Two Minute Drill with Kingsbury.
Ross Making an Impact. The LAJ talks with DE/LB Andre Ross, who has really played well since Mike Smith took over and defensive line John Scott, Jr. says that it was a change of attitude:
"He's gotten a lot better from when he first got here," Tech defensive line coach John Scott Jr. said. "I would say Andre's gotten a lot tougher. We knew he always had ability, but his mental toughness has picked up a whole lot and you see him flying around. He's making some plays.
"He's bought in to what we're doing. Anytime you buy in to what you're doing and believe in what's going on, that helps you become a better player."
Impact Recruits for Texas Tech. Interesting note from Rivals' Mike Farrell where he writes about how there are a true lack of elite players committing to the Big 12 . . . except for Texas Tech:
I stated on Twitter this past weekend that the Big 12 is a fun conference to watch, but it's not a very good one. However, I also stated that the ACC and Big Ten are worse, at least when it comes to on-the-field product. However, the least attractive conference right now in recruiting is the Big 12, hands down. With Texas struggling mightily and Oklahoma not recruiting on the same level as the glory years of the mid 2000's, this conference is lacking luster.
This recruiting year there are zero, nada, none, no five-star recruits committed to the conference. Last year? Running back Joe Mixon was the only one and we all know what happened there. In 2013, there were zero five stars after three five stars committed in 2012 and three in 2011. The top players in Texas, where most of the five-stars play in Big 12 country, are headed to programs like Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU and even Ohio State in the case of Mike Mitchell (since transferred to Texas Tech). Without the Longhorns and Sooners being strong, the conference just can't compete when it comes to the top, top talent. The one exception this year? How about those Red Raiders, who are the only team in the Big 12 with a top 50 national commitment (quarterback Jarrett Stidham) and currently lead for Louisiana wide receiver Tyron Johnson (No. 13 nationally) over Clemson, LSU, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.
Tough Round 2. SAEN's Tim Griffin writes that season 2 for Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury has been rough and says that the team has continued to play with effort:
"It's been an interesting team to see how we respond, week in and week out," Kingsbury said. "The one constant has been great effort. We haven't always executed well, and the penalties and turnovers keep rearing their head, but these players play hard."
Also from the FWST is the idea that Texas Tech and TCU are on opposite sides of the field in terms of success after TCU's turnaround this year:
"We haven't played as well as we can play by a long shot. We're still searching for that," Kingsbury said during this week's news conference in Lubbock. "We're going to have to do something because [TCU] will be the best defense we've played. Offensively, we haven't played well enough to beat a team like this yet. We'll have to step our game up."
Problem is, nothing that has transpired this season suggests Tech is capable of stepping up. Among 33 team categories tracked by Big 12 statisticians, Tech ranks last among league schools in nine of them. Only Kansas, with 10, is a bigger statistical bottom-feeder.
Miscellaneous. Fox Sports David Ubben has his week 9 predictions and it's not looking good for Texas Tech . . . want to feel old? Byron Hanspard has a son who plays football for DeSoto, Byron Hanspard, Jr., and he's going to be in the class of 2018 . . . CornNation wants your opinions regarding what you want in terms of structure of the playoffs. Please go vote . . . Football Study Hall's Bill Connelly has his updated Big 12 projections and the numbers ay to get used to a 2 win season . . . Oklahoma State is suing New Mexico State over the use of their mascot and this is some sort of irony . . . per Frogs O' War, TCU will change their hand-signals for the offense during the game . . . you know how Blinn JC has a couple of receivers putting up ridiculous numbers? The quarterback throwing them the ball, QB Jake Hubenak, is looking for a college and he never received any offers after initially walking-on at Oklahoma State, and one of those colleges contacting him is Texas Tech (oh and he'll graduate in December) . . . the DMN has five things that TCU fans should know about Texas Tech . . . the DMN asks if TCU QB Treyvone Boykin is a Heisman candidate . . .