After week one, seven FBS teams have loses on their records to FCS teams. This fact isn’t lost on coach Kingsbury as the Red Raiders prepare to host Stephen F. Austin this Saturday in Lubbock in front of a national television audience.
“We treat every opponent the same, treat them with respect and try to focus on us,” Kingsbury said. “I would assume we’re going to be ready to play.”
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks come into this weekend’s game with an 0-1 record after losing a shootout to Weber State 50-40 on Saturday. SFA quarterback Brady Attaway threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns but added three interceptions to help give the Wildcats the win.
Tech’s only other game versus SFA was in 2001 when then quarterback Kliff Kingsbury broke the Tech record for career TD passes (49). The Red Raiders won 58-3.
SFA finished 2012 with the second best passing attack in the FCS, which usually means the offense goes through the quarterback. With 22 starts, 6,839 yards and 54 touchdowns, fifth-year senior Brady Attaway knows how to pitch the rock around the yard. Next to him in the backfield is junior running back Gus Johnson, who led the ‘Jacks with 110 rushing yards and one touchdown on 24 carries against Weber State. Last season, Johnson rushed for 743 and 13 touchdowns on 121 carries. Those are very good numbers for an Air Raid offense and we’ve seen similar numbers around these parts for over a decade now.
All in all, the ‘Jacks put up plenty of numbers in division 1-AA and return several starters, but I can’t imagine they’ll have tremendous success against the Red Raider defense.
Here’s an interesting tidbit: SFA quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator Landon Hoefer is a former Tech receiver. A perennial scout team member, Hoefer left Tech as a junior after the 2008 season and did time with Ruffin McNeill and Lincoln Riley at East Carolina and Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia. He was hired at SFA in June of this year.
The ‘Jacks defense gave up 484 yards and five touchdowns to Weber State on Saturday, so I imagine Kingsbury’s offense won’t struggle too terribly. Weber State score touchdowns on a 39-yard run, a 27-yard pass, a 1-yard run, a 19-yard run and a 57-yard run. Four touchdowns on the ground and one through the air all average out to 28.6 yards per score. If ever there’s a chance to get the offense rolling this season, particularly the running game, it’s against the ‘Jacks defense.
Weber State added two additional scores to get to 50 points, one on an interception return and another on a kickoff return. However it happens, I’ll be disappointed if the Red Raiders don’t score at least 60 on Saturday.
I’m looking forward to seeing improvement in all three phases of the game this weekend, and I’m expecting lots of backups to see time early in the third quarter. There’s absolutely no reason this game can’t be over by the start of the second half.