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Red Raider Gridiron: Jenkins and Atoe Playing at LB; Newbold and Madison Playing at CB

Thoughts on how the Texas Tech defense and Texas offense are both struggling, while some young back-ups are receiving playing time, in Malik Jenkins and Sam Atoe at linebacker and LaDarius Newbold and Tevin Madison at cornerback.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Struggling Sides of the Ball. The LAJ writes about how the Texas offense and the Texas Tech defense are both struggling and defensive coordinator Mike Smith knows that RB Malcolm Brown and RB Johnathan Gray are both talented running backs:

Operating behind a patchwork line this season, Brown has been over 70 yards in only two games and Gray has topped 50 yards just twice. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes actually has the Longhorns' best rushing game this season - 95 yards on 14 carries two weeks ago against Iowa State.

"Maybe it's (because of) more inexperience up front with the linemen," Tech co-defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "I was shocked watching the film when they haven't been getting the success they have been (in the past). They're both good backs. They're hard to tackle. They're running hard. I know we can't sleep lightly on those guys."

That's for sure. Tech ranks 118th out of the 125 FBS teams in rushing defense, and only six FBS teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns than the 23 the Red Raiders have given up.

Notebooky. The LAJ's Don Williams has an informative notebook today, and we start with how LB Sam Atoe and LB Malik Jenkins are being added to the linebacker rotation with the injury to LB Sam Eguavoen, and here's Smith on the new guys:

"They just haven't had a lot of reps," he said. "Young guys like that, when you throw them into a game with limited reps all year, it's not going to be perfect. I thought they played hard. Sam Atoe played well and got a sack. Obviously, this is going to be another big week for them.

"With Micah playing a lot of special teams, he was gassed at times. We're going to have to get those other guys going."

Williams also noted that both CB Tevin Madison and CB LaDarius Newbold played on Saturday and cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis said that Newbold has to continue to work:

"He's working," Tech cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis said last week. "It's just so hard in the flow of the game to get a bunch of guys reps. Once those guys get into the flow of the game, you kind of keep them out there until they're gassed.

"He's just got to keep coming and keep getting better."

Miscellaneous. Football Study Hall continues with their win projections and go ahead and click . . . if you dare . . . Fox Sports' David Ubben has his week 10 predictions and he is not predicting a Texas Tech win :( . . . the DMN has five things to know about Texas Tech (obviously from a Texas perspective) . . . ESPN writes about how both Texas and Texas Tech are in the rebuilding stage . . .