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Texas Tech Wednesday Morning Notes - We've Got To Step It Up Edition

Double-T Nation News:

The Ralphie Report put together the 2008 SB Nation Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Only Michael Crabtree and Louis Vasquez make the team, but you get view the voting spreadsheets above.

DTN's Top Six:

  1. Finally something to motivate me to watch the Olympics.
  2. Rakes of Mallow responds to the -- gasp! -- pictures of Jimmy Clausen drinking beer.
  3. Excellent look by SMQ at Tony Barnhart's leaving the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  4. Kevin at Fanblogs asks if Auburn should be the 2004 National Champion . . . if USC is found to be guilty of the alleged infractions.
  5. Check out ESPN Big 12 Blogger Tim Griffin's mailbag.
  6. Boooooo! Rocky Top Talk continues the review of NCAA logos and the Double-T makes the most boring list (of course so does Tennessee and RTT is a Tennessee blog).

Texas Tech Football:



Texas Tech fans are blessed again to have two separate accounts of yesterday's practice.  Thanks to Brandon George and the always reliable Don Williams.

  • DMN's Brandon George says that L.A. Reed is starting and it's his job to lose:
    Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill told me today that senior L.A. Reed isn't competing for playing time at the right cornerback spot. McNeill said, in fact, that Reed IS THE starter right now. Basically, the starting CB spot opposite of returning starter Jamar Wall is Reed's to lose. That leaves only a starting safety spot open on Tech's defense.

    I really like Hyatt's take the internal significance of Reed moving to cornerback, but also starting at cornerback. Hyatt's on target:

    Whether it is a philosophy by Ruffin, by Mike Leach or everyone as a group, it indicates again that the Tech coaches realize that they must get better athletes on the defensive side of the ball and then put them into position to make plays. That means Mike Leach has to let his defense gamble some and take a chance on getting burned in order to make a few big plays. It is a change that I think he’s willing to do. Turnover margin is going to be huge this fall for Texas Tech. If they can get a few more possessions each half than their opponents they will be well on their way to winning the ten or 11 games this season folks are hoping for.
  • LAJ's Don Williams is picking Detron Lewis to be his breakout player of the year for 2008 (last year Williams picked Britton over Mr. Crabtree). Harrell had this to say about Lewis:
    "He's very similar to Crab, just his body control and stuff like that,'' Harrell said. "They're not exactly the same type of receiver, but as far as body control, what he can do with the ball, he is very similar to Crab. So he’s going to cause a problem for a lot of teams. Especially if he gets matched up on linebackers and stuff like that, it's going to be trouble for them.''
  • Tackling is permitted.
  • Williams clarifies that Mr. Crabtree is only going to be returning kickoffs, not punts.
  • Todd Walker has been out the first two practices with a possible respiratory infection.
  • Check out DMN's Brandon George's practice report. Lots of mentions of individual players making plays. Said that Bront Bird struggled a bit in pass coverage (which seems odd with Bird being a former safety), Shannon Woods looked the best at running back, Chris Perry doesn't like Lubbock (I guess its a bit different than Miami), and Pat Knight made an appearance at camp. Lots of good stuff here, thanks to George for all of the detail.
  • Williams' LAJ feature focuses on the running backs where RB coach Seth Littrell acknowledges that production needs to improve.
    "We have to do something as running backs this year," said Littrell, who coaches the position. "It's my job and it's their job to really help this team win the Big 12 (Conference), and I don't feel like we did that last year. I don't feel like we did our part at all times."

    Batch (my favorite):

    "We definitely know we've got to step it up and take it to the next level, to the point where if we need to grind it out, we can," Batch said. "Sometimes last year, we didn't do that, but he's expressed that to us, that we need to get better."

    Leach on Woods:

    "He's worked his (butt) off," Leach said. "He worked ridiculously hard in the offseason, then had a good spring. My suspicion is he's going to be pretty good, if I were to guess right now, based on the material of several months."
  • LAJ's Williams' Red Raiders Football Notebook clarifies much of the above (but we're blog friendly at DTN and we don't mind, and in fact love blog information), including Crabtree returning kicks only, Reed starting at cornerback opposite Jamar Wall, Joel Gray's commitment, Carter-Keown wrestlemania and mohawk talk.

WTF? The official Texas Tech website is Counting Down to Kickoff, which includes a Q & A with freshman receiver Austin Zouzalik. I say "WTF" because this is almost blogger-esque in form and the official site stays somewhat static. Any way, here are some of my favorites:

If you could only invite three people to dinner, who would it be? Wes Welker, Taylor Swift and Bill Gates (he would pay).
What is your all-time favorite movie?
If you could meet any person living or dead, who would it be?
Chris Farley

The Sporting News is running down their top 50 teams and they've reached #20, the Texas Tech Red Raiders as well as the Texas Tech two-minute drill (fun facts about the school). Kinda generic if you've been following along all off-season, but if you haven't then it's a primer.

Fox34 has a report from Day 1 of the first practice as well as a report on former Coronado signal caller Austin Zouzalik. The Zouzalik video was really fun to watch, that guy wants to play for Texas Tech.