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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 04.19.10

Good to Meet Everyone:  I missed a couple of folks and I'm not going to remember everyone's name, but I cannot thank RaiderDoc and everyone who showed up for his tailgate on Saturday morning enough.  Yes, I got there late, probably not until 11 or so and I'll just say that I was up at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning.  In any event, for those of you I had the pleasure of meeting, it was really great putting names with faces.  For those of you that I missed, I'm sorry that I wasn't able to shake your hand and thank you for reading DTN.  It was very cool event and I was glad to meet everyone.  I've got a few pictures from the tailgate, but will need to upload them later this week. 

Last year, I think I made sure that post-game thoughts on the spring game lasted a few weeks and this is the last bit of football news that we'll get for quite some time.  So we'll try to stretch this out for a bit.

Spring Game Links:  Lots of links from Saturday's scrimmage.  I'll link and blockquote from the article without any commentary.

LAJ's Don Williams writes that DC James Willis wants to make the defense special, sooner rather than later:

"I think we’ve been, in the past, kind of thinking we were second-rate citizens or something like that,’’ he said. "But I think now they understand that on defense we’re special, too. We’re part of this team, and we’re very important to this team. We became more aggressive and more physical.’’

Spring games tend to mean little, the one Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium being no exception. Not wanting to reveal much for fall opponents, Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said the Red Raiders ran "about 40 percent of what we normally run’’ during the 24-24 tie.

Willis was hamstrung by the lack of not just detailed scheme, but the absences of defensive tackles Colby Whitlock, Myles Wade and Chris Perry. Remember, this was a defensive front without Brandon Sharpe, Daniel Howard, Ra’Jon Henley and Richard Jones from the get-go. If there was a position group that needed 15 practices uninterrupted by injury, the defensive line was it, but the group wasn’t that lucky.

LAJ's Don Williams writes that WR Cornelius Douglas gives the Red Raiders another play-making option on offense:

Douglas caught a bootleg pass from Jacob Karam near midfield and shimmied his way down the right sideline, breaking four tackles en route to a 64-yard touchdown late in the second quarter of a game that ended in a 24-24 tie.

"I’m just trying to do better than last year," said Douglas, who had four receptions for 28 yards in 2009, along with one rush for two yards. "I didn’t really get to see the field too much, so I’m trying to get noticed a little bit and trying to make a name for myself."

LAJ's Don Williams writes his notebook with thoughts on multiple coaches signaling in plays, RB Harrison Jeffers needing to not fumble the ball, and head coach Tommy Tuberville said that the tackling has improved.

Much more after the jump, including the baseball team winning it's third series straight against Oklahoma.

LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes about the fans braving the cold.

DT's Mike Graham writes about the new-look Red Raiders:

Some Red Raider fans vowed to never attend another Texas Tech football game after the firing of former Tech head coach Mike Leach.

But if the 2010 Spring Game was any indication, most fans are still behind the Red Raiders, regardless of what coach is at the helm.

"Well, you know, I liked Leach," Austin resident John Forgey said. "I liked what he did for the school and the program. I got to know many of the coaches and I was sad when all of that went down. I was sad to see a lot of the coaches that I came to have relationships with have to go. But no, I’m optimistic around the program and the momentum that we’ve got and I have great expectations for next year."

DT's Jose Rodriguez writes about the fast-paced offense:

"We didn’t do a lot today, but I’m proud of them," he said. "We probably got a little tired. In this fast-paced offense we run, it’s pretty tough on the defense. We got more injuries on the defensive side; we were short-handed to begin with. Our tackling is improved; our mental toughness improved."

To say the Red Raider offense played fast may be an understatement.

The absence of quarterbacks Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield did not seem to impact the production of the offense, which was paced by a combined 530 yards on 47-of-68 passing from starters Seth Doege and Jacob Karam.

The offense managed to keep the defense on its toes with a constant, no-huddle attack. Also, offensive coordinator Neal Brown mixed in the running game to create balance.

Tech players accounted for 62 runs, including 19 rushes from Harrison Jeffers for 68 yards and 12 rushes from Aaron Crawford for 40 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Baron Batch and Eric Stephens combined for 12 rushes and 73 yards on the ground.

FWST's Dwain Price has a handful of thoughts on the spring game:

Karam was 23 of 34 for 326 yards and three touchdowns, and Doege completed 24 of 34 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns and an interception as the teams played to a 24-24 tie at Jones AT&T Stadium.

"The quarterbacks, they looked pretty even," Tuberville said. "You got a pretty good glimpse of what these guys can do."

LAJ's Adam Zuvanich also has some thoughts on the spring game, including the aforementioned Price wanting the offense to slow down a bit:

Well, at least one thing was abundantly clear. The Red Raiders’ offense is going to play fast, so fast that you’d better not take your eyes off the field or the TV screen.

They were pretty much in hurry-up mode throughout Saturday’s game, rushing back to the line of scrimmage as soon as the previous play ended. There were no huddles, and not much time for me to jot down one play in my notebook before the next one started.

At one point, Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram pleaded for Tech to slow down. The defense, which was gashed for 684 yards on 138 total plays, didn’t seem to like it much, either.

DMN's Chuck Carlton writes about five things he learned from the spring game:

5. A Tech run at the Big 12 South title would not be a surprise. Neither would a 7-5 finish. The Red Raiders may be the biggest wildcard in the conference with the coaching change. Early home games with Houston An early home game with Texas should provide a good barometer of what's to come.

DMN's Chuck Carlton also writes about the new-look defense:

 Forget bend but don't break. Willis wants aggressiveness and pursuit. After this spring, he has plenty of converts.

"These offenses in the Big 12 aren't going to know where we're coming from," said senior Brian Duncan, who has been converted to a stand-up, pass-rushing end. "They're going to end up scheming us instead of us scheming them because we're going to be crazy."

Crazy enough to win the Big 12?

"We most definitely can," Duncan said, "and we most definitely will."

Texas Tech (20-19, 8-7) vs. Oklahoma (26-10, 6-7)
Location: Dan Law Field : Lubbock, TX
Radio: Affiliates
Date Start Time Texas Tech
Starting Pitcher
Starting Pitcher
4.16.10 6:30 p.m. Brett Bruening
L, 2-3
Zach Neal
W, 5-1
L: 1-12
4.17.10 5:00 p.m. Bobby Doran
W, 3-2
Bobby Shore
L, 5-2
W: 7-3
4.18.10 1:00 p.m. Colt Farrar
W, 1-1
Jeremy Erben
L, 6-1
W: 8-3
LF - Michael Reed (Sr.); CF - Taylor Ashby (Sr.); RF - Scott LeJeune (So.)
SS - Joey Kenworthy (Sr.)     2ND - Jamodrick McGruder (Fr.);
3RD - Nick Popescu (Jr.)                                  1ST - Barrett Barnes (Fr.)
C - Jeremy Mayo (Jr.)
DH - Kevin Whitehead (So.)

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

Texas Tech Nabs Series From Sooners: The Red Raiders, after losing their first two conference series, to TAMU and Texas, they've won three conference series in a row against Kansas St., Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma, and now sit at third in the Big 12 conference standings. I don't have the time to recap every game, but in the final game, Texas Tech got a decent start from Jay Johnson (4.1 IP; 6 H; 1 ER; 5 BB; 3 SO) and in the second game from Bobby Doran (7.0 IP; 7 H; 1 ER; 2 BB; 7 SO). P Chad Bettis pitched in both wins. 2B Jamodrick McGruder (4-5; 1 R; 1 RBI; 1 HR) was tremendous in second game while 1B Barrett Barnes (3-4; 2 R; 2 RBI; 1 HR) and DH Kevin Whitehead (2-4; 1 R; 3 RBI; 1 HR) in the last game. LAJ's George Watson has the recaps from Game 2 and Game 3 (couldn't find the 1st game this morning).

Wagner Talks Texas Tech:  LAJ's Courntey Linehan talks with Estacado PG Kevin Wagner, to be a senior this next year, who also won a state championship with and knows that Texas Tech needs another big man:

A-J: Do you look at what a coach emphasizes on the court when you’re deciding where to go to college?

KW: Yeah, and I think the way Pat Knight coaches is right with the way I play, so that’s why I want to go to Tech.

A-J: Is Pat Knight’s style like your dad’s?

KW: They’ll both get after you, they just do it in different ways.

A-J: Do you talk to any of the Tech players?

KW: Yeah, David Tairu. I talk to him almost every day. We talk most of the time about basketball and working out, but sometimes we just chat, catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives.