Red Raider Gridiron | All We Ever Talk About Is Running The Ball

LUBBOCK TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back Eric Stephens #24 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is tackled by Jackson Jeffcoat #44 of the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT&T Stadium on September 18 2010 in Lubbock Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Big 12 Future Schedules: You guys and gals have already discussed this, but thought I'd go ahead and post the even and odd years:

Odd Years
Home:  Texas A&M, Kansas St., Iowa St. and Oklahoma St.
Away:  Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Baylor

Even Years
Home:  Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Baylor
Away:  Texas A&M, Kansas St., Iowa St. and Oklahoma St.

I agree with a lot of you, it stinks not to split up the Texas and Oklahoma games, but it does give Texas Tech to catch both of those teams at home in the same year.  I'm typically indifferent to things like this, not because I don't care, but because it feels a little bit out of my control and I hate just about anything Dan Beebe does.

Commitment to Run:  DMN's Chuck Carlton writes that Texas Tech's commitment to running the football is for realzzz.  Here's head coach Tommy Tuberville:

"If you abandon it as we speak, then things will get worse," Tuberville said. "You'll be going through quarterbacks very quickly. We want the other team to at least acknowledge that we have a running game right now. Even though it's not there very much, they know that the opportunity is there for us to run it and they've got to defend it."

He acknowledged the growing pains. While Tech has a nice stable of running backs – you don't think Texas would love to have Baron Batch? - a young offensive line is dealing with inconsistency and blocking mistakes.

"We're trying to build this thing and make it solid, not just try to make a quick fix," Tuberville said. "Obviously, we want to win games, but the best way to win games is for us to be a little bit more balanced."

Chance to Run and Rebound:  DT's Jon Arnold writes that the Iowa St. game is a perfect opportunity to start a winning streak and DT's Jose Rodriguez writes that the Red Raiders look to stabilize the running game.  Here's RB Baron Batch on working together:

"It's just going to make me work harder," Batch said. "We're three games into it. It'd be a lot different if we were still at the same situation in game nine or 10 or something like that. If you think back to last year, we're running the ball a lot better than we were this time last year. And then towards the end of last year, we got really good at it.

"It's one of those things, you've got to get people gelled. I'm confident we'll get it going."

The Perfect Spread Quarterback:  Dr. Saturday guest author Chris Brown (of SmartFootball) has a really interesting post about what makes a perfect spread quarterback, focusing on Michigan's Denard Robinson and Auburn's Cameron Newton:

Sometimes, in college football, the strategies teams use take a quantum leap forward, marking off one epoch to the next, like when the pro style splitbacks and I-formations of the 1990s gave way to the age of the spread in the decade that just passed. More often, however, the evolution is more subtle: A tweak here, a wrinkle there, a new counter.

On that timeline, the last ten years were the age of the guru and the genius on the blackboard. But the one we're entering is the age of the tinkerer, the coach who can teach his fundamentals and find the tiny advantages that best uses his talent. Similarly, the age of "the spread" (however you want to try to define the term) as a decided schematic advantage may have peaked, but the dual-threat quarterback it ushered in is clearly here to stay.

This is really an interesting topic to me and one that we've talked about here and there.  Yes, there is a difference between the spread offense and Air-Raid, but it's certainly interesting to see how the most successful offenses this year are offenses with dynamic play-makers at the quarterback position.  Not necessarily passers in the Graham Harrell mode, but dynamic players.  And this is the crux of whatever it is that we may discuss, really at any position, which is that play-makers make a difference.  You can certainly ask this question about any position on Texas Tech's team, offense or defense.  There is a reason why ILB Bront Bird is catching some heat, and it's because he's not making plays.  There is a reason why QB Taylor Potts is catching some (i.e., a lot) of heat, and it's because he's not making plays. 

The difference between just being good and great is if a player can make a difference, in a positive manner, on as many plays as possible.

Iowa St. Cyclone Links: GoCyclones' Bobby LaGeese writes about the Iowa St. cornerbacks . . .

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/431279/big_12_logo_resize.jpg Predictions, Big 12 and National Links:  The Rivals folks have their weekly articles (a day late for me), Rivals.com's Mike Huguenin Week 5 Primer and Rivals.com's Olin Buchannan Week 5 Preview in the Big 12 . . . Football Outsiders' Brian Fremeu and his super-computers predict a 40-22 Texas Tech win . . . DMN's Mike Graham predicts a 45-24 win . . .

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