Inside receiver Tank Dell is a problem
The best receiver in this game, at least by career stats and accomplishments, will be on the Cougars’ sideline. 5-foot-10, 165-pound Nathaniel “Tank” Dell is arguably one of the best inside receivers in the nation and a player that Tech will have to gameplan around.
Last year, the Florida native and former JUCO standout caught 90 passes for 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns. However, against Tech, he managed only one reception for five yards. Don’t expect that to be the case again this year.
Dell ended 2021 on fire posting five 100-yard games in the season’s final seven outings. That included nine catches for 152 yards and a TD against Cincinnati and 10 grabs for 150 yards against Auburn in Houston’s bowl game.
This is a player that Houston will try to get isolated one-on-one against some Red Raider defensive backs, especially given how Tech struggled at times to defend the deep pass against Murray State.
While the Racers threw for just 208 yards, they did have a pair of 50-yard completions in the first half against Tech. On both plays, the Red Raider defender was in a position to make a play on the ball and seemed to lose his awareness of where the ball was in relation to the receiver. Look for Houston to try to put the Red Raider secondary in similar situations with Dell as the primary target.
Dell is the only truly experienced receiver on the Houston roster. But this past week against UTSA, they had at least eight players catch two or more passes meaning that Tune was comfortable spreading the ball around.
Still, it was Dell with five receptions for 50 yards and two scores who was Tune’s favorite outlet. That will likely be the case again on Saturday so the Red Raiders had better have a plan for stopping Dell.