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Texas Tech Wednesday Morning Notes - I'm Giddy Right Now Edition

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Double-T Nation News:

I think things are off to a great start with the new authors. If you thought you were wasting time at work before, just wait.

I had a couple of guys email me about having a DTN t-shirt made and I was going to get the general interest level of guys that wanted a DTN t-shirt, which has yet to be created, other than me just messing around with one of those online t-shirt makers. I'd rather not do that because I think it's silly to pay $25 for a t-shirt and if I have enough interest, I'll have some made and then mail them out myself. Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email (doubletnation AT gmail DOT com).

Texas Tech Football:

LAJ's Don Williams sits down with defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill who acknowledges that Texas Tech isn't the only school that struggles on pass defense. Here's Williams and McNeill:

Tech’s No. 103 ranking seems to indicate the Raiders sprung a leak in the secondary just when they got tough against the run. In that category, Tech is No. 12 in the nation. Opposing running backs are averaging only 2.95 yards per carry against Tech. Tech also is top-30 nationally in third-down defense, sacks per game and red-zone defense.

All but two of the team’s first seven opponents, however, have hit Tech for at least 210 yards through the air.

"We always want to be better,’’ McNeill said. "We keep working at it. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our kids. I’ve got the utmost confidence in our coaches. We work hard at it, we study it and we emphasize it here in practice. We have at least two periods set aside for defending pass, period.’’

McNeill also acknowledges that his key is first down, which then limits the opposing offense's play selection:

McNeill said playing good first-down defense is a prime objective, so that a defense is in position, to some extent, to limit the offense’s play selection. Tech’s also taken its base defense off the field about half the time in favor of substitution packages that put five and six defensive backs on the field.

"It’s sort of hard to survive against those (spread) teams playing base on third down and second-and-long,’’ McNeill said. "You’ve got to put in some guys that can (both) cover and play run. Those guys that we put in there have to be able to defend the run. We practice defending the run as well as pass, because people are still running in second-and-long.’’

I think McNeill knows what he wants to do coverage wise, but he's got to have the players to make it happen, or players that he trusts. I think there are players available, and I'm not sure that it is Marlon Williams covering the slot receiver. Tortilla Retort's dedfischer mentioned that Jordy Rowland would be a good option, and I think would Blake Collier, if healthy, or Julius Howard, at least in my opinion, would be solid options at covering that slot receiver.

DT's Alex Ybarra writes that Texas Tech football is about to encounter its toughest stretch so far and Brandon Carter knows that this is where it happens:

"This is the time of the season that's gonna make or break us," right guard Brandon Carter said, "Nothing in the past really matters at this point. What's ahead of us is really our biggest competition coming up."

And Darcel McBath can't wait for the challenge to begin:

"I get excited, I'm giddy right now," McBath said. "This is what it's about, playing the best in the country. We got four weeks straight where we get to do that."

Behind Enemy Lines: Lawrence Journal-World's Dugan Arnett says that Dezmon Briscoe is quietly putting up some great numbers . . . Arnett again with a KU Jayhawk football notebook . . . The University Daily Kansan's Taylor Bern writes that the KU coaches are trying to figure out a way to stop Texas Tech . . .