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Red Raider Gridiron: Best Players on Special Teams; Bad Stats for Texas Tech

Texas Tech is using the best players on special teams. We have some bad stats for Texas Tech, namely the rushing defense and the Big 12 is already "meh".

John Weast

Best Players on Special Teams. The LAJ writes about how special teams coach Darrin Chiaverini is using starters and the best tacklers on defense, but is backing off on some players being used all of the time, like Kenny Williams, but using plenty of other starters and youngsters on special teams:

Chiaverini said he's already made some judgments about when to back off. Chiaverini said Williams could make the NFL as a special-teams player. ("He's that good at it.") Nevertheless, he's reduced Williams workload on one unit - the punt-return team - from full-timer to rotating. The same with Stewart.

And although Chiaverini favors experienced upperclassmen - starting defensive end Branden Jackson on punt coverage, for another example - he's breaking in some youngsters, too. Freshman cornerbacks Tevin Madison and Jah'Shawn Johnson are both starting on a special team, and freshman safety Derrick Dixon is in the special-teams two-deep.

"There's going to be some young guys that get opportunities to play," Chiaverini said. "Now it's up to the young guys and guys that are also in the reserve positions to show they can do it a high level, because you can't have drop-off. Bottom line, we've got to win the kicking game every week. If we can do that, then we give ourselves a competitive edge."

The special teams has been a little up-and-down this year, although I thought that I didn't notice the special teams really at all this past week against Arkansas.  That's usually a good thing, but I oftentimes don't pay close attention to special teams and just tend to notice the bad or catastrophic things.

These Are Bad Stats. The Tulsa World has five statistics to know about Texas Tech, including the statistic that Texas Tech is ranked #124 of #125 teams in rush defense.  As much as we complain about Webb's inconsistent play, and rightfully so, goodness, I haven't gotten to this week's stats just yet and just didn't realize how rough it was.

The Meh Big 12. There were a handful of articles yesterday or this morning about how the Big 12 is mediocre or something similar.  The NewsOK writes about how the Big 12 is just 4-5 against the Power 5 Conferences. And the San Antonio Express-News writes about how the Big 12 saved face this week, although Texas Tech and Kansas had the worst performances of the past week.  The Ft. Worth Star Telegram writes about Texas colleges and mentions how Texas Tech will struggle to be bowl eligible this year.

Miscellaneous. SB Nation's Bill Connelly has the weekly The Numerical . . . this was a fun read, although it was admittedly less fun knowing that Davis Webb wasn't included as one of the better quarterbacks in the country or even currently in line :( here's Grantland's weekly look at college quarterbacks . . .