Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:41 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:41 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Texas Tech.
Spring Practice Starts: Friday, February 17
Spring Game: Saturday, March 24
Three Things To Look For:
1. Finding stability on defense. Texas Tech has gone through a number of different defensive coordinators in recent years, and it's shown on the field. This year it's up to Art Kaufman to revamp a defense that finished eighth in the Big 12 in total defense and ninth in scoring defense in 2011. His job won't be easy, either, as Texas Tech was equally terrible against both the run and pass last season. Fixing all Tech's problems on the defensive side of the ball can't be done in only one year, let alone in a couple weeks of practices, but the foundation to building a new defense must start being built now.
2. Seth Doege must lead the way at quarterback. The Red Raiders come into the spring with only two quarterbacks on scholarship in senior Seth Doege and redshirt freshman Michael Brewer. Which means that this job belongs to Doege, and he will play a large role in how well Texas Tech performs in 2012. Doege was good last year in his first year as a starter, but he does have to work on his decision making. While he can't be blamed for Tech losing 7 of its last 8 games, he did throw 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in Tech's 7 losses. Compare those numbers to the 18 touchdowns and 1 interception Doege threw in Tech's victories. With a year of experience in the offense under his belt, and not having to worry about losing his job, Doege can focus solely on his decision making this spring.
3. Getting healthy. Tech has a bit of a problem this spring with health. All those injuries that helped sink the 2011 season are still impacting the team now, as players like Eric Stephens, DeAndre Washington, Alex Torres, Happiness Osunde, and Chris Yeakey are all still recovering from knee surgeries that were needed following last season. Of course, while these injuries hurt, they'll also provide opportunities for players lower on the depth chart to step up and shine.
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Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:34 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 2:31 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
It's never, ever too early to talk about the next college football season once the previous one has passed. But it's a lot less too early once the deadline for NFL Draft declarations has passed and teams can enjoy an accurate -- or at least semi-accurate -- gauge of what their returning talent will look like next season.
Thanks to data-cruncher Phil Steele, we can enjoy that same semi-accurate gauge. As he does every January -- among the teams predicted for big things at this time last year were Michigan, Alabama and Vanderbilt -- Steele has released a comprehensive list of FBS returning starters for 2012, ranking each team 1-123. Yes, 123, thanks to the arrivals of UT-San Antonio, Texas State and UMass; Larry Coker's UTSA Roadrunners even top the list with 23 total returning starters (11 offensive, 10 defensive, and both specialists) as they ready for their first WAC season.
But of course, UTSA has its work cut out for it to make an impact, no matter how experienced its players might be. Among programs college football fans are more familiar with, here's the numbers and teams from Steele's data that stand out:
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Tags: ACC, Al Golden, Alabama, Auburn, Big Ten, Boise State, Chris Petersen, Colorado State, Dan Goodale, Derek Dooley, Florida, Fresno State, Georgia, Gus Malzahn, Indiana, Jerry Hinnen, Larry Coker, LSU, Miami, Miami, Michigan, Mountain West, Nevin Shapiro, non-BCS, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, ORegon, Pac-12, Phil Steele, Rose Bowl, Ryan Aplin, SEC, Seth Doege, Sun Belt, Tennessee, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, Tyler Bray, UCLA, UMass, USC, UT-San Antonio, Vanderbilt, WAC, Wisconsin
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:17 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
BAYLOR WON. Oh the points, there were so many of them on Saturday night in Cowboys Stadium. I mean, how often does a team score 42 points and lose a game by 24? What makes all of this even more unbelievable is that Baylor played the entire second half of this contest without Robert Griffin who missed the final 30 minutes after suffering a head injury late in the second quarter. Griffin still managed to account for 168 total yards and 3 touchdowns before leaving, but his replacement, Nick Florence, managed 165 total yards and 3 touchdowns of his own in his place. Though the real workhorse for Baylor on Saturday was Terrance Ganaway, who carried the ball 42 times for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Seth Doege threw for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns for Texas Tech, but his 2 interceptions played a huge role in this game as well. Eric Ward caught 16 passes for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. As you can tell, there was a lot of offense in this one, as both teams combined for 1,049 yards.
WHY BAYLOR WON. In a game like this, where neither defense seems all that interested in forcing the other team to punt, turnovers are going to play a huge role, and they did in this one. The biggest reason Baylor won this game is that it turned the ball over twice while Texas Tech turned it over 4 times. You can't afford to give possessions away in a game like this, and Texas Tech did too many times.
WHEN BAYLOR WON. This was a game in which no lead felt safe, but when Nick Florence scored from a yard out to make it 59-42 with just over 9 minutes left it was basically done. There was no way Texas Tech could be counted on to stop Baylor three times.
WHAT BAYLOR WON. For the first time since both schools joined the Big 12, Baylor beat Texas Tech. That wasn't the only landmark for the Bears in this game either, as Baylor has now won 5 Big 12 games for the first time since joining the conference and has a chance to reach 9 wins before the regular season ends. Which means a 10-win season is still in play, which would be a huge accomplishment for Art Briles' team.
WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. There will be no bowl game for Texas Tech. For the first time since 1992 the Red Raiders will finish a season with a losing record. Not exactly what Tommy Tuberville was hoping for in his second season in Lubbock, but the Raiders just suffered so many injuries down the stretch that I'm not sure what more he could have done.
THAT WAS CRAZY. There are so many things from this game that I could cite as insane, but how about this one: Baylor scored 31 points in the first half with Robert Griffin in the game. It scored 35 points in the second half without him. Who would have thought that would be possible?
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:11 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
TEXAS TECH WILL WIN IF: It can rediscover its offense. Since holding a 31-7 lead on Oklahoma the Texas Tech offense has only scored 34 points and its opponents have scored 127. That's not going to work, especially against an offense like Oklahoma State's. It's hard to think that a defense that has allowed 34.2 points and 453.7 yards per game is suddenly going to figure things out and shut down the Cowboys. It's not going to happen, so if Texas Tech wants to win this game, it's just going to have to outscore Oklahoma State. Not an easy feat, but Kansas State nearly pulled it off on Saturday. In order for that to happen then Seth Doege and the offense will have to take care of the ball. This Oklahoma State defense forces more turnovers than anybody in the country, and Texas Tech can't afford to forfeit possessions in this game if it is going to have a chance.
OKLAHOMA STATE WILL WIN IF: Oklahoma State just has to keep doing what it's been doing all season, though a better defensive effort than what we saw on Saturday against Kansas State would help. Oklahoma State's been giving up points all season, but against Kansas State it got pushed around more than it had all season. The good news for the Cowboys is that Collin Klein isn't playing for Texas Tech this weekend. So if its defense can keep forcing turnovers and Brandon Weeden keeps playing like he has been, then this game shouldn't present much of a problem.
X-FACTOR: Adam James. Yes, that Adam James. He may be most known for who his father is and everything that led to the dismissal of Mike Leach at Texas Tech, but he's become a solid contributor to the Red Raiders offense the last few weeks. After not making a catch in the first four games of the season, James has 19 catches for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns in the last five games, and had 95 yards last week against Texas. Texas Tech is going to need all the weapons it can get on Saturday, and if James is able to give Doege another reliable target to move the ball downfield, it'll improve the Raiders' chances.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 10:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
IOWA STATE WON. So much for any momentum that Texas Tech may have brought into this game after beating Oklahoma last week. Texas Tech came out like a team that spent a bit too much time celebrating that upset, and Iowa State had no problem punching the Red Raiders right in the face from the opening whistle. Thanks to a couple of Texas Tech turnovers, Iowa State had a 21-0 lead in this one before the first quarter had even ended, and if not for an Iowa State fumble at the goal line, it easily could have been 28-0.
Jared Barnett didn't have a great night passing in his first career start, but he did rush for 92 yards and a touchdown. As a team Iowa State finished the night with 368 yards on the ground, led by James White's 138 yards and Duran Hollis' 102 yards.
WHY IOWA STATE WON. It actually came to Lubbock ready to play a football game, while Texas Tech seemed to figure that beating Oklahoma meant it would beat Iowa State as well. Also playing a large factor, you know those 368 rushing yards I mentioned earlier? Yeah, well all those yards helped Iowa State keep possession of the ball for 40 minutes in this game. Time of possession is an overrated stat in football, but when you're down 21 points so early, you need to have the ball to come back. Texas Tech rarely had it.
WHEN IOWA STATE WON. After Seth Doege scored a touchdown in the second quarter to cut Iowa State's lead to 21-7, there was a sense that Texas Tech was going to get back into this one. Only, they never did. Iowa State would tack on a field goal before the break and when Duran Hollis took off for a 71-yard touchdown run a minute into the second half, this one was over.
WHAT IOWA STATE WON. The Cyclones finally picked up their first conference win of the season on Saturday night, and they also got back to 4-4 on the season. Which means that a bowl game is not out of the picture for Paul Rhoads and Iowa State.
WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. Well, let's just say the Raiders time in the Top 25 will be short-lived after this one. Also, any positive feelings about the direction of the program after the Oklahoma upset are gone after taking such a beating at home.
THAT WAS CRAZY. As I documented on the blog earlier, the fact that Jared Barnett was put back in the game after taking a blow to the head in the first half was not an intelligent decision.
Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 12:03 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
KANSAS STATE WILL WIN IF: It can continue to dominate games with its rushing attack. The Wildcats have shown an ability to put a lot of points on the board the last few weeks against Texas Tech and Kansas with their rushing game, and currently Kansas State's rushing attack is 19th in the country. Collin Klein, Kansas State's starting quarterback, may also be the team's best running back as well. He leads the Wildcats with 670 yards rushing this season and has also rushed for 14 touchdowns. Though the best way for Klein and the Wildcats to sustain the rushing attack this weekend may be if Klein presents more of a threat through the air. Oklahoma's front seven is stronger and more athletic than any defense Kansas State has seen this season, and it's only allowing 3.14 yards per carry this season. So if Kansas State's offense is one dimensional, it probably won't find consistent success on Saturday.
OKLAHOMA WILL WIN IF: As I alluded to above, it needs to keep the Kansas State offense one-dimensional. Collin Klein has proven multiple times this season that he can beat teams with his legs, but he's yet to prove he can do it with his arm. So even though the Oklahoma defense is coming off a performance in which it saw its secondary get torched by Texas Tech and Seth Doege, Klein isn't quite the passer that Doege is. On the season Klein has thrown for 934 yards and 8 touchdowns, but is only completing 59% of his passes. On offense the Sooners can't afford another slow start. They were able to overcome it against Kansas because, well, it's Kansas. Against Texas Tech it just didn't happen. The problem here is that Kansas State's defense has been much better than that of Texas Tech this season and is the best one the Sooners will have seen since the Florida State game.
X-FACTOR: Landry Jones. It may seem strange to call a quarterback who was being hyped for the Heisman before the season started an X-Factor, but the truth is that Jones just hasn't been the quarterback we've expected for the last month. He struggled in Oklahoma's win over Florida State, but ever since his 5 touchdown performance against Ball State, he hasn't been stellar. In the last three games Jones has thrown for 1,142 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he's completing only 59% of his passes. Plus, a lot of those yards and touchdowns came in Oklahoma's comeback attempt against Texas Tech. This Sooners offense needs Jones to be the efficient passer we were all used to the last couple of seasons. If he can do that against Kansas State, then Oklahoma should win the game.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 3:52 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
We've reached the point of the college football season where those preseason watch lists we all remember from a few months ago start to whittle down to lists of semifinalists, and today we've got the 16 remaining contenders for the Davey O'Brien Award. The Davey O'Brien Award is given out annually by the Davey O'Brien Foundation to the best quarterback in the nation, and with all the great quarterbacks we've seen so far this season, it's not easy to cut this group down.
Though when you see the 16 names who made the cut below, you'll have a hard time arguing against any of them.
Matt Barkley, USC
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Seth Doege, Texas Tech
Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Case Keenum, Houston
Andrew Luck, Stanford
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Keith Price, Washington
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Darron Thomas, Oregon
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
It's a pretty nice group, and there isn't anybody in it who I'd argue should be taken out.
Tags: ACC, Andrew Luck, Arkansas, Awards, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Boise State, Brandon Weeden, C-USA, Case Keenum, Clemson, Darron Thomas, Davey O'Brien Award, Denard Robinson, Houston, Keith Price, Kellen Moore, Kirk Cousins, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, Michigan, Michigan State, Mountain West, MWC, Non-BCS, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, SEC, Seth Doege, Stanford, Tajh Boyd, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tom Fornelli, Tyler Wilson, USC, Washington, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 23, 2011 2:47 am
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