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Texas Tech Thursday Morning Notes - Relentlessly Consistent Edition

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Crabtree to #14?

SN's Vinnie Iyer and Russ Lande think that Michael Crabtree falls out of the top 10, to New Orleans at #14:

Where's Michael Crabtree? The consensus best wide receiver in the draft didn't make the top 10, but didn't last much longer. As if Drew Brees needed any more big-play threats, the Saints are tabbed to take the Texas Tech pass-catching machine at No. 14.

Not Convinced of Harrell

The Washington Posts' Doug Farrar talked with Greg Cosell of NFL Films on Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. Go read the entire article, it's interesting, although I don't agree with the general premise, which is that spread quarterbacks can't play in the NFL. I would say that college teams that run the spread offense have quarterbacks that have both positives and negatives, but whether or not a quarterback is draftable has nothing to do with the system they run, but the physical and mental attributes of that quarterback.

Here's the positive from Cosell:

"To incorporate elements of the spread in the NFL on a somewhat consistent basis, you need a quarterback who is incredibly quick at processing information," he said. "Particularly if you're talking about a true spread, where there are no tight ends, you have a short corner on both sides and defenses can get someone in clean to the quarterback. They can dictate where you throw the ball. See, that is ultimately the problem in the NFL with the spread, depending on when it's used. Now, if you use it somewhat proactively, I think you can be aggressive with it. But you'll see teams blitz spreads on third-and-9 and third-and-10, the ball comes out for a four-yard gain, and the team punts."

And the negatives:

"The problem with spread quarterbacks is that they don't do two things which are part and parcel of NFL offenses -- three-step drops, and play action," Cosell said. "Play action, in particular, is critical in the NFL." Example: Alex Smith, the first overall draft pick in 2005, enjoyed great success with the shotgun under Urban Meyer at Utah, but struggled mightily with more traditional mechanics with the San Francisco 49ers.

Snip

"The other thing I noticed with Harrell when I watched him on TV was that in response to pressure, he had a tendency to back up, and that's problematic. Then, you end up falling away from the rush, and falling away from the football. That is a definite negative for a quarterback. Until I watch 400 dropbacks, I don't want to paint him with that broad stroke and say, 'Okay, he's done,' but to me, that's an instinct. That won't cut it in the NFL."

Rebuilding the Red Raiders

Lindy's Brock Murphy takes a look at the rebuilding project in front of the Captain and Texas Tech (hat-tip T. Griffin). This article takes a look at who is leaving, but doesn't consider who will be stepping up and whether or not that's an improvement.

Texas Tech Keeps It Close, But Loses to Longhorns

Texas Tech 81, Texas 87

This game was much closer than I thought it would be, especially with the Longhorns retiring Kevin Durant's number and I would imagine there was a full arena. The Red Raiders went into halftime with a 5 point lead, but can't stay with the Longhorns, losing 81-87 (boxscore). Nick Okorie, who since he's been healthy has been one hell of a player, led the way with 24 and kept the Red Raiders in the game in the first half.

LAJ's Jeff Walker files his game story and notes that the 33 fouls called was problematic for the Red Raiders. Much like, our Aggie friend, perhaps I could say this is a huge conspiracy, but moving your feet and not reaching will go a long way to not having 33 fouls called. There's not much to say, other than it's nice that this team is keeping it close and I do feel like it's somewhat encouraging that this team doesn't give up, but I must admit, I want this season to end sooner rather than later and believe that next year will bring some hope about the program.

Red Raiders Bounce Back

Date Start Time Texas Tech
Starting Pitcher
New Mexico
Starting Pitcher
Result
2/24/2009 4:00 p.m. Brian Cloud (L) 0-1 Gabe Aguilar (W) 1-0 10-13
2/25/2009 2:00 p.m. Robbie Kilcrease (W) 1-0 Jason Oatman (L) 0-1 6-3

*Click on the score for boxscore.

Texas Tech 6, New Mexico 3

Nice performance by Robert Kilcrease, who pitched himself out of a few jams in his 6 innings of work, but did enough to hold the Lobos to just 2 runs (6.0 IP; 4 H; 2 ER; 2 BB; 4 SO). Cory Large pitched efficiently the last 2 innings for the save, his second of the year (2.0 IP; 2 H; 0 ER; 0 BB; 1 SO). At the plate, the Red Raiders were led again by Chris Richburg (2-4), who hit his 2nd double and 3rd home run of the year, driving in 3, and freshman Scott LeJeune (1-3) hit his first home run of his Texas Tech career.

LAJ's George Watson (with video) and DT's Mike Graham (with video) recap yesterday's win. Here's head coach Dan Spencer on his winning pitcher:

"Outstanding," Tech coach Dan Spencer said of Kilcrease’s effort. "You can’t say enough about Robbie. (New Mexico) obliterated him last year in Albuquerque and he got out there and scuffled a little in the first, but then he ran five more zeros up there and gave us a chance to catch our breath. That’s the difference between Robbie Kilcrease as a freshman and Robbie Kilcrease as a sophomore. He’s one of our guys. He’s a stud."

And Spencer feels good about how his team responded:

"I was very proud of how our guys played the first six games," Spencer said. "They showed up and showed up with some consistency, and the intensity level was good again.

"To respond like we did after a tough loss (Tuesday), I hope says a lot about this club. I know it’s early and we’ve had some success … but we’ve got some tough kids. I hope it shows up in wins at the end of the year, but our approach will be to be relentlessly consistent, win or lose."

Now, the Red Raiders head off to California for an 8 game, 11 day road trip: 3 against Cal State Northridge; 2 against UC Riverside; 1 each against San Francisco, Gonzaga and Oregon State.