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Red Raiders' success starts with underrated O-line

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay breaks down the film and finds that the key to Texas Tech's high-powered offense starts with its underrrated offensive line.

Originally Published: October 30, 2008
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
Even the average college football fan is familiar with Mike Leach's high-octane, spread-formation, aerial attack at Texas Tech. This year's version is ranked first in passing offense and third in scoring offense. Such high rankings are hardly unusual for Tech, especially considering the experience of QB Graham Harrell and the rare skill level of his favorite target, Michael Crabtree.

What is unusual -- and going mostly unnoticed -- is the exceptional play of the Red Raiders' offensive line, which has allowed only three sacks in 391 pass attempts through eight games. The only other FBS team allowing fewer sacks is Air Force (two), which has attempted a measly 74 passes all season.

Texas Tech is also running the ball more effectively this season (138.5 yards per game) than it has at any previous point in Leach's tenure. In addition to keeping opposing defenses honest, Tech's rushing aptitude comes in handy in short-yardage and red zone situations, which have been a downfall of this "finesse" offense in the past. The Red Raiders currently rank in the top 40 in both third-down conversion percentage and red zone scoring offense.

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