Too Early: LAJ's Don Williams asks if the 11:30 a.m. kickoff is too early, but IR coach Lincoln Riley says that early or not, the start of the game is not an excuse:
"I think it’s just kind of a copout if you use it,’’ Tech inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley said. "I can think of several good night home games we’ve had, but I can think of us going to Kansas last year, playing an early game, and playing well.’’
Riley said early kickoffs can be a benefit in the sense that players have no down time to kill the way they do for a night game, when they have all day to think about it. But he also acknowledges that there’s a body-clock adjustment since the Raiders’ normal practice time is late afternoon.
"I think all of a sudden, when you’ve got to do something early in the morning, there’s an adjustment,’’ he said. "It’s just those guys being mature and handling it, understanding they have to get their mind right and get everything going before an early kickoff.’’
More news, notes and links after the jump (and I'm doing this in order to keep NM99's Keys to the Game near the top of the page).
Third Straight in Lubbock: DT's Alex Ybarra writes that the Red Raiders are looking to win their third straight against OU in Lubbock. OU RB DeMarco Murray knows it can get crazy in Lubbock:
"We know the past two times we’ve been down there we’ve lost," said OU running back DeMarco Murray. "Last year we beat them here at home, but it’s always a crazy time when playing down in Lubbock. Their fans are pretty crazy. I think we need to be immune to it and settle down."
Football Notebook: LAJ's Don Williams notebook has a few more updates on a couple of players. RB Aaron Crawford is out with an undisclosed injury and WR Jacoby Franks is not on the dress roster for a variety of reasons:
Wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons said Tuesday that Franks was in the doghouse for what he termed "a variety of reasons.’’ The sophomore receiver isn’t a starter but has been Alex Torres’ backup all year, catching 24 passes. Simmons planned ahead by working Lyle Leong at both outside receiver spots this week.
Freshman Focus on Bullitt and Cobb: LAJ's Don Williams weekly feature of players who have redshirted this year or not on the two deep continues with safeties Terrance Bullitt and Daniel Cobb. Here's safeties coach Carlos Mainord:
"I think they’re both really dedicated football guys," Mainord said this week. "I know Cobb was when he came out of high school and being from a military family, he’s really a great young man. And Bullitt, coming from his background, with his dad playing ball (at Texas A&M) and his brother playing ball (at Texas A&M and in the NFL), they’re both special in those ways, and that’ll really help them as they come along."
"Bullitt will have to put on a little more weight, be a little stronger (in the upper body)," Mainord said. "Cobb will have to continue to work on his speed. But I think they both can be good players. They’re both smart guys, and I think they can be good players."
Oklahoma Sooner and Big 12 Links: Genius. Black Heart Gold Pants - Ivan Maisel Is An Ungrateful Little Twit . . . Rock M Nations Bill C with the Beyond the Box Score week 12 picks (Texas Tech beats the spread but not the Sooners! OMG!) . . . NewsOK's David Ubben writes that OU's DeMarco Murray is getting quite a few more touches as the season progresses and Ubben has a notebook full of good information . . . Rivals.com's Olin Buchanan with a preview of the Big 12's games . . .
Northwestern St.: 75, Texas Tech 94
Raiders Whip Demons: I forgot that this game was on ESPN360 and so I only caught a good part of the 2nd half. This was my first opportunity to watch the team and I'll say that this team is significantly more athletic than previous versions of our Red Raiders. I was fairly impressed by the length and athletic of ability of SF Theron Jenkins and SF Brad Reese, which in turned lent itself to just about every Texas Tech defender on the perimeter to switch and do a fairly decent job of either recovering or keeping their man in front of them.
I'll try to post this chart after each game, again from StatSheet, regarding the 4 factors of the game:
Again, another solid shooting effort from the team and another good defensive effort, although you would prefer to see the opponent eFG% to be lower than 50%. Also, a dominating performance on the boards, including 13 offensive rebounds. The player of the game was SF Mike Singletary who scored 25 points on 8 for 11 from the field, 9 for 9 from the free throw line, 5 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 turnovers. I should also mention the play of D`Walyn Roberts who had a double-double for the night, grabbing 11 boards and scoring 11 points for the evening.
Pat Knight on PG John Roberson (2-9 FG, 4 points; 6 assists; 1 turnover):
"In the past when his shot wasn’t falling, he tended to mope a little bit," Knight said. "(Thursday) he just kept playing. I thought he was great. It wasn’t like he was taking bad shots. There’s going to be nights, I don’t care how good of a scorer you are, it’s going to go in and out. But if you play defense I’ll keep you in the game."
SF Mike Singletary on the flow of the game:
"We started off slow, real, real slow," Singletary said. "We weren’t attacking the bucket; we were just playing lazy. That’s the reason the game was close like that. Then with about 6 minuted left, Coach (Pat Knight) brought us in, we were in the huddle, and said we got to get it going. There’s no way they should be in the game with us."
Head coach Pat Knight wants the team to focus on defense:
"I was not pleased with our defense the first half, but the kids had a great weekend," Knight said. "Everybody’s been sitting around telling them what a great start. We were a little full of ourselves to start the game, so you have to battle that. I think they thought it was going to be easy for us."
"I like where we are offensively but I don’t pay much attention to it because I want to establish us as a defensive team," he said. "There aren’t going to be nights where you score points like this in the Big 12, so you better be able to guard somebody."