September 18, 2011

Notebook: Pressbox helped QB

Sometimes the media and off-the-field team officials play a bigger role in a game than fans might think. The New Mexico pressbox was on top of the game Saturday in Texas Tech's 59-13 win.

Without two sports information directors' help, Tech quarterback Seth Doege's record setting day would not have happened.

If it wasn't for a friendly New Mexico sports information director and Texas Tech athletic director for media relations Blayne Beal, Doege would not have had enough completions to set the NCAA record for highest completion percentage of quarterbacks that throw 40 completions in a game.

Doege would have finished the game with 39 completions and no record, albeit a great performance.

Very late in the third quarter, the New Mexico sports information director was researching Doege's performance and comparing it to NCAA bests when he came across the record. He learned Doege was just one pass away.

At that point, the New Mexico sports information director alerted Beal to the fact Doege needed one more completion to go into the record book and Beal took off from the pressbox to the Tech coaches' booth and alerted the coaches.

Already leading 52-7, and not aware of the significance of Doege's performance on a national level, the plan on the sideline was to bench Doege and play backup quarterback Jacob Karam for the final seconds of the third quarter and the fourth quarter.

However, once it was radioed down that Doege needed just one more completion for the NCAA record, Doege was informed he was on the cusp of the significant stat and put back into the game for one last play with 47 seconds left in the third quarter.

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown dialed up a high-percentage screen play, Doege completed his 40th pass of the game to Tramain Swindall for 12 yards and the rest is now history.

Doege went into the record book Saturday completing 40-of-44 passes for 401 yards and a 90.1 completion percentage.

"Seth was the offensive player of the game," Brown said during Sunday's coordinator availability. "He was really efficient, our motto coming into the game was 'take what they give you.'

Doege's day also brought back a good memory of Taylor Potts for Brown. Both quarterbacks went 15-for-15 in a single game at one point

"I didn't realize until after the game that Potts started 15-for-15 last year against Baylor," Brown said. "(Doege) was hot early. I thought he did a really good job of going underneath, thought he got the ball to Darrin Moore early and that was our plan. He did a good job of hitting some check downs to the running backs also."

MAKING THE GRADES

Needless to say, Doege was the Red Raiders' offensive player of the game.

But Doege could not have done it without his supporting cast.

Moore was Doege's leading receiver, but Brown wasn't completely pleased with the No. 1 target's 118 yards on nine receptions.

"I would say he played good but he didn't play like one of the elite Big 12 receivers in that game," Brown said. "Stats were good, but he didn't play like an elite guy to me."

Brown cited Moore's dropped pass in the endzone -- Doege's first incompletion of the game -- as something Moore should have had as well as an incompletion on fourth-and-three at the New Mexico 29-yard line in the second quarter.

Brown also thought Karam and Alex Torres played well and said Cornelius Douglas played his best game ever as a Red Raider Saturday. Left tackle La'Adrian Waddle was the offensive lineman of the week.

Defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow said freshman Sam linebacker Blake Dees was not as productive as he was against Texas State but played a better game, especially calling the fronts.

Glasgow added freshman middle linebacker Sam Eguavoen looked better as the game went on, especially after making some adjustments during the first lightning delay.

GLASGOW TALKS ABOUT THE DEEP BALL ISSUES

The Tech secondary looked like it could have gotten beat deep a few times during the New Mexico game.

Good news for Tech though, the mistakes were more mental than they were athletic.

"We played alright," Glasgow said. "We gave up a couple of long passes because we didn't get lined up the right way. Cody Davis deal, he came down too tight to the line of scrimmage and let (New Mexico's) No. 20 run right past him.

"We said all week how fast No. 20 was and No. 20 is a good player. He caught one on the corner route deal on third-and-long deal when we were playing squats and halves. We've just go to get better on those things."

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