QUOTABLE | I still don't know what to think and there is a part of me that really doesn't want to believe in anything just yet. I think that I don't want to get my hopes up considering the schedule ahead. I'm not intimidated by the next five games, but I'm leery to invest in this team and proclaim that they are as good as their statistics say. I think that's the general thought, we're all cautious and beating Iowa St. was a really good first step.
I think I'm probably like most of the teams, which is that I am compartmentalizing each game. I never get too far up or down, but I'll especially do that the next five weeks. I'll do that this week. I'm always hopeful and I think that Texas Tech has a much better chance to come out of the next five weeks with 3 wins than last year, when I would have predicted maybe one fluke win. Texas Tech may only get one win in the next five games, but it won't be a fluke.
NOTES | These are notes from around the interwebs this morning:
* LAJ's Nick Kosmider writes Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said that Lubbock is not spooky and that is true. It is not spooky. DT's Holden Wilen writes about OU seeking their first win in Lubbock since 2003:
"You get there and very hostile fans," said Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard. "I mean they’re great fans; they let you know they don’t like you. They just really bring a lot of energy to that stadium."
Stoops also discussed the defense:
"They’ve done an excellent job in the discipline of their defense," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, "They play hard, they’re physical and they’re covering you tighter. It’ll be an exciting and big challenge going down there like it always is, so we’re looking forward to it."
* LAJ's Nick Kosmider traded questions and answers with NewsOK's Jason Kersey. Here are Kersey's answers and here are Kosmider's answers. I'll have a Q&A with Stormin in Norman on Friday. Woot! . . . Congrats to CB Cornelius Douglas was named the Jim Thorpe defensive back of the week. Woot! . . .
* The Norman Transcript dips into the run game struggling.
* FoxSports Southwest writes about Landry Jones being confident that he will return to form.
* NewsOK writes about the fact that the opening drives need to be better.
FINDING THEIR WAY | I just absolutely loved the play of DE Jackson Richards and although he was relatively quiet, he played like the 4-star rating he had coming out of high school. This doesn't mean that he's arrived or anything like that. Arriving on this level means you do it two weeks in a row, but it was nice to see Richards in on 5 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss as well as just pushing in the pocket on Jantz along with the other members of the defensive line.
THE LIGHT BULB HAS GONE ON | Maybe the light bulb went off quite some time ago, but Saturday night was CB Cornelius Douglas’ break-out game. Two interceptions and another game that I cannot recall that a player completed a pass against him. Douglas is playing lights out, pun intended, and it’s his coverage, it’s his understanding of the game, it is him being opportunistic, but his coverage skills have really been somewhat startling considering he was one of the best receivers on the team last year.
ITEM COMPLETED | Um, how about just winning a Big 12 game and then add on top of that, winning a Big 12 game on the road. Texas Tech has won just three Big 12 games last year and this year, all of them were on the road. It’s time to win a few at the Jones. The Texas Tech fans are starved for a win at home, something that hasn’t happened since November 6, 2010 in a 24-17 win against Missouri. It’s been too long.
KEY TO SUCCESS | I think OU is going to try to pressure QB Seth Doege, I think they want to do the same thing that Iowa St. did, which is to rattle his cage and get him to make mistakes. I’ve already mentioned this, but the offensive line play is going to have to be spot-on, almost from the start. And OC Neal Brown needs to start his best blocking running back to help chip on any blitzing linebackers or safeties, and needs to play until things loosen up a bit, if they do loosen up at all.
WE HAVE QUESTIONS | My biggest question is getting over that mental hump. Last year, Texas Tech was also 4-0 after beating Kansas on the road and things were also looking rosy. Things changed quickly as Texas Tech ended up losing 7 of the next 8 games. I have no idea if there is any leftover feelings from last year, anything that is sticking in the mind of players in that they were right here last year. Obviously, this is a different year and things have gone much different. Despite all of the confidence this team has built up over the course of the last four games, I’m confident that this team is going to stick with it and that’s half the battle.
A FLASH | This is way too literal, but whatever. The play that Jakeem Grant scored on and the bubble screen that almost led to a touchdown for Javon Bell were so fantastic and as much as D.J. Johnson’s hit that led to the Douglas interception changing the game, so too were the plays that Grant and Bell made. There is a reason why teams weren’t really forced to defend anything deep with Texas Tech and it is because Texas Tech really hasn’t had any players that could get behind the second level. Texas Tech receivers have always been solid, but this offense is at its most dangerous when it has players that forces opposing teams to re-evaluate how they defend certain players. WR Darrin Moore and WR Marcus Kennard are not going to burn you deep and a defender does not have to account for running past them, as it is essentially a jump ball situation where a bigger receiver goes up to get a pass, but with Bell and Grant, you have to account for them beating you deep. That's not to say that guys like Torres or Moore or Kennard don't have value. They do have value, but I don't think there is something about covering a guy with some speed to burn.
GOOD JOB GOOD EFFORT | As good of a hit that Johnson had to force the fumble, he was also burned for Iowa St.’s lone touchdown, where he was covering the Cyclone’s TE Ernst Brun in the corner of the endzone. We’ve probably talked a bit too much about how Doege isn’t letting the bad plays affect him later, but Johnson gets credit for doing the same thing. Kaufman and Lovett have preached that you cannot let one bad play affect the next play or the next 10 plays. Johnson didn’t let that happen. Defenders are going to give up touchdowns. That’s just going to happen. Not letting it affect the next play is the most important part. Speaking of Kaufman, here's a one-on-one with TTU's Brandon Rawe (as an aside, this only has 20 views when I'm looking at it at 4:53 am, wondering how many by the end of the day:
Sit-Down with Art Kaufman (via techathletics)
TAKING AIM | I think the Texas Tech defense has to take aim against the Oklahoma running backs. Stop the running backs and I think this game is incredibly close. As much grief that OU took for losing to K-State, we need to be reminded that K-State is a darn good football team and are going to beat a lot of other good teams. Despite their struggles in one game, Oklahoma is a very good offensive team and Landry Jones is a very good quarterback. But if there is no running game for OU to rely on throughout the game, I think this game then turns into an incredibly close game that will eventually flip on a field goal.
Fall Practice: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year; ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - out 4 to 6 weeks); DT Anthony Smith (rolled ankle from scooter mishap - out 2 weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot).
Week 1 vs. Northwestern St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 2 to 4 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 4 to 6 more weeks); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - out 2 weeks).
Week 2 vs. Texas St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 3 to 5 more weeks); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - out 1 week); WR Eric Ward (concussion - out 1 game).
Week 3 vs. New Mexico: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 2 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 2 to 4 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be available); WR Marcus Kennard (groin - day to day); CB Cornelius Douglas (pulled abdominal muscle - 1 week).
Week 4 Bye: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 1 more week); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks).
Week 5 Iowa St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - practicing, but may be out 1 more week); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - may be out 1 more week).
Week 6 Oklahoma: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - should be practicing); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 2 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be practicing).