Indispensable: absolutely necessary.
This is not a team's most valuable player or a team's most important player, but players on a team that we can't live without. We're going to run through the top 10 most indispensable Texas Tech Red Raiders. Here's the countdown:
Player: Alex Trlica
When I initially made my list I thought that putting Trlica this high was a mistake, and almost took him off of the list altogether. I think there are some valid reasons why I think that Trlica's impact on this Texas Tech team will be significant.
We'll get the easy one out the way first. The new NCAA rule where kickoffs will now begin on a team's 30 yard line rather than the team's 35 yard line is going penalize certain teams. This of course will put additional pressure on Trlica to get that kickoff as far down the field as possible and having a guy who is capable of putting back almost half of his kicks (37 of 77 in 2005) could be of real benefit for every team. Even 5 or 10 yards can make a tremendous difference in overall field position. Now we add in to the equation a young defense who could use every bit of help it can get and now Trlica is not just somewhat important, but very important to the overall success of this team. Just as we talked about LaCour having a significant impact, Trlica's impact will be two-fold. Ensuring that the defense starts in the best possible position on the field and hitting the ball through the uprights.
Trlica was 15-21 last year in field goals for a 71.4% clip with his longest field goal coming against some team from up north. I seem to recall that it was a fairly important game, anyway, the point being that Trlica is clutch and hitting that field goal cements for me his importance to this team. There's something to be said for getting his team in a position to win and as football fans are aware, kickers can be goats just as easily as they can be the hero. Trlica proved that against UTEP as well where he had the opportunity to hit 2 other field goals before nailing the 49 yarder to win the game and who can forget this game:
Trlica was 28th in the nation in average field goals made with 1.25 and 8th in the nation in scoring with 8.00 points per game. There is no doubting Trlica's importance to the overall success of this team. And, as discussed above, with the added pressure of getting kickoffs as close to the endzone as possible, Trlica will be a key player in this team's success.