We’re getting to that point in the season where I’m starting to wonder if I’ve asked any of these five questions before. Too bad for you that I’m too lazy to look to see if I have or have not. Let’s get to it.
1. WILL DOEGE BE ABLE TO LEAD THIS TEAM? Although it hasn’t been officially announced I think it’s safe to say that the quarterback position is Seth Doege’s to lose. There are a lot more questions about Doege than answers. Everyone questions whether his knees will hold up after having surgery his junior and senior seasons in high school and whether or not he has what it takes to lead the offense. Personally, I don’t think that his knees are a problem and watching him during the spring game, he has enough speed to zone read and carry the ball himself. My biggest questions after watching the spring game is whether or not he has the arm to get the ball down the field and make the opposing defenses not bunch up around the line of scrimmage and whether or not he has enough experience to recognize what an opposing defense is throwing at him and his ability to recognize that. So fair reader, what do you think about Doege and his quest to be the quarterback for this team?
2. HOW MUCH IMPACT WILL SCOTT SMITH HAVE AFTER HIS SUSPENSION IS LIFTED? When DE Scott Smith was suspended for the better part of last year it was a devastating blow to a pass rush that never really had the ability to put much pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. When Smith was on the field he made things happen. He wasn’t the best at stopping the run, but I get the feeling that he wasn’t asked to do that under Willis, but he will be asked to do that under Glasgow. I think I’ve heard that Smith will be suspended for the first four games this year (I think making this a 12 game suspension total) and I’ve got no problem with Tuberville not releasing the reason why he was suspended. When and if Smith comes back, do you think he’ll have the same impact that he did last year and do you think that with the addition of Leon Mackey and the hopeful maturation of Jackson Richards, Dartwan Bush and Aundrey Barr there’s enough at the defensive end position to feel comfortable moving into 2011?
3. WILL THE OFFENSIVE LINE BE GOOD ENOUGH? Last year I thought the offensive line made significant strides to being a better offensive line. The numbers seem to play that out as the offense was better at rushing the ball and did a better job of protecting Potts. Still, there were pockets where the offensive line was inconsistent, see the UT game, and the effect of which was devastating. Part of this was that Texas Tech was transitioning between using both a man blocking scheme and a zone blocking scheme. I've always thought that the key to success for a college player or team is this idea of consistency in that it's easy to do it some of the time, the tough part is doing it all of the time. Since every starter is returning, LT LaAdrian Waddle, LG Lonnie Edwards, C Justin Keown, RG Deveric Gallington and RT Mickey Okafor, along with super-sub Terry McDaniel and last year's true freshman who would have played had it not been for an appendectomy, Beau Carpenter, do you think the offensive line has learned from their mistakes and be the most consistent unit on the team next year or do you think there are still questions about whether or not they'll be able to play at a high level against the best talent?
4. SHOULD YOU WORRY MORE ABOUT THE LINEBACKERS OR THE SECONDARY? When I first started going over the roster and watch the spring game I've always worried about the secondary, for obvious reasons. The pass defense gave up an obscene amount of yards through the air last year and truthfully, the secondary really struggled in the 3-4 defensive scheme implemented by Willis. The more I read about the 4-2-5 the more comfortable I am about how I think the secondary will be significantly better. I'm also not worried about the defensive line, but maybe I should be. I've now moved my concern to the linebackers. The linebackers are run support and also support in the secondary, depending on the opposing offense. Right now (and this excludes Sam Fehoko) the two-deep at linebacker at three sophomores and one true freshman: Daniel Cobb, Zach Winbush, Cqulin Hubert and Blake Dees. Cobb and Winbush are relative light weights in that they don't weigh more than 215, while Hubert and Dees are more traditional in their size. Granted, Cobb and Winbush are fast and more in the mold of linebackers that I think Tuberville wants. I'm not too concerned about Hubert, I thought I saw enough of him last year to think that he's going to be okay, but overall, this is a unit that's incredibly green and lacks any real experience. So my question is whether or not you're more concerned with the linebackers or the secondary and why.
5. HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THE COACHING WILL IMPROVE FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR AND WILL IT HAVE A DIRECT CORRELATION ON WINS OR LOSSES ON THE FIELD? This may be a loaded question, but that's fine. Last year, I thought there were times that the coaching staff may not have done as good as a job as they could have. The poor performance by the defense led to the defensive coordinator being replaced after just one year (we could certainly make the argument that there may have been other factors, but based on performance alone last year, he should have been replaced) while the offense, in my opinion was pretty good, but wasn't as consistent as I'd like to see. The special teams . . . I don't know what to say here other than to say that it wasn't good. I'm fairly confident that Neal Brown will make strides this year, bolstered by a veteran offensive line and what seems like a fairly deep group at the skill positions. The only question mark is how Doege will perform. Literally, the defense can't get much worse and with a more simplified scheme that plays up to the talent at Texas Tech moreso than last year's scheme I think will make an impact as well. And to give Tuberville credit, he's joked about the special teams during the offseason and after the last few games. It's not as genuine as Tuberville stating that the play of the special teams wasn't acceptable, but at the very least he knows that it's a problem. So, fair reader, will the coaching improve and do you think that if it does improve, it will reflect the play on the field?
As always, the questions are after the jump for your comments.
1. WILL DOEGE BE ABLE TO LEAD THIS TEAM?
2. HOW MUCH IMPACT WILL SCOTT SMITH HAVE AFTER HIS SUSPENSION IS LIFTED?
3. WILL THE OFFENSIVE LINE BE GOOD ENOUGH?
4. SHOULD YOU WORRY MORE ABOUT THE LINEBACKERS OR THE SECONDARY?
5. HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THE COACHING WILL IMPROVE FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR AND WILL IT HAVE A DIRECT CORRELATION ON WINS OR LOSSES ON THE FIELD?