ASU’s Todd Graham: Texas Tech is the ‘most explosive offense’ we’ll face

Sep 9, 2016, 9:48 AM | Updated: 11:00 am

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury during the first half/ second half of an NCAA college footbal...

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury during the first half/ second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

(AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

LISTEN: Todd Graham, ASU football head coach

Since 2000, the year Mike Leach brought the ‘Air Raid’ offense to Texas Tech, no team in college football has gained more yards than the Red Raiders.

Tech has rolled up 100,017 yards (they did they math). That’s more than Oregon, Oklahoma, Houston and Hawaii.

They padded that advantage in a Week 1 rout of Stephen F. Austin in which they piled up 758 yards in a 69-17 win.

Kliff Kingsbury ran the ‘Air Raid’ as a quarterback under Leach from 2000 to 2002 and he sticks pretty much to the script now as the head coach in Lubbock.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Stopping that powerful attack is the challenge Todd Graham and the Arizona State Sun Devils face this week as they host Texas Tech in Tempe Saturday night.

“They were the number-one offense, I think, in the country last year, passing the football, just about every category” Graham told Doug and Wolf Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “This is probably as good a quarterback as we’re going to play against this year at what he does. He is a master of the ‘Air Raid.'”

That quarterback is Patrick Mahomes, a junior from Whitehouse, Texas, who threw for 4,653 yards and 36 touchdowns last season. He had ten games in which he passed for 350 or more yards and five in which he had four or more touchdown passes. Mahomes picked up right where he left off in the season opener last week, completing 30-of-43 passes for 483 yards and four scores — in just over two quarters of play!

“We’re not going to play a more explosive offense this year than this group,” Graham continued. “And that’s saying something in the Pac-12. Texas Tech is a very formidable, big challenge.”

Mahomes can also make plays with his legs — he had a team-high 57 yards on the ground and two touchdowns last week. And weapons? He’s got plenty. Seventeen Red Raiders caught a pass against SFA.

While Graham has experience in defending the ‘Air Raid,’ he claims Texas Tech’s coaching staff has added a few tweaks which have customized the Red Raiders’ offense. The fifth-year head coach is looking forward to the challenge.

“This is why you coach, man,” Graham said. “To get to go into these weeks like this. Obviously, we’ve got to improve. We’ve got to score points, we’ve got to correct mistakes and take the things that are given to us.”

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