Double-T Nation News:
Yesterday I said it would take a weekend project to put together the numbers for defenses the last 6 games of the year. Well, I finished plugging the numbers in a spreadsheet last night, picked the last 6 games of the season and took the yards rushing, yards passing, points against, and turnover margin for each team's opponent. I hope to have that ready to go relatively soon, but the wife's birthday is Saturday so I'm going to have to spend some time with her this weekend as well.
Also, I'll be posting DTN's first BlogPoll ballot later this morning and I welcome any comments and criticisms.
DTN's Top Seven:
- Please welcome new SB Nation blog, The Daily Gopher.
- True Hoop on the 1992 Dream Team.
- Danny Amendola makes the All-Oxnard team, let's just hope he makes the real team.
- Coach K is not showing off.
- BHGP presentation of J Leman Saves The World: Part III, Part IV and Part V.
- DFW Radio: Ben and Skin have their own show, not on The Ticket.
- The Wizard of Odds on the Barrow, Alaska football team.
Texas Tech Football:
Tremendous article from ESPN The Magazine's Bruce Feldman on Michael Crabtree. I don't have time to get into the great bit of writing by Feldman, but this is worth your time this morning. By the way, the photo shoot for this article was taken right after the Big 12 media days, I believe that djollie111 saw Mr. Crabtree taking these photos. I'll give you one blockquote, but you need to go read the whole thing:
Prod Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to say what makes Crabtree such a prodigious receiving talent, and he responds with a curious answer for a football coach: "He has a great sense of space." Usually you'll hear coaches wax on about a pass-catcher's blazing speed or soft hands or quick feet coming out of breaks. But Leach explains that maneuvering in space is essential to route-running. Or, as it should be called in Tech's four-wide, no-huddle, shotgun attack, route-adjusting.
Leach explains that Crabtree, like former Tech and current Patriots star Wes Welker, has an uncanny knack for reading coverages and adjusting his routes "without breaking the integrity of the combination of the other routes." In layman's terms: Crabtree doesn't run into teammates or flood spots designed to be opened up by the play.
LAJ's Don Williams focuses on running back Aaron Crawford's sophomore season. Here's running backs coach Seth Littrell on Crawford:
"The thing I like about him is he gets downhill hard," Littrell said. "He’s not going to be a flashy guy, where he’s going to make a bunch of jukes and stuff. He runs physical. He runs extremely hard. He makes plays just by being powerful."
Williams Red Raiders Football Notebook mentions that Ruffin McNeill is installing the defense's substitution packages. Here's Williams on who is playing where:
The Raiders used their "Joker" - a standup, come-from-any-direction pass rusher - for the first time since the spring. Ends Brandon Williams and Daniel Howard continue to be used in that role, and McNeill said Sandy Riley, who missed a good portion of the spring, will be the third option at "Joker."
The team’s "Jet" pass-rush front four included Ra’Jon Henley, Williams, Howard and McKinner Dixon. Other linemen also will be options in that front.
Williams also updates us on freshman running back Brandon Reid who should return later this week, a scrimmage today at 3:30 p.m., an update on season tickets as well as some notes from practice.
ESPN's Big 12 Blogger Tim Griffin ranks the Big 12's best defensive linemen and the Big 12's best linebackers. Colby Whitlock checks in with the linemen:
9. DT Colby Whitlock, Texas Tech -- Looks to build on remarkable freshman season with better depth around him.
And Marlon Williams checks in with the linebackers:
6. Marlon Williams, Texas Tech -- It will be interesting to see if his tackle numbers remain strong with the increasing defensive talent around him.
I think it's accurate to say that Whitlock has jumped ahead of Brandon Williams in terms of being the most talented defensive lineman for Texas Tech. B. Williams is certainly talented, but inconsistent whereas Whitlock is talented and consistent. As far as Marlon Williams I also have to wonder if any of these guys will get enough playing time, considering the perceived depth at linebacker, to be considered one of the best.
Neglected Fox34 Videos: linebacker Marlon Williams and what he hopes to bring to this team and Anthony Hines is ready to compete at strong safety.
Rivals.com ranks the Big 12's best units (hat-tip Corn Nation) and here's a brief rundown of where Texas Tech finishes:
Offensive Backfield: #6
Receivers Tight Ends: #2
Offensive Lines: #2
Defensive Lines: #6
Special Teams: #10