Big Thanks, Part I: First and foremost, I need to give a huge shout-out to DTN reader RAIDERDOC, who just offered to send me tickets to Saturday's game, sent them by overnight mail so that I could have them in plenty of time for Saturday's game. A huge tip of the hat to RAIDERDOC it was and is much appreciated.
Big Thanks, Part II: Last, but not least, you'll note that I didn't get to the Post Game Thoughts as originally thought. I decided to spend the entire Sunday with the wife and not work on DTN, but rather help her out with Christmas decorations. I figured that since Texas Tech didn't have any sort of game this week, I didn't necessarily have to spend time writing previews, putting together tables, etc. I've ignored her for most Saturdays and Sundays for the better part of the year and she willingly gives me a kitchen-pass when it comes to DTN most, if not all of the time. I'll be working on Post Game Thoughts tonight and probably post sometime tomorrow.
Potts is the Worst Evah: I get that QB Taylor Potts didn't have a great game on Saturday night, even the most staunch Potts supporter could agree that he wasn't great. It was an awful first half, reminiscent of performances like this, this or this (damn straight I'm cherry-picking). But in the second half, after being down 10-3, Potts was pretty good. I'll have more on this tomorrow, but Potts finished the 2nd half going 17 for 24 for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. I got up yesterday morning, read all of the comments about how Potts didn't hit any receiver in stride the entire game, thought that I had seen a different game, perhaps under the influence, watched the game again and thought that this was a crazy notion. Did he miss receivers? Sure, find a quarterback that doesn't. Did he throw behind some receivers? Sure, find a quarterback that doesn't.
Not only that, I think credit needs to be given to Potts for continuing to believe in the running game, as he (or someone) called 12 rushing plays in the 2nd half good for 55 yards, that's 4.58 yards per attempt. It would have been real easy to simply pass every play considering how the team was down, but I thought the mix of running plays was a big part of the 2nd half success.
I get the feeling that this is probably a losing battle with most of you guys, in that my efforts to give Potts just a bit of a break will always fail. Potts isn't perfect, I think we can all agree on that, and he had a bad first half, but he's not the worst quarterback in the history of Texas Tech. In Graham Harrell's first year quarterbacking this team, Harrell led this team to 8 wins with losses to TCU, Missouri, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. Harrell finished the year with 38 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, while Potts sits at 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. No one will ever win an argument that Potts is the best quarterback, but I just have a hard time agreeing with some of the sentiments that every pass was an abomination.
One other thought that's creeped in my mind, and I don't like talking about injuries, but QB Steven Sheffield is listed at 190 pounds, but would be willing to be that he may not weigh a pound over 180. The fact that Sheffield is a skinny guy who may not be able to take the pounding that a Big 12 season has to offer is a very real possibility next year.
Not only that, the picture above is visual proof that Potts teammates absolutely hate him.
At the end of the day, I think we all want the same thing, which is for the best quarterback to play, but some of the Potts-critiques seem harsh or perhaps I'm too soft, not mean enough, need to have a take and rip a player for not being better than he actually is or crap on a player despite getting a win.
"Baylor was more ready to play than we were,’’ Tech coach Mike Leach said, "and Baylor came in and gave us their best shot. It’s the best game I’ve seen them play all year and we (won), and for that, I’m very proud of our guys. Sometimes, you’ve just got to find a way.’’
Sharpe's Record: LAJ's Don Williams with a small notebook, but does have the note that the quarterback hurry that resulted in the Baylor QB throwing the ball away was officially changed to a sack, giving DE Brandon Sharpe 15.0 for the year. Leach had this to say about Sharpe:
"The last three-quarters of the season, he got on a tear,’’ Tech coach Mike Leach said. "Just think if the first four games were like that.’’ Leach said some credit should go to defensive end Daniel Howard, who has been credited with eight sacks this season.
"I think what makes it really difficult (for blockers) and really makes (Sharpe’s) job easier is the fact there’s a lot of heat on that other side with Daniel Howard,’’ Leach said. "We had a situation like that a few years back when we had Aaron Hunt and Adell Duckett on either side. It’s a lot different than just having one.’’
. . . Williams also mentions how IR Austin Zouzalik has slowly but surely replaced fellow IR Detron Lewis . . .
Texas Tech vs. Baylor Leftovers: DT's Alex Ybarra writes that the Red Raiders survived the Baylor scare, with the defense coming up big against the Bears, and fellow-writer Adam Coleman focuses on freshman RB Eric Stephens goat-to-hero game . . . WacoTrib's John Werner writes that moving the game to Cowboys Stadium was the right move . . .