LUBBOCK TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cheer against the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT&T Stadium on September 18 2010 in Lubbock Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
I wouldn't go so far as to say this is a trap game, but the first game of the year can be a bit rough. The lights come on, guys get excited and things happen. Leon Mackey already reminded everyone about Michigan - Appalachian State. And though this should be a game in that Texas Tech wins just based on athletic ability, sometimes things happen.
This weeks keys are borrowed advice from our favorite pirate. Some sage wisdom here.
Key #1: Respect Everyone, Fear No One
Despite the fact that Southwest Texas should have changed their mascot to the Armadillos when they changed their name to Texas State, overlooking any team coached by Dennis Franchione would be a mistake. Despite being maligned lately, Franchione has been very successful in the past, is a good evaluator of talent, good at game planning, and one of the architects of the 4-2-5 defense. He is known for taking losing programs and making them winners. TCU would not be where they are today without coach Fran. He has stated that he sees his role as building programs and there is no reason to think he won't do that at Texas State. Just don't let it start here.
Key #2: Take what they give you
I'm talking to you Seth Doege. This is your first start since the 10th grade. This is not a game to try and get fancy or force the big play. Do that, and we'll dig a hole for ourselves. As stated above, we should be able to win this game on athletic ability. If the offense is patient, the scoring will take care of itself. Take what they give, get the ball in the hands of the play makers, and let them make plays. We have some great new talent. Let's see what they can do.
Key 3: The biggest thing [is] our own consistency
We need to do the little things right and establish some rhythm as a team. This is our 3rd defensive scheme in as many years, and we still have a bunch of young guys, despite early experience in 2010, who are not just learning a new scheme. They are re-learning how to play at the collegiate level. This is a great opportunity to play against a team that you don't practice against every day and work on consistently getting the fundamentals right.
The same is true for the offense. We can't control the other team, the officials, or the weather. But we can control ourselves. Doege has had ups and downs since the spring. It's time to settle in and work on consistency. There has been some talk about the lack of explosiveness from the offense in 2010. I attribute most of that to lack of consistent play across the board, but especially on the offensive line. If we can improve the consistency in the trenches, good things will happen. We have a lot more going for us at the skill positions than last year. If the line gives that extra second to allow Doege to go through his progression and deliver the ball, it will build his confidence and open up the run.
That's about it. Wreck 'em Tech!