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Texas Tech Red Raider Notes for 09-19-2007

Texas Tech Football:

SAEN's Tim Griffin devotes an entire article to the greatness of Michael Crabtree. If you don't know a lot about Crabtree then this is a good place to start and Tim fills you in on the background and history of Crabtree. I hadn't seen this quote from Harrell before, but it's completely appropriate:

"We've known from the beginning he was going to be special," Tech quarterback Graham Harrell says. "He's had some big games for us, and that's the scary thing: As he continues to get better, he's going to be a really good player."

LAJ's Don Williams details how this current Red Raider team has improved on 3rd-down conversions. Don writes that as of right now, Texas Tech is 3rd in the nation in 3rd-down conversion and here's Coach Leach on the Red Raiders' newfound success:

"We emphasized it the same and hopefully coached a little better detail on it," Tech coach Mike Leach said. "Really, it's just like any other play. You try to select something that addresses the problems the defense presents, and then I think the fact that Graham (Harrell) is better at reading defenses has helped, too. Sometimes when it comes to (changing plays at the line), I think Graham's a little better at it (than last season)."

There's a ton of good information in the entire article, I encourage you to read the whole thing, but I thought this quote from Harrell on opposing defenses' tendencies on third-down against Texas Tech:

"That's been a lot of (opponents') answer to us at times: On third and long, they bring an all-out blitz," Harrell said. "We've done a really good job picking that up. I think receivers have recognized the blitz and gotten open in a hurry, and getting rid of the ball is what I have to do. I think we've done a good job of that, and preparation has been key."

From the receivers, to the linemen to Harrell, they've all done an excellent job of picking up the blitz, it will be interesting to see.

DMN's Brandon George notes that based on the easy non-conference schedule, this team may not know exactly where it stands. Coach Leach on the state of his team:

"Good question," Leach said. "Teams are always changing. Groups of people are always changing, so it's hard to say. I'll know something about them if we continue to come together tighter as a group and things like that."

Good stuff from George. Also at the end of the article, George confirms that Colby Whitlock will start on Saturday. That's good news.

LAJ's Don Williams' Red Raiders Football Notebook has Leach's reaction to the change at quarterback for OSU and notes on freshman punter Jonathan LaCour.

On the OSU front, OSU's defensive coordinator believes he'll fix the Cowboy defense against Texas Tech . . . a feature on freshman running back Kendall Hunter, who leads the Cowboys in rushing.

Texas Tech Baseball:

LAJ's George Watson catches up with the baseball team and updates us on the installation of FieldTurf at Dan Law. Watson tells us which new players we should watch out for this season:

Two new pitchers to keep an eye on are former Monterey standout Chad Bettis and transfer Nathan Karns. Bettis turned down eighth-round money from the Houston Astros to go to Tech, while Karns, a sophomore, transferred from North Carolina State after being chosen in the 10th round of the 2006 draft. Another key transfer is catcher Monk Kreder from TCU as Tech has six catchers on the fall roster looking for a replacement for Matt Smith, who was drafted in the 14th round and signed by the Oakland A's.

I'm excited to see what Coach Spencer and Petrie will be able to do this season.

College and Big 12 Football:

DMN's Chuck Carlton writes about the effect of reverting back to the old clock rules and the new kickoff rule, and yes, Coach Leach has an opinion on it . . . FWST's Wendall Barnhouse breaks down the "zone read" play and thinks that Graham Harrell is 2nd behind Colt Brennan in the Davey O'Brien award.