DTN Weekly Schedule: As the game week looms, here's my tentative schedule for each week, starting with the game-day:
Saturday: Open Game Day Thread and Quick Reactions (this will be a post-game open thread, but with a handful of reactions from the game);
Sunday: Post Game Thoughts;
Monday: Five Questions (this will deal with the game on Saturday and the upcoming game);
Tuesday: Quick Preview (this will be a quick preview of the upcoming game);
Wednesday: Keys to the Game;
Thursday: Reasons for Concern and Reasons for Optimism (this is a scaled down version of five reasons Texas Tech will win/lose);
Friday: Prediction Time
I should also mention that with my wife and I adopting, I've decided to cut back quite a bit on traveling to games, with the basic thought that if Texas Tech is on television, I'll stay at home and watch the game. Of course, this flies in the face of my wife, who made this comment to me last week (keep in mind that we didn't take any sort of vacation this year): "Aren't you going to go away for a weekend sometime soon?" I think she's ready for some "non-Seth C" time. When I'm able to get to a game, I'll try to give everyone a heads-up so that we can meet, drank, etc.
Also, you can find DTN on the Associated Press team page for Texas Tech. Good times.
Practice Report: The official site previews the defensive line and also had some video featuring DE/OLB coach Robert Prunty and DL coach Sam McElroy. There was also video after yesterday's practice. Here's my "not a transcript" notes:
Defensive Line Preview:
Robert Prunty (DE/OLB Coach): Aundrey Barr has improved, great pass-rusher. Scott Smith is going to contribute. Kerry Hyder is expected to step up as well. Jackson Richards is solid, he can only get better. Joe Walker did a great job on their legs during the summer. More patient in containing the run. Expect to be able to rush the passer. Need to play the run better.
Sam McElroy (DL Coach): Colby Whitlock is expected to anchor the front four. Donald Langley and Lawrence Rumph will be in 3-technique (this means that they will be playing between the guard and tackle). Myles Wade is behind Whitlock. Pearlie Graves has been banged up recently, not many reps. Bobby Agoucha, David Neal and Chris Perry round out the group.
Practice 15 Press Conference
Tommy Tuberville: Good scrimmage on Saturday. First day working against SMU. Time to shift gears to play someone else. Still trying to find a two-deep and find special teams guys. Effort was good. Work on kicking game later in the day. Ran the ball well on Saturday. Two-back runs looked good. Concentrated on play-action. Will hopefully look like a more complete game. Missed Okafor with concussion, admitted to the hospital. LG Lonnie Edwards has a slight ankle tweak, but would play if there was a game. Picked a quarterback. That doesn't mean that QB Steven Sheffield won't play. Both have strengths and weaknesses. There will be a plan to play both. QB Taylor Potts separated himself, Sheffield makes plays in and out of the pocket. Look at completion percentage to the right spot and right checks. Few turnover difference. Very hard decision, Sheffield worked as hard as anyone. Have to have patience with the quarterback. Have full confidence in both of them. Want the players to know that Potts is the guy, not a short-string. There are certain situations that Sheffield may be better at. Both of them are different. Starting experience didn't play into the decision. Talked to both of them about leadership and they both have it. Potts had a better grasp for what they wanted to do. Competition is still there.
No Short-String, But Both Will Play: This sounds an awful similar to what I wrote yesterday, which is that I think both have their faults and both will play, but per the Tuberville press conference detailed above, he said yesterday that there will be situations where Sheffield will play. You can find quotes from LAJ's Don Williams and DMN's Mike Graham, while LAJ's Adam Zuvanich writes that Red Raider fans should give Potts a chance. Here's Tuberville:
"Both of them have their different strengths and weaknesses," Tuberville said after the Red Raiders’ Monday practice. "Coach (Neal) Brown and I just felt like going into this first game, Taylor would be the guy that would be able to give us an opportunity to get better in what we wanted to do. There’ll be a plan to play both as the season goes on."
Perhaps the best quote from Don Williams' article is from RB Baron Batch, who said that Potts may be a bit looser this year:
Senior running back Baron Batch said Potts seemed to be more relaxed and having more fun this year. Batch said he respected how the senior from Abilene persevered, particularly when he left the field in one game last season to home-crowd chants of "No more Potts."
"He went through a lot last year — things that a lot of players don’t have to go through," Batch said. "He was booed off the field. No one (in the crowd) wanted to see him in there, and he never complained one time. I think just going through all that made him that much of a better player and a better quarterback."
I'll be honest, I don't remember Potts ever being anything but a team player last year. I don't remember him pouting at any time when he was replaced by Sheffield and to hear from Batch that despite Potts' very tough season last year, he never complained to the team, I think bodes well for this team. Again, I still think that Sheffield is the better quarterback, but I'm along for the ride.
So much stuff after the jump, including injury updates, OC Brown's daily Twitter update, more on The Ride, Kirk Bohls and Craig James rank the Red Raiders and recruiting stuff.
Notes, Notes and More Notes: LAJ's Don Williams has a notebook from yesterday and has an extensive run-down of the injuries:
Offensive lineman Mickey Okafor will be out several days with a concussion. Tuberville said Okafor was hospitalized overnight after he got hurt in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Cornerbacks Will Ford and Tre Porter both "practiced some" on Monday, Tuberville said. Both have been battling injuries for more than a week.
Split end E.J. Celestie also is back on the field in a blue jersey. Celestie is coming off shoulder surgery that kept him from joining the team at the beginning of camp.
OC Brown's Daily Twitter Update:
Main focus right now is getting everybody healthy. Cutting back some to get their legs back also.
More on "The Ride": LAJ's Adam Zuvanich has quite a bit more on Texas Tech's new reality show, The Ride:
Hougland said he and football coach Tommy Tuberville liked the idea, but realized they could produce a much broader show themselves at a much lower cost. Hougland said the athletic department will spend $75,000 to produce the show, with all that money coming from the teams’ recruiting budgets.
Because Tech’s athletic programs are funding the show, its coaches will have creative control of the content. Hougland said Tuberville has mapped out storylines for each football-related show with producer and cameraman Kirk Heard, who since 2000 had produced Tech’s weekly coaches shows.
Interesting. And here's producer Kirk Heard on what to expect:
"If people are interested in learning about the program, they’ll be riveted," Heard said. "If people want to see people voted off an island, they need to watch a different show."
I'm really interested to see how much this show will appeal to those who aren't Red Raider fans and how well Texas Tech will be able to develop characters in the show. Being goofy and joking is fine, but making people care about the characters (I know they're real people) isn't easy.
Polls and Previews: ESPN's David Ubben breaks down the AP top 25 poll and probably to everyone's surprise, AAS's Kirk Bohls was one of the few writers to rank Texas Tech, as was LAJ's Adam Zuvanich, who happens to be a graduate of UT and your favorite color analyst, Craig James . . . CBSSports' Dennis Dodd previews the Big 12 and thinks that Texas Tech finishes 3rd in the South . . .
"Terrell Hartsfield for Texas Tech should be a star. All these linebackers can flat out run. He really has been a big surprise. He came into camp in shape and put on weight. He's a humble kid that loves the game and can play. I think everybody at Texas Tech is going to be impressed with him.
. . . MaxPreps' Stephen Spiewak looks at the Big 12 recruiting and thinks that Texas Tech has the 4th best class in the Big 12:
4. Texas Tech
Number of verbal commitments: 17
Top incoming recruit:
Sleeper recruit: Bradley Marquez
Play right away: Kenny Williams
Comment: Despite losing previously-committed Javares McRoy to Florida, Texas Tech still has the makings for a nice recruiting haul. Williams is the team's top incoming running back. Given the depth of talent at the position in Texas this year, Marquez often gets overlooked, especially after missing time last season due to injury.