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Texas Tech Red Raider Notes for 08-27-08

Texas Tech Football:

LAJ's Don Williams article this morning focuses on the SMU Mutangs and details the issues that the Red Raiders will face on Monday. Leach seems happy with how this team has prepared:

"I think the last couple of weeks have been productive," he said. "Steady work. No real low points. We've just kind of steadily improved, I feel like. We've got to continue to build on it and continue to work together, but as far as working together, I feel like this group's done a good job."

The one part of Don's article that bothers me is that defensive coordinator still hasn't named starters a a number of positions, including weakside linebacker, cornerback, rush end and nose tackle. Seriously, we are one week away from the game and we don't know who's going to start? I hate to be negative so early in the season, but this is a little ridiculous isn't it? Perhaps this is just a matter of Lyle knowing, but not telling the media, but I don't see how that would help this team by having 4 positions still up in the air. Of course I could also be making a mountain out of a mole-hill as most of these guys who are up for these positions would be splitting time anyway.

DMN's Brandon George has an excellent preview of Texas Tech's wide receivers and that this year's bunch may be more talented than last year's. George has this from receivers coach Lincoln Riley:

"They can all do something after the catch," Riley said. "The guys last year caught the ball well and made a lot of big plays but not necessarily so much after the catch. These guys, we had a lot of times in the spring where they'd catch a little 5-yard hitch out there in the flat and they'd take it the distance. So, it's probably a more explosive group."

Riley also has this on Crabtree:

"He was one of those guys who came in from not really playing receiver much in high school to making the transition, really, faster than anybody I've ever seen," Tech wide receivers coach Lincoln Riley said. "A lot of times he just wills himself into catching the football because he just wants it more than the other guy. When you add that into his athleticism, you have the chance to have a heck of player."

I've never heard of a guy willing himself to catch a ball, which makes Monday seem like an eternity.

FWST's Dwain Price's writes about Texas Tech's Graham Harrell's focus on winning and right out of the gate, I love this quote from Coach Leach comparing Harrell and former Notre Dame quarterback, Brady Quinn:

"We certainly wish Brady the best, but Graham threw the ball better than he did last year," Leach said. "I don't care who they are. I'll dispute it with anybody. It's pretty clear-cut."

Price goes through the argument that Harrell may be part of a system an argument which most Texas Tech fans and Coach Leach have dismissed:

"Sometimes some of [the negative publicity] may be a difference to older guys, and some of it may be folks are tired of talking about our guys," Leach said. "But there's no question that his numbers, by any way you measure it, they're better than the vast majority of people out there.

"He was the best [quarterback] in the Big 12 last year, and I'm sure he will be again this year."

That's the kind of confidence I love to see from our coach about our quarterback going into the season.

Don's Red Raiders Football Notebook focuses again on the redshirt issue, as it appears that there are still decisions that have to be made, including Bront Bird, Detron Lewis and Tramain Swindall.

DMN's College Sports Blogger Todd Davis wants to know if you like having the SMU game on Monday.