Nov 26, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; A Texas Tech Red Raiders cheerleader before the game against the Baylor Bears at Cowboys Stadium. Baylor won 66-42. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Knowing the Big 12: Texas Tech Red Raiders

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The seventh Big 12 opponent on the schedule for the Kansas Jayhawks in 2012 will be the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Red Raiders finished last season with an overall record of 5-7 and a Big 12 conference record of 2-7. Six of their nine Big 12 conference games came against ranked opponents. Their record against these six ranked opponents was 1-5. The ranked teams they lost against included: the #24 Texas A&M Aggies, the #17 Kansas State Wildcats, the #21 Texas Longhorns, the #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys, and the #18 Baylor Bears. The only win they had against a ranked opponent came in shocking fashion. On October 22nd, Texas Tech defeated the #3 Oklahoma Sooners in Norman by a score of 41-38.

The Red Raiders returned three of their top offense players from 2011 this season. The players returning include their leading passer, leading rusher, and leading receiver. Seth Doege will return as the starting quarterback for Texas Tech in 2012. Last season, Doege recorded 4,004 passing yards on 398 completions, 28 passing touchdowns, and ten interceptions. He also ran for four touchdowns. Eric Ward will also return as Doege’s leading partner in crime this season. In 2011, Ward recorded 800 receiving yards on 84 receptions and eleven receiving touchdowns.

On the other side of the offense, Eric Stephens will be returning as the starting running back in 2012. Stephens recorded 565 rushing yards on 108 attempts, eight rushing touchdowns, and 133 receiving yards on 16 receptions during his junior year at Texas Tech.

The one aspect that Texas Tech will need to improve this upcoming season will need to be their defense. Last season, the Texas Tech defense gave up an average of 48.9 points per game in their seven losses. They gave up more than 50 points three time and gave up 66 points to both Oklahoma State and Baylor.

The biggest loss for the Red Raiders on defense will be that of Scott Smith. Smith only played in eight games in 2011, but recorded some good stats that makes one wonder what he could of done if he played all twelve games. Last season, he recorded only 37 total tackles, but nine tackles for loss for 58 yards, and 5.5 sacks for 34 yards. He also forced three fumbles.

Smith entered the 2012 NFL Draft this past April and went undrafted. However, after the draft, he was signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent.

One player who had more tackles for loss than Scott Smith in 2011 and will be returning in 2012 for the Red Raiders is Terrance Bullitt. Last season, Bullitt recorded 56 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss for 40 yards, four broken up passes, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick. Bullitt will be entering his junior season with Texas Tech and will need to be a strong  leader if the Red Raiders are to see more success on defense in 2012.

2012 Texas Tech Red Raiders Schedule -

Northwestern State 9/1
@Texas State 9/8
New Mexico 9/15
@Iowa State 9/29
Oklahoma 10/6
West Virginia 10/13
@TCU 10/20
@Kansas State 10/27
Texas 11/3
Kansas 11/10
@Oklahoma State 11/17
Baylor 11/24

Other “Knowing the Big 12″ Previews -

TCU Horned Frogs
Kansas State Wildcats
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma Sooners
Texas Longhorns
Baylor Bears

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Baylor Bears Big 12 Big 12 Conference Eric Stephens Eric Ward Kansas Jayhawks Kansas State Wildcats Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma State Cowboys Scott Smith Seth Doege St. Louis Rams Terrance Bullitt Texas A&M Aggies Texas Longhorns Texas Tech Texas Tech Football Texas Tech Red Raiders

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