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DTN Roundtable - North Dakota Week

Dtn_-_dingbat_medium  This is the week 1 edition of the DTN Roundtable. Inside, your faithful writers (and other hangers on) answer a few questions about TTU football and other such interests. This week, we keep it short, only 3 questions. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, and you may see them in next week's edition. Also, if anyone wants to be fancy and make me a DTN Roundtable banner, that'd be awesome.

 1) Which player will you be watching (or listening) for the most in this Saturday's game?

  • Tech92 - Potts. Obviously as the QB goes, so goes Tech's fortunes. Though ND is not going to be a great measuring stick, I do want to see (hear) how he does when a game is still up for grabs. I don't have doubts, per se, but I work in a results oriented business - and he plays a results oriented position - so until he shows he can be the guy, I am edgy. We've seen guys with tons of talent cave in when the pressure is all on them. I don't expect that to be the case, but there's always that little devil on the other shoulder that keeps me from being too gung ho. Yet.

  • Seth - Unfortunately, I'll be listening, but I'll really be listening intently on the defensive side of the ball.  I don't know that I could pick just one player and if you were to ask this question again next week, I'd probably say the same thing in that I'm incredibly curious as to how the defensive line, especially the defensive ends, will play out.  I'm a little bit disappointed in that I don't know how much playing time some of the starters will receive, and I have no ideas as to the competition that Texas Tech will face against North Dakota.  I'll also say that I'm interested in the safeties, although I think they'll be fine.  I think more than anything else, and this is me looking too far ahead, but North Dakota and Rice aren't necessarily about those two teams, it's about what's after them.  I'm probably putting too much pressure on one game, on the road, in an early conference showdown, but these first two games are about getting ready for the third game.
  • NM99 - Offense: James.  I was somewhat surprised to see him at the top of the depth chart and wonder if that will continue.  Also, RB.  I'm not sure if we'll see Batch this game or not, if so I expect limited action.  I'm interested to see how the other guys perform outside of practice.
    Defense: Bird.  Last year he was on like white on rice some games and was lost somewhere near the concession stand in others.  I hope to see more signs of consistency.
  • djollie111 - Offense:  I'll be looking at the H-receiver position to see if the battle is still on between James and Swindall.  I expect both of them to get similar reps in this first game, so I'll be wanting to see who does a little better, and if James is the clear leader as the staff has suggested..
    Defense:  Safeties.  Is the young talent that good or are we just making the best out of the situation?
  • Kayakyakr - I'll be listening for Eric Stephens. This fall, he's been getting a lot of press. Watch for him to factor in as a blocking back and as a kick returner.

 2) Which game featuring a future TTU opponent are you going to be watching most intently this weekend (and why)?

  • Tech92 - Georgia at OSU. I want to see if OSU is worth all of the pre-season puffery they have received. I think they are stacked on offense, but like most Big XII schools, what is the defense going to look like? I am sure they will put up some points, but can they stop a Georgia team that is young at some key positions?
  • djollie111 - I will be looking at Oklahoma State, just because that game has the most potential to affect us.  Should OSU lose, it could drop them considerably, and should the voters decide that OSU is not up to its billing, they may also believe Tech has a better shot at winning in Stillwater, which may slingshot us up in the polls.
  • NM99 - I also say OSU.  Most at stake.
  • Seth - Most likely I'll be watching the Georgia vs. Oklahoma State game and the BYU vs. Oklahoma game.  Personally, I think Georgia wins a close game in Stillwater, but I'm still not sold on the OSU defense being great and I'm curious to see how Dez Bryant is able to dominate as the only receiving playmaker for OSU.  As far as the Sooners are concerned, I'm curious to see how many large and in charge Tongans and Polynesian players BYU will push around the starting tight end, starting at center.  I don't think BYU wins, but I do think that OU may have to re-think this idea of plugging a tight end at center with a week to go before the game.  If Sam Bradford can't get out from under center (that's an exaggeration) then I don't know how effective he can be.
  • Kayakyakr - While everyone else is going to be watching the OSU game (and Seth will be watching the OU game), I'm going to be watching the Baylor @ Wake game. Yes, the Baylor game. They're the question mark. We know that OSU is going to be pretty good, even if they're not as good as their rank. Baylor is supposed to be a surprise team this year, and they open with a good test to see if they're going to be all that.

 3) Let's play some season-long true/false:

- Potts will go under center more than 5 times in the ND game. True - 2, False - 3

  • Kayakyakr - I say false, but only because Taylor will be out of the game before he gets the chance. A QB will be under center more than 5 times

- Texas Tech will win one game they "shouldn't" and will lose a game they "shouldn't" this season. True - 3, False - 2

  • Tech92 - With last year as the exception, that is a Leach quirk. I'm not going out on some big limb when I say they likely drop a winnable game, and lose one they should have won. That doesn't mean they'll lose to a lesser team, however. There may well be an instance where they lead OU by a few TDs, only to lose at the end. Or where they may be getting dominated all game by a UT and end up winning on a goofy TD at the end.
  • Seth - I think this season will play out like it should, and I'm not counting OSU as a team that Texas Tech should lose to.

- Harrison Jeffers will have more rushing yards than Baron Batch against ND. True - 3, False - 2

  • Tech92 - True, only because this one will be out of hand before halftime and he'll get the bulk of the work to give Batch some rest and protect that elbow.
  • Seth - TRUE, but only because Jeffers should see more time than Batch.  Remember, I'm looking two weeks ahead.
  • Kayakyakr - No, the order will be Stephens, Batch, Jeffers. Neither Batch or Jeffers will play in the 2nd half.

- Tramain Swindall will have worked his way out of the doghouse and will be starting by the A&M game. True - 3, False - 2

  • Seth - TRUE.  This whole doghouse routine tends to motivate players well enough and the only bargaining chip that a coach has is playing time.  It's not the most pleasant chip to have to play, but I think Swindall knows that he's got a very good opportunity to be a featured receiver in this offense.  It doesn't make any sense to sulk or be disappointed, but rather pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move forward.
  • Kayakyakr - True, he's too much of a talent to keep on the scout team all year.
  • Tech92 - I think this guy is in for a long season.