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The Devil, Mike Leach and 4th Downs

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via www.markstivers.com

The Austin American Stateman's Randy Riggs writes about Texas Tech's 4th down philosophy and punting habits (there aren't any). First things first, Captain Leach loves his punter:

"We've got a good one," he said. "He can really launch it. He'll hit some in practice that are just amazing."

Leach also explains his decision making process on when to punt and when to go for it on 4th down, seems pretty simple:

"There's always an internal debate. The devil guy here, the angel guy here," Leach said, gesturing toward each shoulder. "The devil guy went over and popped the angel guy, so we went from there."

Actually, there's more that goes into Leach's decision than the devil made him do it.

He says he weighs the benefit of making the fourth-down conversion vs. the risk of not making it. He gauges the amount of yardage that might be lost if Tech is unsuccessful against what happens if a punt sails into the end zone for a touchback.

"The easy response is, 'If you think you can make it, do it,' " he said. "The more complicated question is, 'What makes you think you can make it?' "

Is there ever a time that Leach really asks himself this question, or does he just always assume the answer is "yes"?  I'm thinking it's the latter.

This is just about right (emphasis mine):

"It's a gamble, but everything's a gamble out there to some degree," he said. "A lot of it depends on how good a feel you have for what the other guy is doing. Basically, you just try to oddball it and see if you can make it."

Here's video of the entire exchange, via KAMC, along with some nice editing and stay tuned as Leach marvels at the number of left handed individuals at the press conference.

There's also some entertaining video of Leach, C Stephen Hamby and WR Eric Morris talking about the 4th and 4 of Nebraska, thanks to Fox34.