Texas Tech and Sam Houston State set for 6 p.m. Saturday kickoff

Sept. 12, 2005

Texas Tech (1-0) vs. Sam Houston State (1-1)
Sat., Sept. 17 / 6 p.m. CT
Jones SBC Stadium / Lubbock, TX

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Despite both being regional Texas teams, Texas Tech and Sam Houston State have never met on the football field. The two teams will get together for the first time Saturday in a 6 p.m. kickoff at Jones SBC Stadium in Lubbock. Texas Tech enters Saturday's game with a 1-0 mark, after opening the season with a 56-3 win over Florida International at Jones SBC Stadium last weekend. Sam Houston State is 1-1 on the year. The Bearkats opened the season with a 77-7 win over Bacone College and dropped a 31-10 decision at Houston last weekend. Texas Tech is coming off of an 8-4 season that culminated with a 45-31 over California in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, while Sam Houston State finished last season 11-3 and advanced to the Division I-AA semifinals.

First-year Sam Houston State head coach Todd Whitten spent time on the Red Raider coaching staff while attending graduate school at Texas Tech. He received his master's in education from Tech in 1990 after earning a bachelor's degree in education from Stephen F. Austin in 1987. Whitten was picked in the 1983 Major League Baseball draft in 1983, but opted for football at Stephen F. Austin. In 1987, Whitten signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots. Prior to his current position, Whitten was the head coach at Tarleton State, where he led his 2002 and 2003 teams to the Lone Star Conference North Division titles. Other coaching stops for Whitten include assistant coaching stints at New Mexico State, UTEP and Wyoming.

Tech's safeties and wide receivers will have more in common than just lining up against each other when the two teams take the field Saturday. SHSU wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord is the son of Tech safeties coach Carlos Mainord. The younger Mainord attended Tarleton State and played baseball for the Texans, before working as a student assistant with the football program in 1999.

Despite starting in the first game of his career, fifth-year senior QB Cody Hodges took over the reins of the program and looked like a seasoned veteran as Tech's new gunslinger completed 29-of-37 passes for 454 yards and four touchdowns. His debut was the best total offensive showing for a first-time starter under Leach as Hodges amassed 498 yards of total offense and accounted for five touchdowns. He scampered for a 17-yard score in the first half against Florida International and completed scoring strikes of seven, 47, 38 and 39 yards in just over three quarters of play. The start also made Hodges the fourth-straight fifth-year starter for the Red Raiders at quarterback. Only UCLA has had as many (1983-86).

Cody Hodges is the fourth different quarterback to open the season as the starter in head coach Mike Leach's six seasons at Texas Tech - and his performance mirrored those of his predecessors.

Redshirt freshman backup QB Graham Harrell relieved Hodges early in the fourth quarter and wasted little time marching the Red Raiders down the field on two touchdown drives of 38 and 64 yards, respectively. He completed 7-of-8 passes for 64 yards, including a long completion of 25 yards to redshirt freshman IR L.A. Reed.

It took junior redshirt IR Robert Johnson one series to get adjusted to his new receiver role. The former JUCO All-American quarterback made the conversion to receiver during spring workouts to best utilize his athletic ability. Johnson, who last played a receiver position as a sophomore in high school, took his first pass completion 24 yards, helping set up Tech's first score of the game against Florida International. Johnson's debut was the most impressive of any receiver in his first game under Leach as he finished with game highs in receptions (9) and receiving yards (129). He also caught his first touchdown pass on a 47-yard shot to the endzone from Hodges in the second quarter.

Senior RB Taurean Henderson, a candidate for the 2005 Doak Walker Award, is living proof that Texas Tech has a running game. The versatile back has 2,436 career rushing yards and ranked eighth nationally among this year's returning rushers. Henderson averaged 8.4 yards per carry on eight rushes against Florida International and scored once on the ground. He also grabbed three receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. If Henderson reached 3,000 rushing yards this season, he will be only the fifth player in school history to do so.

Henderson has 294 points in his career, 49 rushing and receiving touchdowns and is in second place on both lists at Texas Tech. He trails career leader James Gray in both categories (312 points and 52 touchdowns).

Henderson is among an elite list of collegiate football players with 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards during his career. Henderson joins former Tech All-American Donny Anderson (1963-65) on the list of 33 collegiate athletes throughout history who have done so. Henderson is one of three active players on the list.

Henderson is the only player in history among current Big 12 schools to rush for 2,000 yards and receive for 1,500 yards during a career. Henderson has 2,436 rushing yards and 1,592 receiving yards in four seasons.

Henderson is one of only four players in school history to record 200 catches during a career. The junior has 239 receptions to date and is 20 shy of tying the Tech record of 259, set by former Tech receiver and current Miami Dolphin team captain Wes Welker (2000-03).

Henderson's 239 career receptions ranks second in NCAA history among running backs. He trails former Long Beach State back Mark Templeton, who caught 262 passes from 1984-87.

Henderson's 20-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against FIU marked the eighth-straight game in which the senior has scored a touchdown, dating back to the Nebraska game last season. With his two touchdowns in the game, Henderson has 49 career touchdowns (rushing and receiving) and trails Tech's all-time touchdowns and scoring leader, James Gray (1986-89), by three touchdowns and 18 points.

CollegeFootballNews.com released a Redshirt Freshman All-America Team prior to the season and included Tech RB Shannon Woods on its second team. Woods, playing in his first collegiate game against Florida International, rushed for 42 yards on six carries and two touchdowns in the second half. He scored Tech's final two touchdowns of the game on runs of seven and two yards. He also caught a pass for six yards.

When Tech held Florida International without a touchdown, it marked the first time since shutting out New Mexico, 49-0, in 2002 that a Tech team had kept an opponent from reaching the endzone. Backup safety Hunter Coleman thwarted FIU's best chance at reaching the endzone. On 2nd-and-goal from the Tech 9-yard line, FIU QB Tavares Kendrick hit receiver Moses Hinton at the goal line, but Coleman arrived at the same time and kept Hinton out of the endzone as time expired in the game.