Double-T Nation News:
I'm not sure where to start. I went out last night to a honkey-tonk/steak joint, the kind of place where they let you cook your own steak. I'm not a big fan of going out, simply because either my wife or I draw straws as to who's going to drink that night and last night she was the big winner, which meant that I drank tea and tried to avoid the smokers. In any event, the DJ to this place asked if there were any Longhorns in the house and all of my friends, who are t-shirt friends and have as much affiliation with UT athletics as I do (i.e. none) all cheered.
This is where it really all begins. I honestly expected to be 8-0 at this point, although I thought the Kansas game was going to be a lot tougher, and anything less would have been a disappointment.
I can't wait for Saturday.
There's more stories than I know what to do with, so if I've missed one, feel free to add it to the comments.
Texas Tech Football:
LAJ's Don Williams says the Texas Tech defense passed it's first test - make sure and read the whole article:
"They were calm in the Kansas State game,’’ McNeill said. "They were calm in the A&M game, and they were calm today. They realize, and they listen to us: ‘Make this adjustment. Make that adjustment. Do it this way. Do it that way.’ My hat’s off to our kids that they don’t panic, they keep their poise and they believe in what we’re telling them. I love being around those boys.’’
Reesing languished through his second career three-interception game, he finished with 154 yards passing, which was less than half his average, and it could have been worse. Middle linebacker Brian Duncan went to the sideline and worked on catch-and-tuck after he dropped one that hit him in the hands. Safety Anthony Hines cut in front of another pass that he couldn’t hold on to.
Reesing said he’d never made so many mistakes so close together.
LAJ's Jesse Temple on kicker Matt Williams:
But in stepped Williams — a kicker out of Weatherford who didn’t play at Division II Tarleton State before transferring. Williams wasn’t cleared to play by athletic officials until this week when Tarleton provided proof that Williams wasn’t on scholarship there to play football.
"I thought the tough one was winning free rent," Leach said when comparing last month’s kick attempt to Saturday. "You come out in your shorts and your straight shoes, you’re kicking a 30-yarder in front of 55,000 people."
LAJ's Don Williams' game story:
"A lot of times in the past, someone would sneak up on us,’’ running back Baron Batch said. "I’m tired of that happening. (Tech coach Mike) Leach is tired of that happening, and so is everyone else in the locker room. We’re just taking it one game at a time, and you guys are seeing the results.’’
The Tech-UT game will be the biggest in Lubbock since 1976. Tech started 8-0 that year, too, but Houston beat the Red Raiders 27-19 and went on to win the Southwest Conference. But since U of H was No. 9 and this year’s UT is No. 1, next week’s game likely will be hyped as the biggest ever at Jones AT&T Stadium.
"I don’t think there are any ‘biggest games ever’ played anywhere,’’ Leach said. "I mean, all of them leading up to this were pretty big, too, if that’s going to make the next one big at all. We just have to do the same stuff, start preparing on Sunday, prepare well and see where it takes us.’’
ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin asks if Texas Tech is best suited to be Texas:
The Red Raiders have developed balance in their running game that will force Texas to play them honestly. And their massive offensive line has only allowed three sacks this season, meaning they should be better able to neutralize top Texas pass-rushers like Brian Orakpo and Sergio Kindle.
If Tech can protect Harrell, it will give them the best chance to pick on young Texas safeties Blake Gideon and Earl Thomas -- particularly with game-breaking receivers like Crabtree and Eric Morris roaming through the secondary.
And on defense, the Red Raiders appear to be peaking. They have allowed only 23 points in the last six quarters. During a span of 19 defensive possessions, the Red Raiders have allowed only three scoring plays and forced six turnovers.
ESPNB12B Tim Griffin on Darcel McBath:
But none more than McBath, who had been blistered for two touchdowns by Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing earlier in the game.
"On the first one, I slipped on the backside and made it hard on Danny (Tech strong safety Daniel Charbonnet)," McBath said. "That was on me and the second one was on me, too."
The Tech secondary benefited from consistent four-man pressure provided by the defensive line. It didn't always produce sacks, but provided enough steady pressure that it clearly rattled Reesing as the game went on.
ESPNB12B Tim Griffin on Graham Harrell's stellar play against Kansas:
Although he's seldom mentioned in the same breath as players like Colt McCoy of Texas and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, Harrell played Saturday like he deserves to be in New York City for the Heisman presentation in early December.
He made it look easy on Saturday, hitting 21 of his first 23 passes as he finished with 386 passing yards and five touchdowns. Harrell ran for another score and converted nine of their first 12 third-down plays that sparked the offensive tsunami that resulted in Tech's biggest scoring game of the season.
Tech coach Mike Leach said he would have been similarly shocked if somebody had predicted the wide margin of the game. But he said that it's not surprising considering the development of Harrell during his three seasons as a starter.
"I would have been surprised because they are a pretty good team," Leach said. "But I keep telling everybody about how good Graham is. He just keeps getting better and better each week. And he's still improving as well."
FWST's Dwain Price's game story:
"We were sharp," said quarterback Graham Harrell, who completed 34 of 42 passes for 386 yards and five touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown. "We went out and tried to have a good time today, and that’s exactly what we did."
The good times started early as Harrell tossed a 55-yard touchdown to Edward Britton, a 4-yarder to Michael Crabtree, and 7- and 10-yarders to Eric Morris as the Red Raiders led 35-14 at the half. KU had allowed just 38 points total in four previous home games this season.
"We’re better than average," Tech coach Mike Leach said. "We’ve just got to keep going, keep preparing well and keep being excited to improve."
- Wow. Texas Tech wins and the DMN spends more than two sentences about Texas Tech (The DMN's Saturday "preview" consisted of maybe two sentences, about the size of a sugar packet.)? The Red Raiders must play someone good this week. I'm linking, but doing so bitterly. DMN's Chuck Carlton:
"We know that if we really do what we're capable of doing, we can play with anyone in the country," said receiver Eric Morris, who caught two of Graham Harrell's five touchdown passes. "We're hitting on all cylinders, and it's a great time of the year to be doing that."
Against a nationally ranked team fresh off a BCS win, one that has a 13-game home winning streak and one of the nation's most dangerous quarterbacks, Tech did almost everything right.
Kansas City Star's J. Brady McCollough:
"We got a good old-fashioned butt-whipping today, and we know that," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "It happens to everybody from time to time in college football."
It hadn’t happened — not like this, anyway — to the Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium since 2002, Mangino’s first season, when KU lost to Kansas State 64-0 and Oklahoma State 55-20. The Jayhawks have come a long way since then, of course. But for those alumni who returned to Lawrence for homecoming this weekend, Saturday’s game had to feel like an unfortunate roll down memory lane.
For the second straight week, Kansas’ defense simply didn’t have it. And, for the second straight week, Mangino tried to clump his team in with all of the others who have been victimized by the Oklahoma and Texas Tech offenses.
First and foremost I think we may have underestimated Texas Tech, and as our friend Antiswarm from Double T Nation tried to tell us this is a different Tech team than the one in years past that has consistently had the one bad game. The Texas Tech offense was unbelievable and there defense was more than serviceable.
Kansas came out ready to get into a shootout and quickly realized we were out gunned. So where did things go wrong? Obviously we've discussed the need for a pass rush, but with that possibility unlikely what could we have done different? The Running game seemed to be firing early on but once your down 14 you can't help but move away from it, can you?
I don't know all the answers and this one was as disappointing a Kansas football loss as I've ever witnessed. I'm not down on the team and I don't think this is a sign of a downward spiral. It is simply an unprepared, out manned team that was beaten handily today. 8-4 is still on the table but isn't looking very likely at this point. I'm very interested to see how this team responds next week against Kansas State. That to me will be the most telling indicator of where this team is headed.