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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 10.02.09

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  Potts Not Perfect:  LAJ's Don Williams writes that QB Taylor Potts hasn't been perfect in his first four starts, but almost all of Leach's quarterbacks have struggled to some extent, but none of them have had to face two ranked teams in two consecutive weeks:

It’s tempting to say Taylor Potts’ first four games have been the most eventful. Each generated major discussion points. Week one: Problems with mechanics lead to three interceptions. Week two: He throws seven touchdown passes, something Graham Harrell never pulled off. Week three: He takes some serious shots — one possibly illegal — at Texas, but wins major points with teammates and fans for having the toughness to climb up off the ground and keep producing. Week four: Um, that whole quarterback sneak thing.

Every week, there’s something new to talk about with Taylor. In part, it’s because no other Tech quarterback this decade had to face two ranked teams so early as a starter.

  Nickerson to Start at Strong Safety:  LAJ's Don Williams reports that former cornerback Brent Nickerson could get the start at strong safety, replacing Brett Dewhurst, who has been filling in for the injured Franklin Mitchem.  Defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill thinks the move has been a relatively simple one:

"Once they learn (a position), you can move them somewhere else and it makes sense to them,’’ McNeill said. "Brent’s been at corner, so he’s got a tie-in call with the safety. That wasn’t really a difficult move.’’

  Byrnes Looking to Lead Offensive Line:  FWST's Dwain Price talks with C Shawn Byrnes about almost committing to New Mexico, so many years ago, and how to lead this team in the absence of RG Brandon Carter.  Byrnes feels that he and RT Marlon Winn will be able to handle the responsibility:

"He brings a lot of intensity and he’s a great player," Byrnes said of Carter. "But I think that me and [guard] Marlon [Winn] will be out there.

"We’re two fifth-year seniors and we know how to handle situations well, and we’ve played in a lot of games together."

Byrnes and his teammates believe Carter is just one part of Tech’s offensive puzzle.

"I don’t think we’re going to let it get to us," Byrnes said. "Obviously, we want Brandon there.

"He’s one of our brothers on the line, but we can’t have him this week. Things happen."

  Freshman Focus on Phillips:  LAJ's Don Williams focuses on freshman CB Jarvis Phillips, who played quarterback at Carter H.S. in Dallas, and was moved to cornerback.  DC Ruffin McNeill suggested to D. Williams that he feature Phillips, and McNeill had this to say about Phillips:

"Every Thursday night, he gets better and better," McNeill said, referring to the team’s weekly post-practice scrimmage for young players. "You see him making play after play. Jarvis is really doing good at corner."

That wasn’t a given since Phillips didn’t play much defense in high school.

"You see him come up and make a hit. You see him break on the ball better. You see him play with (proper) pad level the whole day. It’s little things like that that you notice. It’s not any special plays in particular. It’s just his development."

  Putting Aside Distractions:  DT's Adam Coleman writes that both New Mexico and Texas Tech are looking at putting aside the distractions and playing football on Saturday.  Captain Mike Leach on playing football:

"I think coaches and players need to be stable and just improve for the sake of playing football," said Leach, whose Red Raiders are looking to end a two-game skid — the first since the 2007 season. "Just be excited about it. We just have to raise the confidence level. We have a bunch of young guys playing that are better than they think they are and their abilities are at higher level than some of them think."

  New Mexico Lobo Links: The Tech Talk guys have a Q&A with Greg Archuleta of the Albuquerque Journal . . . per the NM Daily Lobo, the Lobos are looking for a fresh start on Saturday . . .

  Big 12 Links:  Rock M Nation with the Week 5 Big 12 Roundtable Recap . . . the official Big 12 site previews this weekend's games . . . KC Star's Blair Kerkoff with his weekly Big 12 Insider . . .

  2010 Young Update:  Per the Denton Record Chronicle, Denton Ryan QB Scotty Young is set to face cross-town rival Denton and thus far, Young has been pretty good:

Young has thrown for 1,495 yards and has 22 touchdown passes during 11 quarters of work in Ryan’s (4-0, 1-0) first four games. Last year the future Texas Tech triggerman torched Denton for 238 yards and five touchdowns in the first half of Ryan’s 58-14 win.

I love the potential of Young, but before we all think he's going to shoot up the depth chart next year, it's going to take him time.  Let's all be patient.

Scrimmage Tonight:  The baseball team will have a scrimmage tonight, starting at 5:00 p.m.  It's events like this when I wish I lived back in Lubbock.