Texas Tech Football:
I'm going to lead with video as KCBD 11 has video of the highlights and an interview with Ruffin McNeill (right side of the page, wait for the player to show up). For those of us starved for highlights, this is a place to start.
Up first we have a number of stories from the LAJ, including a feature on the rushing game with Leach sounding like he's embracing the rushing game:
"I’d like to know who else in the country got 300 or close to 300," Tech coach Mike Leach said. "Did somebody else get 300 yards out of the one position in the backfield? They might’ve, but I doubt it."
And Shannon Woods sounds hungry, very hungry:
"With him being hurt, he’s hungry," Woods said, "and with me going through what I went through, I’m hungry. And we don’t ever want to see anything like that happen again. I guess that’s why we’re running so hard and play like we play, because we’ve both been through it."
"One thing we talk about each week is to make sure we get better as a group and individually," McNeill said. "I like the fact that they’re not worried about who we’re playing. It’s how we play. I think that’s the mentality we’ve got to make sure we keep and carry on."
And an editorial from Don Williams on how this team finally looked like it clicked against UMass (please do more of these Don):
The Tech defense might not hold Big 12 teams to single-digit games. Nor is it going to fold, however. And it looks quite capable of being a touchdown a game better than last season. That would mean giving up 17 to 20 points per, which should be good enough to win with if you are who you say are - the high-flying aerial circus.
The two most important qualities this defense has shown from game one are a penchant for game-changing plays and a determination to strictly adhere to their rest schedule. After every third down, it’s siesta time. Remember, Tech was second in the nation in third-down defense before Saturday, and by the time UMass finally converted a third down, it was a 49-7 game in the third quarter. Tech was up to the task on the first six occasions.
DMN's Brandon George had final thoughts on last night's game from the College Blog, while he also featured the defense. George also pointed out that Jake Johnson got the start at left guard for Louis Vasquez and Lyle Leong got the start for Edward Britton. Interesting. I recall hearing both Johnson's name (a penalty in the first drive) and Leong's name (with an early catch).
George's game story focuses on the resurgent running game, and here's Woods, who is a quote machine:
"I tried to make the most of every opportunity," Woods said. "The [referee] didn't like us talking to the other team. I said, 'Look at us. We're all ugly and mean,' and that's what we try to do, be physical and nasty."
"That was never hidden," Woods said of Tech's ability to run. "We just never would do it. A lot of that had to do with us proving ourselves in the run game. When we perform the way we did now, you can't deny us the ball. We've done enough to get confidence from him."
The always present FWST's Dwain Price files his game story and Darcel McBath says that the defense was doing a good job of getting pressure on UMass:
"It’s never easy," said free safety Darcel McBath, who returned a third-quarter interception 45 yards for a touchdown. "We just did a great job executing.
"We put good pressure on them, so it makes it easy for us on the back end. The linebackers were doing a great job ... and we were re-routing and jamming [the receivers] up so they could barely get into their routes."