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Texas Tech Friday Morning Notes - Starting to Click Edition

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Double-T Nation News:

I wanted to mention that I frequently post to various writers' picks and I think that they are interesting, but really mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Many of the LAJ staff picked Oklahoma and personally, I've got no problem with that because if that's how they see the game play out, that's fine. This isn' about loyalty, it's about honesty. Last year I picked OU to beat Texas Tech and it obviously had no bearing on the outcome of the game. Me picking against my school wasn't a reflection of how I felt about my team, but rather a reflection of what I thought would happen.

A couple of things from last night, check out Michael Crabtree's interview with Michael Irvin and my Q&A with Crimson and Cream Machine.

For those of you who don't have jobs or are in school, former Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury and OU quarterback Jason White will appear on ESPN2's First Take today at 10:00 a.m.

Texas Tech Football:

LAJ's Don Williams writes that the Heisman Trophy race could hinge on Saturday night's winner. Coach Leach talked about what receiver Michael Crabtree could do on the field and comparing him to NFL greats:

"A lot of what Michael Irvin did was power," Leach said. "Jerry Rice had a combination of both. And Crab’s got some power, too, no question. But Michael Irvin, to me, I think of intensity and power. Jerry Rice, I think of sense of space, right place right time a lot."

And Seth Littrell talked about quarterback Graham Harrell and how he is going through his progressions:

"He may stick on one a little bit longer that he might have got off of earlier the last couple of years, due to experience and due to the offensive line protecting him well," Littrell said. "He’s getting to his fifth read with the backs a lot better than he ever has."

In Williams' Red Raiders Football Notebook, L.A. Reed will get the second start of his career against Oklahoma, per secondary coach Brian Mitchell:

"It’s starting to click," Mitchell said. "He’s getting a lot of reps, and now those reps are becoming meaningful, because he understands what we’re trying to do within the scheme and he understands how the scheme is going to attack what they’re trying to do."

Also of note, Brandon Sesay is on the travel squad, and missed the Oklahoma State game for unspecified violation of team rules. LAJ's Adam Zuvanich also talks about OU's no-huddle offense and how efficient they have become because of it.

FWST's Mike Jones writes that Gerald McCoy will be trying to get his hands up and in passing lanes against Graham Harrell:

"The most important thing for a defensive lineman to remember [against Tech] is to get your hands up," said McCoy, the Sooners’ 6-foot-4 defensive anchor. "They say Graham Harrell is 6-3. I’ve seen Graham Harrell. He’s not 6-3. So you’ve got to get your hands up and get in the window when he’s throwing those quick passes."

And FWST's Jimmy Burch writes that all eyes will be in Norman on Saturday night, as this has huge implications for the Big 12 South and national championship. Texas coach Mack Brown has it right:

"I pulled really hard for OU the time they played Kansas State [in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game]," Brown said. "If they had won, that would have sent us to the Fiesta Bowl. But they lost and I realized that, with me being a fan, it really doesn’t matter in the outcome of the game. So I will sit back Saturday and watch. It will be fun."

DMN's Brandon George profiles receiver Detron Lewis and Graham Harrell comments on Lewis:

"He's an unbelievably talented player," Tech senior quarterback Graham Harrell said. "He's a young kid who is still learning, still improving and that's the exciting thing. He's going to be a huge part of the success at Texas Tech for years to come."

And Captain Leach and Lewis talk about Lewis' game:

Leach says Lewis is "more elusive than fast" and has added about 10 pounds since last season. He calls Lewis a "smooth" player.

"I guess he means because I get in and out of my routes real smoothly instead of hesitating or getting caught up," Lewis explained. "I feel like I run my routes real smooth."

DMN's George and Chuck Carlton with a notebook on OU and Texas Tech items.

ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin wrote yesterday that it is Texas Tech recent success that is carrying this program, in particular the possible beginning of this streak, being Taurean Henderson's 2005 touchdown run:

"That was a huge play for this program," Tech running backs coach Seth Littrell said. "It gave us a lot of confidence that we could play with anybody. And if you can beat those guys, you've got a chance to be really special."

Kate Meriwether from Big 12 conference website profiles the Charbonnet brothers, Daniel and Taylor. The article focuses quite a bit on Taylor, the forgotten Charbonnet this season, but it should be noted that Taylor may be this teams' best special teams player. Good stuff.

RRS.com's Joe Yeager asks if the Sooners actually are invincible in Norman:

The fact that has everybody all shook up is Oklahoma’s 59-2 home record during Bob Stoops’ tenure. That mark is the best in college football during the ten-year span in question. And it is no doubt impressive. But upon closer inspection, a bit of that record’s luster fades and concomitantly, Tech’s hopes wax a mite.

To begin with, the Sooners have faced only two top-ten teams at home during the Stoops era, and one top-five unit. The top-five team was No. 1 Nebraska whom OU dispatched 31-14 back in 2000. The only other elite team to venture into Norman during this period was No. 9 Iowa State in 2002. The Sooners won that one 49-3.

Thus, the fine folk of greater Oklahoma City have not seen a visiting top-ten football team in six football seasons.

This is a good article, take the time to read this.

Neglected Video: KAMC interview with Barry Switzer, Part I . . . and Part II . . . KAMC talks with running backs coach Seth Littrell . . .

Writer Predictions: Phil Steele picks OU . . . Heisman Pundit picks Texas Tech . . . DMN's Chuck Carlton picks OU by 12 . . . ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin picks OU by 3 . . .

Texas Tech Basketball:

The Texas Tech Red Raiders absolutely smashed the East Central Tigers, 167-115 (boxscore). Yes, that's right, 167 points . . . not a typo. Here's the ESPN boxscore, which I find a little easier to read. LAJ's Jeff Walker recaps the game and notes the various numbers in the game. Perhaps even more telling is Walker's blog post in his blog Above the Rim:

I can’t see how this game helps Tech (or any team in Tech’s position). Tonight was proof.

This was nothing more than a scrimmage, two games into the season. Perhaps this will build the team’s confidence, as head coach Pat Knight said after the game. I think a double-digit win over another Southland Conference opponent — like the one against Sam Houston the other night — serves as a better teaching tool than this. Remember, in a week the Red Raiders will be facing one of the top teams in the country in No. 6 Pittsburgh. Does this get them ready for that? I don’t blame the coaches. They don’t choose who gets put in this field. Pre-conference tournaments are struggling, not just with the economy, but with teams’ asking prices rising.

DT's Alex Ybarra also recapped last night's win and had this from Junior Knight:

"Guys got minutes, guys got shots up. It was a good experience," Knight said. "For me, it's just another day of working basketball. We worked on some things that helped us."

Snip

"It was good practice for us from that standpoint, pushing it up, pushing it up, trying to make decisions on the run," Knight said. "So from an offensive standpoint, I thought it was a good practice for us. Number two, I finally know what Bill Self felt like last year when we played them in Lawrence."

Ha!