1. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CONCERN AND WHAT IS NOT A CONCERN AT ALL AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF FALL PRACTICES? | I think my biggest concern is the relative youth at linebacker. It was one thing to have guys like Sam Fehoko, Daniel Cobb and Tyrone Sonier all be mentioned as guys that would see time at linebacker, but now the depth chart consists of Blake Dees (Fr.) and then Sonier at strong side linebacker and Cqulin Hubert and Sam Eguavoen at middle linebacker. That is a lot of inexperience, especially for Eguavoen, who just started playing football. You could also include the offensive line with the injury to C Justin Keown. What doesn't concern me at all is the offensive firepower that seems to be available on this team. If QB Seth Doege can spread the ball around and get the ball down the field for guys like WR Darrin Moore, WR Jacoby Franks, WR Tramain Swindall, WR Eric Ward, WR Bradley Marquez, etc. to make some plays in space, then the offense is going to be just fine. And yes, I realize I've left out a lot of playmakers, but that's somewhat the point . . . there are a lot of options.
2. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE DURING FALL PRACTICE ON OFFENSE? | The biggest surprise for me has been the emergence of WR Darrin Moore. I haven't really talked about him all that much, but his name has been brought up for just about the entire fall practices. I don't think this is posturing by Tuberville or OC Neal Brown, I really do believe that Moore, who is physically this team's most intimidating presence at 6-4/215, just might be a guy that will surprise a lot of fans across the Big 12.
3. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE DURING FALL PRACTICE ON DEFENSE? | The emergence of CB Sawyer Vest. I know I could probably write about a couple of things here, but the fact that Vest is running with the second team at cornerback behind Tre Porter is a complete surprise. In fact, I was searching on Twitter this morning and ran across this from Josh Abbott (yes, the guy with the band and hat-tip to RedRaiderNation):
Proud to hear my fraternity brother @TheV_V's younger brother Sawyer earned a football scholarship this season at Tech! Congrats man!
So Vest is no longer a walk-on, but rather a scholarship player (as is FB Omar Ontiveros, hat-tip Spencer Rogers) and I admit that I'm a bit worried that a walk-on is beating out scholarship talent or that the depth at defensive back is so poor, that a guy like Vest runs with the second team. But you've heard nothing but praise for Vest, who has competed and defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow said this (or something like this as it's not a direct quote):
CB Sawyer Vest has competed his tail off every day and I bragged on Sawyer the other day and he went out and picked a ball off. We will play how we practice.
I think that last sentence, "We will play how we practice," was Glasgow serving notice on everyone on the team that those that compete on each and every play during practice will see game time.
4. SO NOW THAT THE BREAK-UP LETTER HAS BEEN SENT, WHO DO YOU BLAME FOR THE BREAK-UP OF THE BIG 12? | This really deserves more writing that I'm about to devote to it, but this will have to do. For me, I blame both TAMU and UT. When I have beneficiaries of an estate fighting over items, it is usually the fault of both parties, not just one and that's the case here. I don't "blame" TAMU as much as UT because now the rhetoric coming from the UT fans is a bit much. I think that TAMU wants to be treated like an equal and I don't think that UT wants to give up being the team in charge of the conference. They want to have their Longhorn Network, and I don't blame them for that, but sometimes in life there are consequences to your actions and the Longhorn Network, as awesome as it may eventually be for UT, has consequences. Now, TAMU will be in a conference where Alabama is treated like Vanderbilt, rather than be in a conference where one member is dictating what happens.
TAMU, along with OU and all of the other members, could have probably tried to force UT to stop flexing their muscles by acting as a collective group, but that never happened and I think that these teams probably had different agendas as the Longhorns continue to stand looking at the mirror and posing like there is no tomorrow. Meanwhile, UT fans are blaming the Aggies for breaking up the Big 12 and I've also ready that although UT had the opportunity to leave to the Pac-10 last year, because the Longhorns are so benevolent and love their regional rivalries, they decided to stay and make it all work out in the Big 12. Bullsh. UT would have bolted for the Pac-10, leaving the Aggies in the dust, had they been able to have their own network in that conference, but again, it's about treating conference members as equals and I don't think UT wants no part of that.
Meanwhile, the Longhorns are saying that they'll simply replace the traditional Thanksgiving Day game with the Aggies and now play Notre Dame. As SBN Los Angeles points out, there already is a pretty big game that weekend that already involves the Irish and USC (during even numbered years) and Stanford (during odd numbered years).
5. WHAT IS YOUR PRE-GAME RITUAL? | I want to open this up to whatever your normal pre-game routine is. Whether it's at home, or if you travel. Love to hear what you do to get ready for a game.
ALL OF THE QUESTIONS ARE AFTER THE JUMP SO THAT YOU CAN COPY AND PASTE THEM INTO YOUR COMMENT AND ANSWER MORE EASILY.
"If I keep missing kicks, they’re not going to have me stay out there," Carona said. "I feel that pressure, but the good thing about kicker is that it’s just you, and what happens depends on you and nobody else."
At the very least, Carona understands the deal and knows that he's missed those short kicks before. Perhaps the reason Tuberville said yesterday that there are no back-up kickers is that they want to put pressure on Carona to do something he's capable of doing, but just doesn't for whatever reason . . . meet the two-deep continues with CB Jarvis Phillips (watch via YouTube) . . . Barking Carnival previews the Red Raiders and the Aggies . . . CFN previews and predicts Texas Tech's first game against Texas St., as does ESPN's David Ubben . . . the Big 12 previews the Kansas St. Wildcats . . . ESPN's Ubbenator also ranks the Big 12's top 10 safeties and WS Cody Davis makes the list . . . Wreck'Em 24/7 Sports looks at the 2012 commits playing defense . . . the official site has a beautiful photo of former Red Raider track star, Sally Kipyego, and it looks like she's lapped the field (I doubt she did) as she is celebrating, while some other runners look a bit gassed. Kipyego will represent Kenya at the IAAF World Championships . . . RRS.com's Will McKay talks with 2012 commit Kris Williams about focusing on defense . . .
1. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CONCERN AND WHAT IS NOT A CONCERN AT ALL AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF FALL PRACTICES?
2. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE DURING FALL PRACTICE ON OFFENSE?
3. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE DURING FALL PRACTICE ON DEFENSE?
4. SO NOW THAT THE BREAK-UP LETTER HAS BEEN SENT, WHO DO YOU BLAME FOR THE BREAK-UP OF THE BIG 12?
5. WHAT IS YOUR PRE-GAME RITUAL?