Texas Tech Football
Texas Tech Did Not Give Up The Fight: I hate moral victories, but that sure as hell felt like one. For the first time in a long time last night's loss was okay from the standpoint that there was absolutely no give-up in this team despite the injuries, suspensions, etc.
The shot that Taylor Potts took was indicative of the attitude of this team, and I'm happy as hell that he's leading this team, in that this team is better than what everyone thought and the talent gap between the have's and the have-not's is growing less and less each year. There's no doubt that UT held the talent advantage Saturday night, and someone brought this up in the game thread, either Texas isn't as good as I thought they were, Texas Tech is much better than I thought they were, or it's a little bit of both. The latter is usually true in cases like this, but Texas Tech is on the rise.
Again, the emphasize the correlation between Potts and this team, I thought this quote from Mike Leach was perhaps the highest praise I've seen from Leach about one of his quarterbacks, but was true of the entire team:
"He got hit hard a number of times and got up,’’ Leach said. "I don’t think it affected his play to the negative. He’s a rare, rare, rare quarterback. There are a lot of great quarterbacks out there that ultimately have great careers that can’t do what I just described. That is getting hit really, really, really hard, and then come in the next play, the next series, and march down the field at 10 yards a clip. He did that twice.’’
I plan on watching the game again later this morning and then I'm sure you'll see a ton of content from me and the other authors over the next few days.
And to address the officiating, there were missed calls and calls that certainly affected the game. Fans can either live in the past and keep reminding themselves of things that could have or should have been called. Just like 2008 where UT fans complain about the holding from the Texas Tech offensive linemen or Texas Tech fans pointing to the block in the back on the Jordan Shipley punt return that was, then wasn't, but it really was. I hated to see the Sergio Kindle helmet-to-helmet hit, and there's a chance that the NCAA could punish Kindle for next week's game (probably not), but at the end of the day, being upset or blaming the refs for calls or non-calls is non-productive. Besides, I think I learned more about the character of Taylor Potts in that one hit than I might have the whole season.
Game Stories: I would love to link to every game story, but the ones you probably care about the most are LAJ's Don Williams, FWST's Dwain Price, and DT's Alex Ybarra. From Price's article, here's defensive tackle and now, defensive end, Richard Jones:
"It was hard with us not being deep at [defensive] line, but we had to suck it up and step it up and do what we had to do," said tackle Richard Jones, who also played a good portion of the game at defensive end. "I’m proud of everybody that played d-line.
"I think we played good and we fought to the end. That’s all we could do."
Texas Tech Looked Elite: LAJ's Don Williams with an excellent op-ed piece on how Texas Tech's performance did not discredit the thought that the Red Raiders are a program on the rise:
Back in the summer, blue-chip wide receiver Kadron Boone from Ocala, Fla., told me he watched last year’s Texas Tech-Texas game with a mixture of excitement and despair.
Excited, like anyone else, at a classic college football game.
Despair, because Boone thought what fun it would be to play for Texas Tech, and no way would the Red Raiders search for players as far away as Florida. He guessed wrong, of course. Tech coaches started recruiting him not long after, and he committed to the Red Raiders a while back, perhaps signaling a continued shift in the credibility big-time recruits give Tech as a college option.
You know what? I don’t believe the Raiders did much, if anything, to damage that perception here Saturday night. I’d guess that talented teenagers who tuned into the latest installment of Tech-Texas on national television saw the same thing they saw in last year’s 39-33 Tech victory – Mike Leach’s program legitimizing itself as an honest-to-goodness team on the rise. That ought to make a 34-24 setback in the rematch go down a little easier. Tech, so many times humiliated on national television, looked as if it belonged in front of the 101,000 in the stadium and millions at home.
Blogs: RaiderAde's ayleein with some really good questions concerning the officiating . . . Tortilla Retort's RRR with some thoughts on the game . . . Dr. Saturday's Matt Hinton on the Kindle hit . . . SI's Stewart Mandel with some thoughts on the game . . .
Texas Tech Football Notebook: LAJ's Don Williams on punter Ryan Erxleben taking over for Donnie Carona . . . the update on who played at defensive end . . . the offensive line shuffle . . . . SS Brent Dewhurst getting the start . . .
Texas Longhorn Links: The Statesman has a number of articles (duh) including that the Texas defense looks like a national champ, the Texas Tech gambles do not pay off, their pre-game five questions are answered,