Texas Tech football scouting report: Lamar comes to Lubbock confident

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 18: A general view of Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 18: A general view of Jones AT /

The Texas Tech football team will host the Lamar Cardinals Saturday for the 2018 home opener.  Here’s a first look at what to expect from this FCS opponent.

If there was ever the perfect time for the Texas Tech football team to host an FCS opponent, it would be the week after a 20-point loss to open the season left the program reeling. But while the Red Raiders are facing questions up and down the roster, the Lamar Cardinals will come to Lubbock with a much more positive mindset after a huge win to open the season.

Playing in the Southland Conference, Lamar went just 2-9 in 2017 and 1-8 in league play.  They fell to the only FBS team they faced, North Texas, 59-14 and lost to recent Texas Tech opponents Sam Houston, S.F.A. and Central Arkansas.  Here’s what we can expect from this week’s opponent.

Lamar offense

Lamar is a team that prides itself on moving the ball.  Second-year head coach Mike Schulz was the offensive coordinator at TCU when LaDanian Tomlinson and Andy Dalton came through the program.  But last year, the Cardinals scored just 22.7 points per game, something they certainly improved upon in their season opener.

Lamar opened with an impressive 70-7 thrashing of Kentucky Christian Saturday in Beaumont.  The Cards racked up 602 yards of offense as eight different players found the end zone.

In the game, quarterback Darrell Colbert Jr. was more than efficient completing 15/17 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns.  He also ran for 61 yards and a touchdown on seven carries (with a long of 35 yards).

More from Wreck'Em Red

Backup quarterback Jordan Hoy was explosive in the win totaling 101 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries.  The transfer from Old Dominion only threw the ball once for 4 yards and one must wonder if he will be used in some wildcat offensive packages against the Red Raiders.

In fact, the top three Cardinal rushers against Kentucky Christian were quarterbacks as Hoy, Colbert (61 yards) and Adam Morse (67 yards) all had big impacts with their legs. Meanwhile, starting running back A.J. Walker put up 58 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Look for Lamar to try to keep the ball on the ground against the Red Raiders as 409 of its 602 total yards came via the run game. That should give the Texas Tech defense an opportunity to work on some of the mistakes it made against the run when it allowed 202 yards to Ole Miss’ Scottie Phillips.

One other note, Lamar lost two offensive starters for the season in the week-one win.  Sophomore o-lineman Chase Bridgeman and junior wide receiver Kendrick King both went down with injuries. Meanwhile, three other players on offense are listed as day-to-day as they prepare for Texas Tech.

Lamar Defense

Last year, Lamar yielded 35.5 points per game, 112th most in the FCS.  That is good news for a Texas Tech football team still looking to answer tons of questions at quarterback and receiver.

Against Kentucky Christian, Lamar yielded only 211 yards and forced four turnovers.  The Cardinals were especially tough on third down holding Kentucky Christian to just 3-17.

Linebacker Chaston Brooks had 78 tackles last year while forcing four fumbles to lead the team in both categories.  Meanwhile, a pair of disruptive defensive ends will require some attention.

David Crosley led the Cards with four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss last year while fellow DE Dedrick Garner recorded four tackles for loss while blocking three punts.

But at just 245 and 266 pounds respectively, those ends may find it difficult to stand up against the Texas Tech ground game.  However, in the middle of the line, the Cards boast three 300-pound defensive tackles.

Week-one game balls. dark. Next

Ultimately, this is a team that is one of the worst teams in the Southland Conference.  As such, Texas Tech should not have any trouble getting a win this weekend.  Instead, the key will be for the Red Raiders to get some answers and refine their game as they prepare for a week-3 showdown with Houston.