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Red Raider Gridiron: Haverty to Coach Raider LB; K.Williams Back to RB

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Trey Haverty will begin coaching the Raider linebacker spot and we discuss the player types that will play that position moving forward, plus Kenny Williams is moving back to running back and we find out that Rika Levi and Marcus Smith didn't play because of off-field items.

John Weast

Presser. MeestahRogers will be around with a full update on yesterday's press conference.  As an aside, this is the second week that Texas Tech has not posted the press conferences on YouTube and as of right now, they only have Kliff Kingsbury's presser available on TexasTech.TV, although they have the quotes for Kingsbury and QB Davis Webb and LB V.J. Fehoko.  I should mention that if it is important to you to watch the video of DC Mike Smith and OC Eric Morris on a video player that doesn't lag, then Double T 104.3 has the video (something I hadn't thought about until right now) and it is really good quality.  You don't get the full presser for Smith or Morris, but it's something rather than nothing.  And the official site could put something up, but it's not up now.  Not sure if anyone else gets this vibe, but was Smith about to shed a tear talking about how much DE Branden Jackson played on Saturday, in a proud father sort of way?

Moving Around. The LAJ has a notebook with a couple of interesting notes, including the idea that safeties coach Trey Haverty will begin coaching the Raider linebacker position rather than John Scott, Jr.  Okay, I had no idea that Scott was being asked to coach the Raider, which has always seemed to me to be a safety type of player and not a lineman type of player.  Also of note is the idea that Jalen Barnes and Peyton Hendrix are the types of bodies that we can expect to see at the Raider position:

"In the future, he's our Raider type," interim defensive coordinator Mike Smith said of Barnes. "You hate to look at the future, but I think you have to at times. Jalen could play Raider, could play safety. A lot of guys in that room can."

Smith said true freshman Payton Hendrix and junior-college import Josh Keys also have the body types to play either spot.

RB Kenny Williams is also moving back to offense, something that was floating around before the game on Saturday and confirmed yesterday.  Williams was seemingly replaced by Austin Stewart since Smith took over and I believe it has been mentioned that if Chris Payne is healthy and/or playing then he'd play the Raider as well.  I'm not expecting Williams to really break all that much into the running back rotation, but I'd love to see him work in at fullback and be an option there.

Last, but not least, DT Rika Levi and DT Marcus Smith didn't get a lot of burn against West Virginia for some unspecified things, which means that a gassed defensive line was mostly gassed as a result of not having any depth with Levi and Smith unavailable.  Here's Smith:

"I feel comfortable with those guys, because they're doing the right thing," Smith said. "That's the thing I've stressed since I took the coordinator job: If you're going to do the right thing, then you're going to play. If you're not, then you're not going to play. I don't care who you are, how big you are, how fast you are."

Making a Bowl. The LAJ also writes about how the players do look to making a bowl in order to gain valuable practice experience, but the players know that they need to win now, regardless of of the bowl.  Here's Davis Webb and V.J. Fehoko talking about the importance of winning games:

"All the coaches talk about how those extra bowl practices get freshmen and guys like that a real chance to get ahead going into spring for next year," Webb said. "That's just a huge part for our team: just getting those young guys extra reps."

The Red Raiders know just how tenuous their chances are of making it.

"We've very aware," linebacker V.J. Fehoko said. "I feel that if there's a time to pick it up and to become that complete team on all three sides of the ball, it's going to be now. We need to win ball games. That's the bottom line."

And before anyone yells that these players are the worst for thinking about a bowl game, and that they should be focused on just winning games, they were each asked about going to a bowl game because sometimes a reporter has a story in his/her head and will ask questions in order to be able to write that story.  Both players were asked about it.

KU's Improving Defense. I quoted a bit from yesterday about Kansas' quarterback improving against Oklahoma State, and here's a bit about the improving Jayhawks defense:

This week's near-upset of Oklahoma State may have been all about the Kansas offense finding its groove, but it would be a crime to overlook what this KU defense is doing right now. Saturday's game marked the second week in a row in which the Kansas defense did not surrender a single point in the second half. And it's not as if they were playing chumps during the past two weeks. Both West Virginia and Oklahoma State came in averaging well over 400 yards per game and the KU defense found enough rhythm, especially in the final two quarters, to really frustrate those dynamic offenses and give the Jayhawks a chance to hang around. It would have been real easy weeks ago for this defense to throw up its hands in frustration for the offense's struggles, but instead of doing that, Ben Heeney and company kept working, put more on their shoulders and finally saw the offense help them out a little on Saturday.

Miscellaneous. FoxSports' Bruce Feldman with his weekly Big Picture column . . . I forgot that this week was homecoming, but the Daily Toreador has a bit on yesterday's kickoff to the week . . .