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Red Raider Gridiron | Sweeping Up the Mess

Needed a Bit of a Break:  For those of you who commented on my post game thoughts and I haven't responded, well, I had to get away from the computer yesterday.  Actually went shopping with the wife for most of the day yesterday.  I needed a bit of a break. 

I'll try to respond to some of your emails, questions and comments over the next few days.  There were two big questions.  The first was the comparison to Michigan and I should have been more clear.  I wasn't necessarily trying to compare Michigan and Texas Tech.  I'm smarter than that.  As I sat down to write on Sunday morning those posts from Cook crept into my brain (i.e., questioning if the program was headed in the right direction).  It was a memory recall of someone who seemed to be going through the same thing that I felt at that moment.  It wasn't a comparison to the programs themselves.  Sorry for not being more clear. 

The other big question was from LondonRaider, who asked why I linked to and blockquoted the LAJ's Don Williams' article regarding this team not being close to the 2008 team.  I know the disingenuous relationship that the LAJ has with it's former head coach and the unequal press that the LAJ has given the administration. 

The thought of the Leach vs. administration fiasco never crossed my mind as I linked to that article.  What I got out of it was that I thought that perhaps this was Williams way of responding to the fans that still make the Leach comparisons when the truth is that this university will never hire the coach that is currently residing in Key West.  I really don't know what was Williams' motivation and on some level, I feel like that I've repeated myself about Leach never coming back and have probably driven away readers because I can't seem to write anything original.  I tend to think that it was actually an emotional response to the comments and voice mails that he's gotten over the course of the last 10 months, but that's just a guess.  I really don't know.   

DTN has taken on a certain personality, which has evolved with or without me, and I don't necessarily think that it's all bad to throw out alternative point of views.  I think it's healthy.  I should also say that Williams did talk about how poorly the offense, defense and special teams played on Saturday or have played this season:

A realistic pre-season projection for this team was seven or eight wins, based mainly on the question marks in the offensive and defensive lines. Of course, other shortcomings have cropped up since, none more so than Saturday.

As in, a defense that looked promising in September as it generated takeaways had little to fall back on Saturday when no such breaks materialized. And the special teams were atrocious, just all the way around in ways too numerous to recount here.


I don’t know if Tech defensive coordinator James Willis’ was lacking in game plan or execution thereof. In any event, his guys gave up more points than anyone had in Paul Rhoads’ 18 games as Iowa State head coach. Willis rarely tried to pressure the passer with numbers, maybe preferring to leave plenty of people home in case Robinson or one of the Cyclones’ other running backs found a crease.

As it was, the Raiders got gashed by the ISU rushing game and rocked by the tight ends, too.

I’d like to say the Raiders know what they have to fix and that’ll be the last you see of that this year.

But how do you repair that muck wreckage in a week?

If that's not ripping the current staff, then I don't know what is. 

And even if DTN begins to have a collective thought as to how things are playing out, that certainly doesn't mean that I shouldn't post thoughts and articles that are contrary to the thoughts and opinions of the group.  Different voices and opinions are different and I think they're healthy.  In fact, take a gander at Ryan Hyatt's article from after the game:

So, four games into 2010 Tech’s got its ugly loss out of the way. Yea for tradition. Now we see it Tommy Tuberville can continue another tradition of the past decade which is usually rebounding from that loss to string together a few wins and go to a bowl game and give the people that freaked-out this weekend another reason to enjoy Tech football. My money is on Tuberville and the Red Raiders doing just that. My money is also on the fans that are down in the dumps today staying with the program and continuing to enjoy all the fun that is Tech football just like they’ve done the last few years as well. It’s just too damn fun to quit being a fan.

I'm not asking that you agree with it, but it's interesting. 

At the end of the day, I think we are all skewed with our prejudices, fans, reporters, administrators, head coaches and former head coaches.  We can each (this includes me) be prejudiced to see things a certain way.  Part of what I try to do, and it may not be the right thing to do, is to throw different ideas out there and see what happens.

More good-strong after the jump.

Press Conference Non-Transcripts:  I only watched head coach Tommy Tuberville's portion of Saturday's post-game press conference, but did watch all of the video of OC Neal Brown and DC James Willis talk on Sunday after practice.  Here's the non-transcript from both:

Tommy Tuberville:  Never played together as a group.  Have a lot of work to do.  Gave up too many rushing yards, a lot of which came off of 2 plays.  Have to do a better job of coaching.  At times, it looked as if we were confused.  Must be a better defense.  Kicking game didn't show up.  Can't give up that many big plays.  Thought we got picked on the play (some touchdown).  Not good enough to make that many mistakes and beat anyone.  Offense wasn't making plays and third down drops puts your defense in a bind.  It' disheartening.  Give credit to Iowa St.  Coaches are trying to make plays, sometimes when they're not there.  Never had a handle on being able to play good offense and defense at the same time.  The Detron Lewis fumble, he was trying to get his eyes up the field, the ball was slick.  That happens.  Had no rhythm on defense or offense at times.  To win games, you have to stop the run and play good defense.  Have to get better defensively, gave up way too many yards.  Combination of player errors and coaching.

Neal Brown:  Played well for 33 minutes. Didn't make any plays for the first quarter and a half.  Had a bunch of drops that shut down drives early.  As far as offense, we found something that they did well, and they've been practicing well.  The running game was much better.  Played half a game with 400 yards of offense.  Not a lot of negative other than the Detron Lewis fumble.  Potts played well, really pleased with not letting the negative things get to him, which happened in the past.  Leong played well, get the running backs involved.  The running backs had a ton of touches.  This was the first time that the team put it all together and the team made plays.  It was more about drops or the line didn't make the right blocks.

James Willis:  Disappointed.  Not proper fundamentals.  That goes on coaching.  It was hard to sleep last night.  I know there were some plays where I put players in a bad spot.  The secondary, the coverage was there.  Didn't make the plays.  The biggest thing is people not doing the right thing, right pad placement, right gap control and when you don't do the right things, it shows up.  The effort is there.  The bigger tight ends could be a bigger problem, but those are good players.  The two 60 yards run, he put the players in a bad spot as he was expecting a pass, but had each player had their right gap.  That's coaching.

You can see the frustration, although I did find it very interesting that OC Brown made it clear that he could only speak for the offense.  Seemed a little chicken-s#!t to me, especially considering the offensive woes that this team has had for good parts of the first four games. Tuberville looks rattled, or at least that was my impression after watching his post-game video.  OC Brown emphasized that a big part of the problem on Saturday in the fist half was dropped passes, while DC Willis took a lot of credit for putting players in bad positions (guessing wrong on that second long touchdown run as Willis had called for a blitz), but also said that they players aren't fundamentally sound either.  I think all of these statements are accurate.

Miscellaneous:  I don't have much more time this morning, despite getting up at 4:30 a.m.  Just going to throw out the links this morning.  LAJ's Don Williams report card from Saturday . . . LAJ's Don Williams writes that Willis had sleepless night after Iowa St. loss . . . LAJ's Don Williams notebook . . . DT's Mike Graham with his game story . . . DT's Jon Arnold with an article about Texas Tech maybe not making a bowl game . . . Rock M Nation's Bill Connelly with Big 12 links and reflections (this is a great round-up to follow what happened this weekend) . . .