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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 03.23.10

Lots and Lots of Links:  There is a ton of stuff out there today, so I've put a little bit before the jump, but a majority of the DTN DD is after the jump.  Lots of video, links and all sorts of things that should make your football-pants go crazy.

One other note, on yesterday's DD, I incorrectly had today's basketball game starting at 8:00 p.m.  That is WRONG, it starts at 6:00 p.m., so make sure and set your DVR's.

Spring Practice Begins:  It feels so good to type those words.  Football is here, for a brief while, and then takes a long hibernation until August.  Enjoy it while you can.

So much more after the jump.

Changes Arrive:  LAJ's Don Williams writes that changes are evident on the practice field, although there are some changes more noticeable than others, including the offense now wearing black and the defense wearing white (I shrug my shoulders at this) and offensive coordinator reveals that he's probably a lot more like the Captain, in terms of play calling, that we may have thought:

The offense should be simple enough to master: New coordinator Neal Brown isn’t changing Leach’s terminology and has said he regularly used only 12 plays last year — six to eight pass routes and three or four running plays.

There's lots of quotes from both quarterbacks, Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts, and although I'm suggesting that you read every article, I'll pick and choose a few quotes that pique my interest.  Potts talked about how there's going to be less pressure on the quarterback to make adjustments:

"Coaches kind of get everybody the play," quarterback Taylor Potts said. "That takes a little stress off us, and we (quarterbacks) get to worry about reads and that kind of stuff — what the defense is doing — a little bit longer. So it helps out. As far as terminology, there’s a few kinks here and there, but everything’s pretty much the same."

Head coach Tommy Tuberville talks about how the offense will try to the throw the ball deep next year, which will favor certain receivers over others, and Tuberville also talks about how the defensive backs are going to play this year:

"We’ve got to get better in man coverage," Tuberville said. "In the past, they were an 80 percent zone team. We’ll be at least 50 percent man coverage, whether it’s man-free or straight-up man coverage, so we’ll work a lot on our man coverage techniques."

Football Notes:  LAJ's Don Williams also notes that CB Taylor Charbonnet has ended his football career due to multiple concussions, remains at school and on scholarship, but will not count against the scholarship limit.  We wish you well Taylor.  Williams also writes that Potts has changed from #15 to #12. 

Of most importance to me in this notes column was this bit about the defense (my thought that Howard would be an inside linebacker was right):

On Monday, the new staff had Howard running with the first group at inside linebacker in the 3-4.

"As long as they want to play me, I’m down to play anything,’’ Howard said. "Linebacker’s the one that’s going to get me on the field now, so I’m willing to play linebacker.’’

The first group of linebackers had Brian Duncan and Howard on the inside and Bront Bird and former middle linebacker Sam Fehoko outside.

Other players that coaches are looking at in new positions include redshirt freshmen Aundrey Barr at Bird’s outside linebacker spot and Will Ford at cornerback.

Barr trained at defensive end in the fall and Ford played safety and nickel back.

Myles Wade, who played defensive tackle last season, worked at end in the three-man front on Monday.

That's a lot of blockquoting, but there's a lot there.  Howard is an ILB, while Fehoko and Bird are OLB's.  Barr is behind Bird (something I talked about as well), Will Ford at cornerback and Myles Wade, the 6'2"/340 defensive lineman was playing at defensive end.  Ha!  That would be a load for quite a few offensive linemen.

DT Is Your Multi-Media King:  I don't follow most other student newspapers, but consider yourselves lucky.  The guys and gals at the Daily Toreador are top notch and have all forms of content for you to enjoy.  DT's Adam Coleman writes that the team is ready to get back to work.  RB Baron Batch is ready to just play football:

"We come here to play football, and a lot of stuff happened and there was a lot of stuff we had to go through," he said. "It’s just nice to get to do what you’re here for and that’s play football. And everybody feels like that. Just to get out here and do what we love to do."

Linebacker Bront Bird talks about seeing what Tuberville wants to do:

"This was really our first opportunity to see how they coach as far as football goes," he said. "We’ve been doing some drills out here and stuff like that, but as far as seeing what they expect, play recognition and stuff like that, this was our first experience. I think everybody is adapting well and everybody’s onboard."

And Tuberville talks about the faster paced workouts and conditioning:

"We spent a lot of time with them in offseason, so they pretty much know what we expect," Tuberville said. "It’s a lot easier what we did (Monday) than what we did in offseason drills. It was more running and conditioning and agilities. ... This is more learning and teaching and we want to do a lot of running in the spring.

"We’ve got a long way to go to have a chance to get to the championship game and win it. But it’s not just in the football part, it’s in conditioning and running and lifting."

DT's Sam Grenadier and Karl Anderson have a terrific slide show of photographs from yesterday. 

DT's Jon Arnold has some video from yesterday's practice.  Enjoy:


Tuberville opens first spring practice as coach of Texas Tech (via DailyToreador)

All Positions Open:  FWST's Dwain Price writes that every position is up for grabs.  Here's Tuberville: 

"We're kind of starting from scratch and trying to see who can play where, and like I told them all, every position is open," Tuberville said. "We don't have any preconceived notions about anybody.

"I don't care who the starters were last year, they've got to re-earn it this year. I want to see a lot of competition for the next three or four weeks, and we've got to get an idea of what we're going to be headed into the fall."

Tuberville also has quite a few quotes about the quarterbacks.

New Guys:  FWSW's Steve Hunt writes about new players that should make a difference for the Longhorns, the Aggies and your Red Raiders.  The three positions Hunt chose was right guard, defensive end and cornerback:

            Carter was an absolute rock for the Tech offensive front last year but Okafor has the experience to step right into a starting role. He made a pair of starts at right guard a year ago and could very well follow in Carter’s footsteps as an all-conference performer. New head coach Tommy Tuberville’s offensive scheme might be noticeably different than that of former Red Raider coach Mike Leach, but any offense needs quality linemen and that’s what Okafor is.




            There is a wealth of talent at defensive end, including a lot of underclassmen. Howard had 42 tackles last year at right end and Sharpe made 42 stops on the other side. Of the returning players, only Haliburton (2 tackles) showed up on the stat sheet one year ago. Junior college transfers Rumph and Smith might have the inside track to securing a starting job. However, a talented group of true freshmen also presents a number of interesting options, any of which could step up and claim that job as their own. Also gone are Ra’jon Henley and Richard Jones, both of whom made two starts last year.




            Brent Nickerson was Wall’s back-up at left cornerback a year ago and he too has graduated. However, TTU does have a lot of options at this spot. Tuberville figures to go with experience, which could mean Moore, who played in 13 games and had 42 tackles with 2 interceptions in 2009, has to be a front runner along with junior Flannel (4 tackles in 12 games). Talented sophomore Johnson could also be a factor (24 tackles, 1 INT in 12 games). There is also a solid group of four true freshmen coming in who could be called upon to contribute right away for the Red Raiders.

I think that Hunt has it right at RG, although throw in Deveric Gallington, and at DE, i.e. it's just about everyone right now.  At corner, I believe that Moore is a starter and the other spot will be between Ford and Johnson.

Video:  Red Raider Nation (a.k.a. KAMC) and Andy Scholes with a report, as does Fox34's Robert Giovannetti

Game Tonight
Mississippi Rebels (20-10, 9-7)  vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (19-15, 4-12)
Time:  6:00 p.m.
Location: Smith Coliseum : Oxford, MS
Television:  ESPN
The Bad Guys:  Red Cup Rebellion
Open Game Day Thread:  5:00 p.m.
Post Game Thoughts:  Jacksonville Dolphins 64, Texas Tech Red Raiders 69

No Preview:  Once again, I've run out of time for a preview for tonight's game.  There's just too much news this morning and I got up at 4:45 this morning. Sorry.

A Tough Game:  LAJ's Courtney Linehan previews tonight's game:

Tech's recent practices have catered to that poise-under-pressure mentality, as coaches assign five players a lead and ask another five to overcome it in a set time.

"You've got to have the right guys on the floor to make the right decisions," Singletary said. "That's key to pulling off those tight games."

Ole Miss' offense won't make things any easier. Four of five starters average at least nine points per game. The Rebel lineup is generally smaller than the Raiders' - it starts three guards - but it requires excellent man-to-man defense.

Point guard John Roberson said Ole Miss has the individual skill of Texas and the guard play of Kansas State. Tech shut down Jacksonville in Saturday's second half by switching on screens, but Roberson says that won't be possible tonight because Ole Miss, unlike Jacksonville, can score across its lineup. Helping off would only guarantee an open shooter.

"They have a lot of people who are capable of scoring," he said. "They run a lot of ball screens for (point guard) Chris Warren, do the dribble weave because they have a lot of players who can go one-on-one and get a shot off."

Facing the Rebels:  DT's Mike Graham gives you a quick rundown on Ole Miss:

The Rebels started the SEC tournament with a bye in the first round and were defeated by Tennessee, 76-65, in the SEC quarterfinal round. The Rebels defeated Troy and Memphis in their first two NIT games.

Ole Miss has five players that average more than nine points per game, including leading scorer Chris Warren — the SEC’s third leading scorer. Terrico White averages 15 points per game and Murphy Halloway averages 10 per game.

As a team, Ole Miss was the second-highest scoring team behind Kentucky in SEC play and had the third-best scoring margin.

Knight and Kennedy = Best Buds:  FWST's Dwain Price writes that Pat Knight and Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy are good friends:

"He's one of my best friends in the (coaching) business,'' Knight said Sunday night. "You know how this business is.

"You've got about a handful of guys that you consider your good friend.''

Cleaning House:  I don't link to this story on Crimson and Cream Machine as one of those moments where I relish in another program having issues, but it's really interesting right now in Norman, as the three best players for the Sooners may have some issues.  PF Tiny Gallon may have accepted payments, PG Tommy Mason-Griffin may be leaving OU, and SG Willie Warren may not have his scholarship renewed.

Texas Tech (9-12, 1-2) vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi (10-9, 3-3)
Location: Dan Law Field : Lubbock, TX
Radio: Affiliates
Date Start Time Texas Tech
Starting Pitcher
Texas A&M - CC
Starting Pitcher
3.23.10 6:30 p.m. Brandon Petite
1-0, 13.50
Roy Ferdin
2-1, 5.60
3.24.10 12:00 p.m. Louis Head
1-1, 11.05
Marc Damon
1-1, 9.82
LF - Michael Reed (Sr.); CF - Taylor Ashby (Sr.); RF - Bonham Hough (Sr.)
SS - Joey Kenworthy (Sr.)     2ND - Jamodrick McGruder (Fr.);
3RD - Bo Altobelli (Fr.)                                  1ST - Barrett Barnes (Fr.)
C - Kevin Whitehead (So.)
DH - Scott LeJeune (So.)

*Click on the score for boxscore. Texas Tech series preview (pdf).

Preview: DT's Adam Coleman writes that the Red Raiders hope to get back on track with this mid-week series with TAMU-CC, especially considering the Longhorns show up in Lubbock this weekend:

"We’ve played a lot of good people in the month of March," Spencer said. "It’ll continue and I think that some of the places we’ve been early and with the pitching we’ve seen early, Texas is going to run real arms at you, but they’re going to be a lot like the guys you’ve seen the last three weeks."