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ASU Football: First look at Texas Tech

The Sun Devils will face an ultimate air raid offense this Saturday.

NCAA Football: Eastern Washington at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils (1-1) will look to bounce back from an ugly home lose to San Diego State as ASU faces off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0) in Lubbock, Texas. The Red Raiders come into the game having convincingly won their home opener against Eastern Washington, 56-10.

Here are some things to watch out for from Texas Tech:

Air Raid

If there is one thing that Texas Tech football was been known for in the past decade, it’s that they love to sling the ball as often as possible. The Red Raiders led the nation in passing attempts and passing yards per game last season with almost 82 percent of the teams total yards coming through the air. They no longer have now-Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes behind center, but he has been replaced with senior Nic Shimonek, a Texas native who never started a game at Texas Tech before this season.

Shimonek has only played in five games for the Red Raiders but he certainly looked comfortable in the team’s home opener on Saturday, Sept. 2. The senior threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns while completing 26 of 30 passes. He managed to put up those numbers while not even playing the fourth quarter in the blowout victory.

One of Shimonek’s favorite targets on the night was junior wideout Keke Coutee, who had five receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Coutee was second on the team in receiving yards last season with 890, and he will likely take over as the main option in the passing game for Texas Tech.

ASU’s Secondary Woes

Last season when these two teams faced off it was a high-scoring shootout, with ASU pulling off a 68-55 victory at home thanks to an NCAA Division I-record eight touchdowns from Kalen Ballage. The Sun Devil’s secondary is just as porous as it was last year and it might be even worse, as they gave up almost 400 yards passing to New Mexico State in their season opener. The Red Raiders are certainly a better offensive team than New Mexico State, with superior quarterback play and more talented players at the skill positions.

Since ASU will likely struggle to contain Texas Tech’s explosive offense, the Sun Devils will have to make up for their poor defense with some offensive firepower of their own. That might be easy to find against the Red Raiders as Texas Tech allowed the most total yards per game last season in the nation, at 571 per contest. They also allowed the most points per game in the country, with opponents putting up almost 46 points every time time they played the Red Raiders.

The Sun Devils and Red Raiders face off on Saturday at 5 p.m. MST on FSN.