The prolific point totals and gaudy statistics are nice for Texas Tech, but its long-term goal is improving enough to compete for the Big 12 title.
The 19th-ranked Red Raiders (2-0) conclude their nonconference schedule when they host Indiana State on Saturday.
Texas Tech is playing its second straight Division I-AA school, and is coming off an 80-21 rout of Sam Houston State last Saturday. Cody Hodges made short work of the Bearkats, throwing for 356 yards and four touchdowns in the first half as the Red Raiders had their biggest scoring day in 52 years.
Coach Mike Leach used almost all of the second half to look at the backups on his roster, something he hopes will pay dividends in the long run.
“At this point and during every season, I look at tape and try to see 11 guys running around hard on both sides of the ball,” Leach said. “No matter how badly you think you play or practice one day or how well things go, you look for a little improvement every day.
“We need to keep playing better and work hard on every play, especially this week before we start conference play (Oct. 1 against Kansas in Lubbock). I’ve been pretty pleased with what we have done so far.”
Hodges has played barely more than five quarters this season, and has thrown for 890 yards and nine touchdowns while completing 74.3 percent (55-for-74) of his passes. His passer rating of 215.49 is second only to Southern California’s Matt Leinart.
Robert Johnson has a team-high 17 receptions for 338 yards, but 12 other players already have caught at least three passes. Danny Amendola has three TDs among his nine receptions while Jarrett Hicks has two scores out of his five catches.
“We’re not trying to make it out like we are trying to run up the score,” Hicks said. “We’re just worried about Texas Tech and working hard. A lot of that contributes to the freshmen that came in and if they can go down the field and score points that gives us confidence.”
Texas Tech has not started 3-0 since winning its first four games of the 2000 season.
Indiana State (0-2) will be hard-pressed to give coach Lou West his first win. The Sycamores are 0-9 all-time against current Big 12 schools and have not scored in their last two games against Big 12 teams, losing by a combined 82-0 at Nebraska and Iowa State in 1999.
One bright spot for the Sycamores has been the play of wide receiver Sam Logan. The junior had a school and Gateway Conference-record 17 catches for 151 yards in a 27-15 defeat to Murray State last Saturday. Logan had 12 receptions alone in the first quarter, and has 30 of the team’s 91 receptions.
Quarterback Blayne Baggett set a school record by completing 33 passes in the loss, and became the first Indiana State quarterback to throw for 200 or more yards in his first three games.
Baggett has thrown for 752 yards, but also has been intercepted six times while throwing just two touchdowns.
This will be the first meeting between these schools.