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Taking Notes | Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. TCU Horned Frogs

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Thoughts, notes and links leading up to Texas Tech taking on TCU.

Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE
Yeah, we've improved. I think our tackling has improved. Our technique is much better. We didn't play the best game against the run that we played. That was a little disappointing. They ran the ball on us more than we would have hoped. But they're a pretty good running team. You always have to give the other team a little credit. You can't be perfect all the time, and they did a good job. Once we got the lead, we were hoping they'd run it. We were starting to do some things that were forcing the quarterback to go to a run read than a pass read to try to run that clock.
- Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
On Improved Defense

QUOTABLE | Measured responses. It seems like Tuberville is giving a lot of measured responses lately. Even against the loss against Oklahoma, he's stayed pretty true to what he's said all year. That this is a better team, that Oklahoma was a pretty good football team and that the defense is getting better.

For the most part, Tuberville has not gotten too high or too low on this team. He's still been pretty confident in his team, but not too confident. It's been strange to see this transformation and I'm still not confident either. I feel like I can't get my hopes up and I keep writing this from week to week. Even if Texas Tech does lose to TCU, I hope you don't flip either. It's hard for me to stay confident because of my personality, but it's good to stay grounded and know that this team is better.

NOTES | These are notes from around the interwebs this morning:

* LAJ | TCU manages turmoil on way to 5-1 start

* DT | Horned Frogs to kick off rivalry with Texas Tech

* TCU360 | Patterson: TCU to play most physical team yet

* TTU | Texas Tech Retires Midnight Matador :: Texas Tech Today

* SB Nation's Bill Connelly | The Numerical, Week 7: Surges, missed opportunities and 31 passes to one guy

* WreckEm247 | Whitehouse (Texas) receiver Dylan Cantrell impressed by Tech win#

FINDING THEIR WAY | Some of the receivers are obviously going to have to find their way this week. WR Alex Torres and IR Austin Zouzalik are going to have their roles increased this week most likely, as is maybe the role of IR Tyson Williams. You could even seen more of Derreck Edwards, who has been on the sideline for weeks as he's been focusing on grades after having a spectacular spring. Maybe Edwards got a bit down after having that great spring and not breaking into the two-deep. I'm not sure. Whatever happens, you saw last week how the team rallied a bit when players went down and there wasn't too much of a drop-off. Before the West Virginia game, there were some of us that wanted to have two dominant receivers. The problem with that is if one of them goes down then you're now depending on a player that hasn't seen much, if any time during the year. Thankfully, every player mentioned has seen time other than Edwards.

THE LIGHT BULB HAS GONE ON | I could not have been more impressed with the play of CB Eugene Neboh and CB Bruce Jones. They were really fantastic and I would guess that I've already highlighted their play this year, but Texas Tech doesn't win West Virginia without cornerbacks that can press coverage and run with the WVU receivers. Way back when James Willis was the DC, this was something that Texas Tech tried to do and it was a consistent whipping and deep passes. The times that they did show the cornerback technique, it was impressive and the players focused on the receiver, not the receivers eyes. Technique is so important. I'd also add that DC Art Kaufman is working in Derrick Mays, Ola Falemi and Brandon Bagley, and they all seem to be afterthoughts at this point in the season, but they are all incredibly important to the plan, which is to have options in case a player goes down.

ITEM COMPLETED | The talent difference on the defensive line between Oklahoma and West Virginia is significant. I'm not sure where TCU, but they are definitely in between the Sooners and the Mountaineers. They are smaller, and they are pretty darned fast. The offensive line had problems with Oklahoma and didn't have any problems with West Virginia, for the most part. I think that both the tackles will have bigger problems with TCU's outside speed, LaAdrian Waddle and Terry McDaniel seem to get beat by speed off the edge, but it's because they are 6-7/330. OL coach Chris Thomsen needs to have these guys ready to go, even if it means splitting out the tackles a bit more, or running right at those defensive ends. That's the sort of thing that can help make a speed rusher a bit hesitant.

KEY TO SUCCESS | Build back up the confidence of RB Kenny Williams and let's get RB Eric Stephens some room to run. Williams is and will be fine. I'm not worried about that. RB Sadale Foster had a terrific game and it was just a matter of time before Foster was going to break a long run. He did this against WVU, but it's high time for Stephens to get his. I don't know if it is Stephens being hesitant all on his own, but it would be really nice to see him get 70 to 80 yards this game. Either way, I think that Texas Tech has to get their 150 yards running the ball to keep the defense a bit loose against a TCU defense that I think will be trying to force Doege into bad situations.

WE HAVE QUESTIONS | I don't know who replaces TE Jace Amaro. Truthfully, there isn't a player that can fill in and do what Amaro does. There aren't any 6-5/260 players that can run down the field like Amaro does, but that means that the short guys are going to get their playing time. That means IR Jakeem Grant, IR Tyson Williams and IR Austin Zouzalik are going to have to do their jobs and create those match-up problems that Amaro did, but they'll have to do it with their speed. And I do recall seeing TE Cameron Wright get in on the blocking, but do not expect him to be a receiving threat.

GOOD JOB GOOD EFFORT | The deep defensive line is going to be a big part of any win on Saturday. TCU can run the ball and they like to run the ball inside and between the tackles. DT's Kerry Hyder, Delvon Simmons, Dennell Wesley and Leon Mackey all need to have significant games. They are going to have to take up space. TCU is experienced inside the line and the TCU running backs are big enough to create some havoc. The inside guys are going to have to clog things up and force TCU to try to run outside.

INJURY REPORT

Fall Practice: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year; ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - out 4 to 6 weeks); DT Anthony Smith (rolled ankle from scooter mishap - out 2 weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot).

Week 1 vs. Northwestern St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 2 to 4 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 4 to 6 more weeks); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - out 2 weeks).

Week 2 vs. Texas St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 3 to 5 more weeks); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - out 1 week); WR Eric Ward (concussion - out 1 game).

Week 3 vs. New Mexico: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 2 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 2 to 4 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be available); WR Marcus Kennard (groin - day to day); CB Cornelius Douglas (pulled abdominal muscle - 1 week).

Week 4 Bye: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 1 more week); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks).

Week 5 Iowa St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - practicing, but may be out 1 more week); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - may be out 1 more week).

Week 6 Oklahoma: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - should be practicing); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 2 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be practicing).

Week 7 West Virginia: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - should be practicing); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 1 more week); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be practicing).

Week 8 TCU: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - should be practicing); RB Quinton White (broken foot - should be practicing); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be practicing); WR Bradley Marquez (knee injury - out for the year); WR Javon Bell (broken ankle - out for the year); TE Jace Amaro (bruised ribs - questionable); CB Cornelius Douglas (twisted knee - questionable).