Double-T Nation News:
There's so much information out there, I don't have time to get to all of it and write (I know, poor Seth). In any event, I'll try to get to it all this morning, but if I've missed anything, please feel free to fill in the blanks with a FanPost. I'm not sure that I mentioned this earlier in the week, but I have no problems mentioning it again, Rock M Nation's The Boy has his weekly BTBS Rankings and Projections. One interesting thing to note is that The Boy's prediction model now has OU beating Texas Tech 34.1 to 34.0. Last week, the margin was greater, while this week, the margin is one-tenth of a point. Interesting stuff as always.
Texas Tech Football:
LAJ's Don Williams discusses how last year's Oklahoma game is where Texas Tech's current 12-game winning streak began. Receivers coach Dennis Simmons:
"I don’t think our guys are going back and looking at the past,’’ Tech wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons, a charter member of Leach’s staff, said Tuesday. "I think our guys feel like if we go out and work hard and prepare for a game, then it’s not even really about our opponent. If we work hard and prepare, then what we do in practice will be duplicated on the field on game day.
"The first five years, I don’t think any of these (players) were even here, so they can’t even identify (with) that.’’
Perhaps the most interesting quotes are from Ruffin McNeill, who talks about the confidence of this current team and that in previous seasons, this confidence wasn't there:
"I’d say in the early years, probably the confidence level was not there,’’ he said. "That just comes with time and having success in certain areas. Confidence is belief in your technique and then having some success with the technique, whatever it entails. Belief in it and belief in each other is the whole key to it. These guys believe in one another. They believe that, if we do our job, we can compete with anybody.’’
It's pretty amazing what one victory can do for a team. It doesn't count any more or less than a win against Nevada or Eastern Washington, but means so much more.
ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin writes about Texas Tech's underrated defense getting ready for OU and Ruffin McNeill talks about what he looks for in recruiting players:
"We recruit to fit our system," Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said. "Coach Leach has always done that and we as a defense are doing it now, too. We go by film only and how we think guys will help in how we play defense."
I also thought this part from Griffin and OU quarterback Sam Bradford was interesting:
McNeill utilizes one of the most basic philosophies in the Big 12. The Red Raiders like to sit back in a zone defense and make opposing offenses go the length of the field to beat them.
With Tech rarely making turnovers on offense and the Red Raiders' potent attack scoring a high probability of the time, it gives the Tech defense a unique advantage. If they can contribute two or three stops during the course of the game, they should be in good shape.
"It's a very good defense and very solid," Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford said. "There's lot of zone coverages they use. They try to force mistakes and end drives with their zone defense and don't make many mistakes. We're going to have to be disciplined and take what they give us within our system if we're going to be successful."
So here's the game. Bradford knows that Texas Tech likes to sit in zone coverage and to be truthful, so does everyone else. I'm thinking that Bradford could absolutely shred a zone defense, so I'm curious what adjustments McNeill is going to make on defense.
"We’re doing stuff people have never done before, so every game we [win], it’s history," Crabtree said. "But you don’t pay too much attention to it until you’re gone.
"I probably won’t pay much attention to it until I leave and I’ll be like, 'Dang, man, we really did that?’ But right now we’re in the heat of the moment, so we’re still going."
On what he talks to his players about away from the field: "Just about life and making sure you think past football, you think past college and start thinking about your family and taking care of them in the proper manner," McNeill said. "As a coach, we have a lot of hats. You don't want to ever have a player leave you and you don't nurture that part. The football part is the easy part, but when a player leaves you, what is he going to be known for once he leaves you? There is a balance in life and that comes from my mom and dad. Do the best you can academically. Do the best on the field. That's the most you can ask from a kid if they're doing the best they can. If they learn that, it will go a long way."
DT's Alex Ybarra writes about the effect that OU quarterback Sam Bradford could make from the Texas Tech perspective. Here's safety Daniel Charbonnet on Bradford:
"Not only because we didn't play against him last year but also because he has a whole 'nother year under his belt," Charbonnet said. "That makes a big difference for a quarterback. Last year he was a freshman. This year he's sophomore with a lot of experience. I think that's what makes the biggest difference."
RRS.com's Aaron Dickens and Brock Batchko write their Texas Tech notebook, with notes on Stoops calling for the crowd to be loud, the Sooner offense, with quotes from graduate assistant Chris Hudler, the athletic Oklahoma defense, and Detron Lewis' year:
"[Lewis] can really separate from guys when he catches the ball," added [receivers coach Lincoln] Riley. "His top end speed is not great - it’s good but it’s not great - but he can really get to that speed fast, his acceleration is really good. He’s able to pick up more yards than most can in a short amount of time."
For the second time in seven seasons the Texas Tech Red Raiders are headed to Norman, Oklahoma with an opportunity to clinch a Big 12 South championship and a spot in the Big 12 championship game. And there are some similarities between this year’s scenario and the one that prevailed in 2002.
The 2002 Red Raiders were led by a senior three-year starter at quarterback in Kliff Kingsbury. The current Tech team is piloted by senior three-year starter, Graham Harrell.
The 2002 Red Raiders were coming off a scintillating home victory over a top-five Texas Longhorn squad. That was Tech’s last victory over the Horns until this year when the Red Raiders kayoed then top-ranked Texas 39-33
But the stakes, the locale, the seniority of the quarterbacks, and wins over the Longhorns are where the similarities end and the differences begin.
Texas Tech Basketball:
I really should have mentioned this yesterday, but time got away from me in the morning. Pete Newell, friend to Robert Montgomery Knight and coaching legend, passed away at the age of 93. Bob Knight thought the world of Pete Newell and I recall Knight mentioning Newell's influence on the game a number of times while at Texas Tech. Here's the RMK on Newell:
"Nobody contributed more to the game and its history than Pete," Knight said. "I just don’t think anybody has contributed more to my life in more ways than Pete Newell did," Knight said. "Jerry West and I had a very tearful conversation about an hour after Pete had passed away this morning and I think Jerry felt exactly the same about Pete as I did."