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Red Raider Gridiron | Simplify the Offense

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Official Two-Deep:  Just wanted to point you to the official site's preview of the Iowa St. game, although I'm almost positive that nothing on the two-deep has changed since SMU. 

Simplify:  DT's Mike Graham and LAJ's Adam Zuvanich write that the Red Raiders are ready to get back to basics and per yesterday's press conference, and that the team has streamlined the team's playbook:

"We took what we felt like what we are pretty good at and know how to execute well and just have the knack to run well and just worked on that all week," Potts said.

"We really felt like there are some running plays that we run better than others, and I think the coaches recognize what those were, and we worked on those all week."

And head coach Tommy Tuberville said that this team wants to continue to throw the ball, but needs to run more effectively:

Although the running game was often an afterthought under former head coach Mike Leach, whose teams passed the ball seemingly at will, Tuberville insists that Tech must be able to move the ball on the ground in order to be successful.

"We're still in the mode of throwing the ball a lot more than we're running it, but you can't give up on it," Tuberville said. "Again, I came here to win a championship, and for us to do that, we're going to have to learn to run the football - whether it's this year or next year. If you abandon it as we speak, then things will get worse."

I guess there's a couple of things here, which you probably don't need me to even write, but I will anyway.  The offense is being simplified and they're trying to do a few things really well as opposed to running a lot of plays and doing them okay.  I talked a bit about this last week and I get the feeling that OC Neal Brown went back to his Air Raid roots.  I think this is a step in the right direction, but of course you can't help but worry that the offense gets too simple. There has to be a fine line that has to be walked here.

And Tuberville does say that he still wants to be a passing team.  Although this is probably not a popular opinion, I had no problem with Tuberville wanting to be a more diverse offense and getting on a 60/40 pass to run ration didn't bother me.  Of course, I still expected that the efficiency of the offense would be consistent.  Take a look at the top offenses in the nation, and for the most part, these teams are pretty balanced, except for Oklahoma St. who appears to be at a 35% running rate (at least in terms of total yards).  A more diverse offense isn't a bad offense, but a less efficient offense . . . well, you know.

On the Road:  LAJ's Don Williams writes that this team is gearing to play four out of the next five games on the road and head coach Tommy Tuberville said that it has to be a challenge:

"It’s got to be a challenge for you mentally," he said. "You take it as a business trip. You do everything in terms of preparing mentally for what’s going to be at the stadium when you get there. Not many people are going to be on your side, People calling you names.

"You’ve got to use that in reverse psychology: ‘Hey, that’s the reason we’ve got to play better.’ And when you get into the game, you’ve got to be able to handle the good things and the bad things that happen to you. You’ve got to use it to your advantage."

Ready to Play:'s Travis Cram writes that LB Bront Bird was frustrated watching UCLA vs. UT:

"It’s just frustrating," Bird said. "I don’t want a team to lose until I get to play them again, but that’s probably not going to happen. … What it all comes down to is, ‘Are you going to beat yourself?’"

Bear vs. Red Raider, Time Set:  Per the official site, the game-time for Baylor vs. Texas Tech is set for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff.

Iowa St. Cyclone Links:  Clone Chronicle's Paul Conrad  looks back at ISU's win last week against UNI (I'll be doing a Q&A with Paul later in the week) . . . starting QB Austen Arnaud, a senior, hurt his shoulder against UNI and in came sophomore Jerome Tiller, but Iowa St. head coach Paul Rhoads said that Arnaud would be starting this week (here and here) . . . GoCyclones' Ben Gouldsmith writes that big defensive plays keyed the win against UNI . . . Big 12 and National Links:  Yours truly was on a podcast with some of the folks from Corn Nation, hear me dance questions about whether or not fans are happy . . . SB Nation's Spencer Hall with this week's Alphabetical . . .