations. KKAM/KFMX in Lubbock serves as the flagship station and veteran Jack Dale will return at play-by-play and John Harris will offer color commentary. KKAM will begin its pregame show three hours before kickoff, while KFMX will begin 45 minutes prior to gametime. KKAM will also broadcast postgame shows with each game. Game broadcasts can also be accessed live via Teamline at 800/846-4700, ext. 1752 or via the Internet through the Texas Tech web site at http://www.asrn.com.
Series Records: The Texas Tech vs. Texas series began in 1928 with a 12-0 Longhorn win in Austin. Texas won the first seven games of the series prior to Tech's 20-14 win in 1995 in Austin. The two teams only played in Lubbock twice in the first 11 meetings with Texas tahen owning a 10-1 series lead. Tech owns a 12-7 series edge in Lubbock and the two teams are knotted at four wins each over the last eight seasons. Since Texas Tech joined the SWC in 1960, Texas posted a 26-10 mark. Overall, Texas holds a 34-11 series edge.
In 1992, quarterback Jason Clemmons set a Texas Tech record with 52 pass attempts in a 44-33 Texas win in Lubbock. Clemmons was 25-for-52 in the game for xxx yards and xx TDs. Lloyd Hill led Tech in receiving with 10 catches for 151 yards and three TDs.
In 1986, 5'-3" All-America punt returner Tyrone Thurman set a Texas Tech record with a 96-yard punt return for a TD in a dramatic 23-21 Tech win in Lubbock. His 120 total yards in that game was the third-most in Tech history. Three of the top four marks in Texas Tech history for single game punt return yards were against Texas: 141 by Larry Alford in 1968, 120 by Thurman in 1986 and 106 by Tracy Saul in 1989.
Two of the eight school-record four field goal performances in a single game occurred against Texas. Scott Segrist made four field goals against the Longhorns in 198, whileDon Grimes made four against the Horns in 1972.
A few of the series records:
Team Highs Texas Tech Texas Total Offense 423, 1972 549, 1992 Rushing 310, 1967 432, 1970 Passing 327, 1992 326, 1988 Team Lows Texas Tech Texas Total Offense 85, 1977 213, 1993 Rushing 15, 1981 63, 1993 Passing 25, 1979 21, 1976 Individual Highs Texas Tech Texas Total Offense 324 by Jason Clemmons, 1992 299 by Mark Murdock, 1988 Rushing 175 by John Scovell, 1967 166 by Butch Hadnot, 1991 Passing 327 by Jason Clemmons, 1992 326 by Mark Murdock, 1988
Mr. October: Head coach Spike Dykes has compiled an impressive 41-16-1 record after October 10 while at Texas Tech. Since 1993, Dykes' teams have recorded a 18-4-0 record after Oct. 10. This season, Tech is 12-1 and has three games left to play.
During Tech's past eight games at home, attendance has averaged 42,225 fans per game.
During its past 12 home games, Texas Tech owns an 11-1 record, and is 2-1 against ranked teams, including a 33-9 win over No. 19 Texas in '94 and a 14-7 win over No. 8 Texas A&M in 1995.
Tech has also averaged a 24.7-point margin of victory during its last 11 wins in Jones Stadium and has averaged 38.5 points per game.
Scovell Holds Tech vs. Texas Record: No. Not current Texas Tech flanker Field Scovell. His dad, John. A quarterback for the Red Raiders from 1965-67, John Scovell rushed for 176 yards in a 19-13 Texas Tech win in Austin. His performance set a Tech record at that time for single-game rushing against an SWC opponent. Scovell rushed for 438 yards on 107 carries that season and was the team leader in passing and total offense. In 1966, Scovell led the Red Raiders in scoring and was the last Texas Tech quarterback to do so with 38 points.
So, don't be surprised if Scovell's son, Field, is the only Red Raider not cheering for junior tailback Byron Hanspard to reach his 201-yard rushing average against the Longhorns this season.
Streaks: Tech's 11-game home winning streak dating back to a 42-16 loss to top-ranked Nebraska on Sept. 8, 1994 was ended with its 24-10 loss to fifth-ranked Nebraska last weekend...
Byron Hanspard recorded his 14th-straight rushing game over 100 yards against Texas A&M. He has also rushed for over 200-yards in four straight games earlier this season.
Texas Tech has won eight of its last nine games over conference opponents at home since a 1993 loss to Texas A&M in Jones Stadium. That does not include two conference games against Houston (San Antonio) and Oklahoma State (Irving) that were Tech home games moved to neutral sites.
Texas Tech has played its last four games on television and has played nine of its last 10 games on television, including three ABC regional network appearances, and two national cable appearances on ESPN and ESPN2.
Tech Home Attendance Shows Second-Straight Increase: With back-to-back sellouts against Baylor and Nebraska and two of the top 10 crowds since 1983, fans have been attending Texas Tech football games in record numbers this season. The inaugural season of the Big 12 Conference, a Heisman Trophy candidate running back and and exciting football team have all contributed to the rise in interest in Texas Tech football. The expansion of Raider Alley and a number of interesting promotions have been factors as well.
This year, Tech has enjoyed a 20.4 percent increase in attendance over last season and its current average of 47,239 for the first three games exceeds the school record average of 46,083 set in 1979. That season, the Raiders played six home games and recorded two crowds in excess of 52,000. Last season, Tech recorded a 27 percent increase in football attendance, good for 7th in the nation and marked an average increase of 8,200 fans from the previous season.
Texas Tech has enjoyed an astounding 47.4 percent attendance increase over the past two seasons!
Tech Maintains Possession: This season Texas Tech has maintained a substantial edge in time of possession in six of the eight games it has played. The only two games in which Tech did not enjoy an edge in possession time was Oklahoma State (31-3 win) and Utah State (58-20 win). Tech has held the ball for over 52 total minutes more than the opposition this season, that's almost a full game's worth of possession. The Red Raiders have averaged a six minute edge in time of possession this season.
Kaufman Anchors Under -Appreciated Offensive Line: As a three-year starter, senior offensive lineman Ben Kaufman has probably played more snaps at Texas Tech than any player to wear a Red Raider uniform. And he has become, perhaps, the top offensive lineman in the Big 12 Conference. Offensive line coach Ted Unbehagen has stated that Kaufman is "easily one of the best offensive lineman in the Big 12. If there is an all-Big 12 team that doesn't include Ben Kaufman, they shouldn't choose one."
The Texas Tech offensive line has gone through a few changes over the past few weeks. Only Kaufman at left tackle and Jay Pugh at center have started all seven games at the same position. Lynn Scherler has moved into the starting right tackle position for the last six games; Shane Dunn has started five games at right guard, two others at left guard. Chris Whitney has started three different positions -- one game at right tackle, two games at right guard and the last four at left guard; Justin Collingsworth moved from backup at left tackle to right tackle.
Senior captain Casey Jones returned to action for the first time this season against Nebraska after missing the first six games of the season in attempt to regain his eligibility. After exhausting all appeals through the school and the NCAA, Jones went to the court system. A Lubbock judge awarded a temporary restraining order clearing the way for Jones to play in a 14-day window and a date of October 30 was set to hear his case against the NCAA and Texas Tech.
Robert Johnson Continues to Provide Leadership: "Pound-for-pound, Robert Johnson may be the best football player in the country" -- Liberty Sports analyst Ron Thulin during the Texas A&M vs. Texas Tech telecast
Senior strongside linebacker Johnson continues to toss his 194-pound frame into play-after-play this season on the Red Raider defense. For his stellar performance against Nebraska, which included an interception for a TD, Johnson was awarded the ABC-TV Chevrolet Player of the Game.
Tech's leading tackler with 77 total stops in eight games, Johnson had perhaps his best game as a Red Raider against Utah State. The Lubbock native intercepted two Aggie passes and recovered a fumble and led the Red Raiders to a 58-20 win in their home opener in Jones Stadium. Two of his caused turnovers were converted into third-quarter TD's extending Tech's lead from 28-20 to 42-20. He was named the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
"I don't know if we have ever had anyone play as well as Robert Johnson played here against Utah State. It was unbelievable what he did. He is quite a football player and he really played his best game since he's been at Texas Tech. He was all over the field," said Dykes.
Johnson is the team's leading tackler with 77 in the first eight games this season. He has 41 solo tackles, three interceptions, five tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.
Daniels Named Semifinalist for Nagurski Trophy: One of the few defensive players in the Big 12 that can alter an offensive gameplan, junior All-America candidate Tony Daniels is making a strong bid to be included as one of the top defensive performers in the nation. Daniels was recently named one of 23 semifinalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy given to the nation's top defensive player.
In the first eight games, the Odessa native has recorded an outstanding nine tackles for loss, three sacks, four fumbles caused and four fumble recoveries. In Tech's 13-10 win at Texas A&M, Daniels recorded two crucial sacks to end the Aggies' final two potential game-winning drives.
Against Georgia he had a key stuff of quarterback Mike Bobo on an option play that caused a key fumble at the Tech eight-yard-line that ended a potential go-ahead Bulldog score early in the game. Against Oklahoma State, Daniels had three tackles for loss. His play against Kansas was a key to Tech's defensive success to limit KU to just 61 yards rushing.
Daniels sat out the entire 1995 season after a freak injury diving into a pool prior to preseason drills. After undergoing reconstructive surgery on his knee, the Odessa native used the '95 season to focus on his comeback.
Diminutive Mitchell One of Nation's Smallest: Starting junior flanker Stacy Mitchell, who stands 5-5, 150-pounds, is the third smallest player in Division I football this season. The DeSoto native is also a key kickoff returner for the Red Raiders and is a major threat on the ground after the catch. Mitchell overcame an early-season sprained ankle last season, starting the final five games and catching a 47-yard pass against Texas, and a 38-yard TD against Air Force in the Copper Bowl He also had a 49-yard run on a reverse against Rice. Mitchell recorded three catches for 69 yards against Kansas State.
Hanspard Regains National Rushing Lead: With his streak-extending 198-yard effort against Texas A&M, junior Heisman Trophy candidate Byron Hanspard regained the top spot in the nation in rushing with a 201.4 per game average. His 1,611 total yards this season is the second-highest single-season total in Texas Tech history.
Against Baylor, Hanspard had become the first back in the nation to pass the 1,000-yard mark this season. He has also gone over 1,000 yards in fewer games than any back in Tech history. Hanspard passed the 1,000-yard mark in the first five games, while Byron Morris in 1993 and James Hadnot in 1978 and 1979 achieved the mark during the eighth game of the season.
The Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award candidate is averaging 6.4 yards per carry and has surpassed the 200-yard barrier in four games this season. He has rushed for over 100 yards in 14 straight games. Hanspard recorded a 287-yard school-record outing against Baylor. (see Hanspard Bio)
The junior from DeSoto is the third-leading returning scorer in the nation this season, after averaging 9.82 points per game last season. A preseason All-America selection, Hanspard averaged 223 yards per game in his final three games of last season, including 260 yards against Air Force in the Copper Bowl, where he was named the game's MVP. He rushed for 1,374 yards last season, the second-best sophomore performance in the Southwest Conference's 82-year history. He also led the team with 35 catches for 474 yards.
Hanspard's Career Stats Rush Yds Avg TDs Rec Yds Avg TDs 1994 173 761 4.4 5 11 230 20.9 1 1995 248 1374 5.5 11 35 474 13.5 7 1996 252 1611 6.4 9 15 153 10.2 1 Total 673 3746 5.6 25 61 857 14.0 9
Lethridge Continues to Move Up Tech Charts: Junior quarterback Zebbie Lethridge is listed among the top-five on the school charts for career passing yards, pass attempts, pass completions, total offense and TD passes. Last year he set a final Southwest Conference record with 211 consecutive passes without an interception, which will stand as the all-time SWC mark. Last season Lethridge recorded the most prolific sophomore season ever for a Red Raider with 1,885 passing yards, 22 total TDs and 2,022 yards in total offense.
Lethridge's Career Stats Att Comp Pct Yds Int TD Eff Rush Yds Avg. TD 1994 261 132 .506 1596 6 12 112.0 110 289 2.6 6 1995 281 136 .484 1885 6 13 115.7 122 137 1.1 9 1996 200 84 .420 1065 4 7 94.28 100 203 2.0 2 Total 742 352 .474 4546 16 30 332 629 1.9 17
Greaser Ties School Record: Sophomore kicker Jaret Greaser tied a school record with four field goals against Oklahoma State and converted five-straight attempts this season, including a 53-yarder at Kansas State. He made attempts of 40, 40, 42 and 37 yards against the Cowboys to tie the mark held by five players on seven occasions, the most recent by Lin Elliott against Cal State, Fullerton in 1991. Greaser, a native of Amarillo, connected on a 59-yarder as a high school senior in 1993. Greaser narrowly missed a 54-yard game-tying field goal with just :07 on the clock at Georgia on the wet Sanford Stadium grass. He is 8-for-12 this season.
Junior Tony Rogers and Greaser both nailed 53-yard field goals at Kansas State, tying the sixth-longest effort in Texas Tech history. Both kicks also were the longest for a Texas Tech kicker since Ricky Gann hit a 55-yarder against Houston in 1984.
For the first time in the award's history, two kickers from the same team were honored with the AT&T Long Distance award when Texas Tech's Jaret Greaser and Tony Rogers both connected on 53-yard field goals at Kansas State. In honor of the accomplishment, AT&T has donated $400 to the NCAA's Degree-Completion Scholarship Program and each player will be awarded an engraved plaque in recognition of the achievement.
Hernandez Wins AT&T Long Distance Award: Junior punter Jeremy Hernandez, with is 53.3-yard punting average against Baylor, was the recipient of the weekly AT&T Long Distance Award given to the nation's best punting average in a single game. Hernandez is currently averaging 42.4 yards per punt and has been among the national leaders all season. Hernandez was awarded the starting job during the pregame warm-ups for the first game of the season at Kansas State. At that point, Dykes had not named a permanent starter.
Darden Looking For... Quadfecta?: Junior Tony Darden intercepted the first pass of his career as a defensive back against OSU and achieved the first of a unique hat trick in the process. With an interception return for a TD, he would achieve a rare quadruple: A TD rushing, passing, receiving and by interception. During his career, Darden has thrown a pass, caught a pass and has now intercepted a pass. He has also thrown for, rushed for and caught a touchdown. He caught his second interception of the year against Utah State and third at Kansas.
Darden came to Texas Tech in 1993 as one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in the Texas high school record books. At San Antonio's Holmes High School, Darden became the state's third-leading TD passer with 45 as a senior in 1992. He threw for 3,235 yards and had at least two TD passes in every game.
After redshirting in 1993, Darden switched to the receiver position midway through his freshman season after competing at quarterback with current starter Zebbie Lethridge. Last season an ankle injury slowed his progress after he started the first five games. He caught seven passes for 47-yards in the Copper Bowl. Last spring, Darden moved to cornerback and is the starting left slot.
Defense: Despite losing five starters from last season, the Tech defense has risen to the occasion this season. Coordinator John Goodner's squad is ranked 18th nationally in rushing defense and limited Nebraska to almost half of their total rushing average last weekend. Prior to the 4th quarter of the Georgia contest, the Tech defense had not allowed an offensive TD in nine-straight quarters of play, dating back to the Kansas State 2nd quarter. In addition, Tech had not allowed an opponent to convert a fourth-down this season until late in the Georgia game.
Texas Tech's defense returns six starters in 1996 as well as junior Tony Daniels. Last year the Red Raider defense finished third nationally in pass efficiency, 19th in turnover margin and 24th in scoring defense. Last season the Tech defense averaged almost 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage per game.
Texas Tech is listed no lower than 27th in any defense category nationally. The Red Raiders are 13th in turnover margin, 18th in rushing, 22nd in passing, 26th in scoring and 27th in total defense on the season following the Nebraska contest.
Scovell Pursuing Medical Career: Tech's second-leading receiver in 1995 with 16 catches for 303 yards, Field Scovell graduated last spring with a 3.699 grade point average in finance. The two-time GTE Academic All-District VI selection is taking undergraduate courses this fall in preparation for medical school. He missed Tech's first scrimmage during two-a-days to take the medical school entrance examination (MCAT). He caught TD passes against Baylor and Utah State and is averaging 15.7 yards per catch. He also completed his first career pass on a successful fake field goal toss to Sammy Morris against KSU.