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Red Raider Gridiron | Midland Scrimmage Recap

The Texas Tech football team headed south to scrimmage in Midland, including the stand-out performances of Davis Webb and D.J. Polite Bray.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Midland and Webb Shine: It appears that maybe the biggest news of the day was that no one was hurt and everyone in Midland had a great time at the scrimmage and there are a ton of terrific Red Raiders in Midland.

As you would expect, it appears that Davis Webb has a stranglehold on the quarterback spot, completing 21 of 32 passes for 263 yards for about 8 yards an attempt, which is getting better for him. Gradually (he was 7.5 for all of last year, and it could be better). But still, no interceptions and four touchdowns is a good thing.

The highlights are that D.J. Polite-Bray caught 6 passes for 104 yards and that's pretty danged impressive. This is certainly an indication, but it's just one day of an entire spring. I do think that Kingsbury does buy into how the team and a player does when the lights are on. He said that a copule of times. They actually have a handful of scrimmages, it's just the one that we all get to see. The other note is that Dylan Cantrell has moved back outside and I'm hanging my hat on something that Kingsbury said last week about Cantrell, which is if he can get separation to get down the field and I'll also add this bit from yesterday (via LAJ):

"That’s been one of our big points of emphasis this whole spring," Kingsbury said. "I thought last year we had to play within a box, a 20-yard box, a lot of times. We want to push it down field. Davis has a great arm, so let’s throw it down there and see what happens."

This will make you sound football smart when you talk about this, but what I think Kingsbury is talking about is the idea that Texas Tech was limited in getting the ball down the field, only playing within an imaginary 20 yard box, but I think ideally, you want guys that push the cornerbacks and the safeties and make it a 30 yard or 35 yard box. That's why I think the speed factor is so important for this group of outside receivers. They want to continue to press the edges and that's why it will be so interesting to see where Cantrell eventually lands (I think he'll be fine either way). If he can get deep separation, then he's a terrific outside receiver option because of his size and hands.

This is a good problem to have.

Some of the competition for the outside spot sat out this game, including Derreck Edwards and Devin Lauderdale.

Defenders Return From Injury: The LAJ notebook is chock full of good information and I won't try to get to all of it, , including a bit more on Cantrell (via LAJ). There were also three defenders that returned from injury, some minor and some major, including Andre Ross, Kris Williams and Keland McElrath. It is good to have a full complement of players. There's also some notes on which defensive players did what, including a few pressures by DT Donte Phillips, OLB Pete Robertson, WLB Kris Williams and DT Tyler Scalzi. Also, ILB Malik Jenkins, CB Justis Nelson and CB La'Darius Newbold broke up a pass.

Middleton's Move to Cornerback: We've talked a bit about how Tyler Middleton is being moved to cornerback after spending a career at running back (via OAOA) and he talks about how he thinks it is a good move for him:

"It’s pretty fun," said the 6-foot, 190-pound Middleton, who will be a junior in the fall. "I think it’s the best move for me, because I was a little too little for running back. So I think corner fits my physique and all that."

Marquez Forgoing Baseball For This Summer: Also wanted to feature the OAOA again as they feature one of Midland's finest, Bradley Marquez (via OAOA) and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Marquez would be sticking around this summer rather than play baseball, but NOT giving up baseball:

"He’s going to stick around this summer, which is going to be huge for us as a team with his leadership being here all summer," Kingsbury said. "I really think you’ll see some evolution in him as a player to get that work during the summer instead of having to make it up during fall camp."

And from Marquez:

"It was a good atmosphere," he said. "The crowd was rocking, and we’re just excited to play in front of somebody. It’s good to get that game-like atmosphere. It’s been a great event."

Nguema Manning Boundary Cornerback: Over the weekend, I spent a ton of time thinking and writing about the secondary, in particular the "field" and "boundary" aspects of how this defense is run.  It really didn't occur to me until I read this article about the cornerbacks, in particular Thierry Nguema, adjusting to life at the boundary cornerback spot (via LAJ).  We'll get to my thoughts later this week, but for now it's a really good read on Nguema, who is actually from France and moved to the U.S. when he was 13.  Go read the whole thing.  Anyway, here's defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt on Nguema:

"He keeps training and working hard," Wallerstedt said. "He just has to learn, at the point of contact, on the finish, when the ball’s in the air. He’s getting smarter within the system."