1. Good at Running Back | The LAJ has a bit on the running backs and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that he thinks the running backs are good:
"We have a great group," Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "There’s four or five guys that we think can all start at a lot of places in this country. So we’ve got to find ways to get them the ball. That’s a big part of our offense. Last year we led the league in rushing at Texas A&M. We’re going to play to our strengths. If we can run the ball every play, we’ll do it."
The article opens with Ubben Hates You ranking of the Texas Tech running backs as last in the Big 12 earlier in the spring or summer and RB/IR Sadale Foster said the running backs took note:
"I don’t know why we were put so low as far as depth," Foster said. "We’ve got a lot of guys that can go and do it in different aspects of the game as far as speed guys, power guys and guys that catch on the backfield and do things to help us be effective.
So what was the reaction from the running back corps about being last in the ranking?
"When we saw that, we sat down as a running back group and talked about it," Washington said. "We used it as motivation."
One other thing, which is that Tyler Middleton is 6-1/190. That's not exactly a "small" back, that's a good sized running back that's a bit taller than most, but that's not lanky by any means.
2. Notebook Things | From the LAJ, Kingsbury talked yesterday about the quarterback decision, which there is none. He said that he knew within four days, but he didn't make a decision for two weeks and I can't imagine that Kingsbury will waiver from that schedule.
"I don’t. I don’t," he said, "but I’ve been really pleased with the progress. Guys are leading the offense and both moving the ball, taking care of the ball. So it’s been promising. We’ll let it keep going and find one to start."
In the DMN from the other day, QB Michael Brewer had this to say about the quarterback competition:
"There’s still a lot of work to put in," Brewer said. "Obviously, nothing has been guaranteed with the new coaching staff and everything. Hopefully it will be in the next few weeks. But, you know, for right now it’s all about getting better each day individually and as a team. We still have a long way to go, but it’s in the back of our minds that we’re going to kick it off in about four weeks."
Brewer, who pushed Seth Doege a little bit in preseasons, only had good things to say about Webb.
"I don’t know how much of it is manufactured or if he is actually pushing," Brewer said. I’m not in the coaching staff. I’m not in their meetings. But he is a good player. I did the same thing he did early. I know what it’s like and it’s tough. I think he’s handled it well and shown he is a capable quarterback through the spring. I just feel like I need to use the experience that I have and the confidence I have to push through it."
I think the quarterback controversy is a bit manufactured as well, but what do I know.
Kingsbury also talked about the running backs, DeAndre Washington and Kenny Williams:
"DeAndre Washington has had a really good camp," he said. "He looks like he had a great summer working out, so we’re excited about what he can do. Kenny Williams is always steady, and he looks faster than he did in the spring, which is exciting."
Also of note is that LB Micah Awe is a confident guy (I really like this) and he also thinks that talent and size of the defense doesn't matter (it has to matter to some extent) and even though his coach wants Awe at 220, he said he cannot maintain that weight. In any event, here's Awe:
"For defense, it doesn’t matter what talent you have. It’s all about hard work and intensity," he said. "You know, West Texas, it’s Texas Tech: We bring in all the guys who don’t go to Texas, who don’t go to USC. We get all those three stars, two stars (unheralded recruits), but that’s what we’ve got to do to turn it up. Coach (Mike) Smith did it back in the day. We can still do it, too."
3. Smith Under the Microscope | The LAJ has a bit on DT Anthony Smith and that the height doesn't bother him, but it's been Smith's conditioning that's problematic in that he's about 15 to 20 pounds overweight. Here's Co-DC Matt Wallerstedt on Smith:
"The height stuff doesn’t bother me," Tech defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said the other day, "and Ant has shown he can do it. He had flashes in the spring. His deal is all between his ears and then also just getting himself in shape and staying in shape. He’s been a rollercoaster that way."
Wallerstedt talks about Smith's good attributes, as well as the conditioning:
"He’s quick, he’s athletic, and he’s a powerful kid," Wallerstedt said. "He can do some good things at that noseguard position. Just like any of them, if they’re tired or holding themselves back ... . Ant’s another guy who’s holding himself back right now. We need him to emerge in the fall here. We need him to have a good camp."
4. Former Red Raider in the NFL | Congrats to Deveric Gallington for getting a free agent deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Hopefully he can make the team. LaAdrian Waddle is making waves with the Detroit Lions. Louis Vasquez and Manny Ramirez give Hispanic pride to the Denver Broncos (go check this out, good stuff).
5. Campus Photos | Just a terrific batch of photos from Totally Texas Tech. The new paint on the field, seats and the old scoreboard make things look so much better. That's something small that just makes everything look sharp. Go check the out.
6. Bilas is Awesome | Yesterday afternoon ESPN's Jay Bilas essentially took down the search function on the NCAA Store as he would search the NCAA store for a player's name, say "manziel" or "clowney" and then it would pull up TAMU #2 jerseys. It caused the NCAA to pull down the search function.
More from Viva The Matadors:
- Texas Tech Opponent Preview | West Virginia Mountaineers
- Red Raider Gridiron | Jackson Discusses Simmons Transfer; Corker and Phillips to Work in Rotation; Paul under Microscope
- Monday Morning Links on VTM | Jones and Falemi Look to Compete; Richards at DT; Marquez Glad to be Back
- We took the bus so you don't have to and ALSO SHARKWEEK!
- Red Raider Gridiron | First Practice in the Books