The bye is tough. The bye is merciless.
The bye helps you get healthy and by my count we have at least 5 x starters or key players hurt. Terry McDaniel, Brandon Carter, W. Ford, Steven Sheffield, Sam Fehoko All of whom the Raiders will need at Stillwater.
Watched the ut folks beat up the Cowboys on Saturday night. Darned if the longhorn defense didn’t dominate those guys in the second half. Sort of rattled the receivers and pressured Zac Robinson. He just kept getting less and less accurate. Result 4 x picks. 2 x for TD’s. The thing about going to Stillwater is it’s tight, noisy and Leach doesn’t seem to get a great effort out of the team in that venue. Not exactly setting the world on fire in Stillwater is Mike? Played well enough I suppose just never seems to get the Cowboys heads down and keep them down. It’s even a bad loss from the 05 season as I recall. 07 Stilwater game doesnt count - IMO - because we could have won it in the waning seconds.That's just football.
I am little suspicious about bye weeks – the preparation - that is just based on last year’s crappy result in Norman. Of course the intangibles like the pressure, a # 2 national ranking, and media hype all coupled with trying to do too much seemed to plague that group.This group doen't have most of those intangibles. Stillwater is likely to be excited but not half as fired up as those Sooners were in 08. (Maybe) Watching the Raiders joust with KU all afternoon- 52 plus minutes - I ‘m pretty sure we don’t have to worry that the team will be too hyped or tight going into Boone P’s stadium. In fact I’d expect them to be pretty loose because I’m sure the Raiders won’t be favored.
But some random factoids.
Oklahoma State now ranks 13th nationally in rushing defense. OSU Def Coord. Young has a weekly goal to hold the opposition to fewer than 100 rushing yards. The Cowboys limited Texas to 99 (3.1 per attempt).
Last Saturday’s Longhorn figures exactly match OSU’s season averages of 99.0 rushing yards allowed per game and 3.1 allowed per attempt.
It is becoming more obvious that Young might have been the best coordinator hire in college football this year. That last bit was an OSU newspaper opinion. Earlier in the year I commented that I didn’t think this defensive coordinator could work miracles in a single spring practice period plus one season of concentrated work. 27 offensive points by ut and maybe I’m beginning to be a believer.
Just based on our offensive struggles vs. aTm and KU without Sticks I am pretty concerned we’ll see another low scoring effort. By that I mean Raiders only put up 35 – or so points. Without a crushing Tech defensive effort that’s probably not going to cut it. Despite the success of the 4th Quarter run game vs. KU I am unconvinced the Raiders will run on the Cowboys. The special teams play for the Raiders basically put the Jayhawks away. No returns. No gaffes. A near punt block and Lord have mercy a trick play by the special teams snapping to Ryan Hale for a Raider first down. You can bet Mike Gundy notices that detail. So very late in the game Special teams delivered the short field for Batch’s last score.
The Raiders are suspect on away game performance (efforts) against ranked opponents. That probably qualifies as a blinding flash of the obvious.
In road games this year Tech is on the wrong side of 60 % with losses @ ut, UH, and a huge win in Lincoln.
The Tech injury news is appalling. We are going to start a 7th different O line rotation. Sticks isn’t going to play. Potts is probably still a little dinged up. He has a displayed limited touch. The wide receivers need glue on the fingers. Can OSU afford to think about us right now? Well they play Iowa State this Saturday in Ames and they will be favored by 3 scores at minimum. So I ask you fellow DTNers what is the game plan for the bye week? Yes the Raiders heal up; yes get your academics straight. Yes Coaches go out and recruit. Yes get tough with the conditioning work. The rub is the preparation phase. BTW I don’t like Leach being out of Lubbock during the season and here’s why. It’s the polish and execution of the offense which worries me. Yes it’s great to see the Head Pirate on National TV, TTU gets a push in the advertising game. That’s all wonderful feel good stuff. Smiley faces etc. ESPN gets chuckles I am fine with all that. But I am not fine with a loss of team focus. Final random thoughts I always felt watching the Raiders against Ol’ Miss last year that they looked like they needed 2 or 3 more days of practice. Timing, route running and defensive recognition all looked a step slow. Let’s hope we see none of that in Stillwater in 10 days. Team sports is all about momentum and coaches know this. So no worries? It’s a bye week. Right?