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Red Raider Gridiron: Thomas in Pampa Hall of Fame; Stopping the Run

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Former Red Raider footballer Zach Thomas is inducted into the Pampa Harvester Hall of Fame, plus some of the ESPN folks opine on the Texas Tech defense.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

I'll have a open thread at 11:00 am or so later today.

Fix the Run. ESPN writes about how new defensive coordinator Mike Smith must fix the run defense and start stopping opponents:

So does Texas Tech's new leadership on defense. Smith was already the co-coordinator, so it's not a drastic change. He is expected to bring more of an NFL mindset to assignment and alignment than Wallerstedt. And no doubt he's already hard at work to address his defense's most obvious defect.

It's not that complicated. Next up is Oklahoma State. They and every other opponent are going to pound the rock. They will keep doing it, and the reputation will continue, until Texas Tech starts finding answers to stop it.

ESPN also did a mailbag and someone asked how an Texas Tech fix that defense and Jake Trotter felt like it's about players, not scheme:

Trotter: You're not going to like this answer, but I think it comes down to recruiting better players more than anything else, especially along the defensive line. There isn't a scheme out there that can account for a team's defensive front getting blown off the ball the way Tech's did against Arkansas. The Red Raiders can be better defensively than they were against the Hogs. But ultimately, you either have the horses or you don't.

Thomas in Pampa. Former Texas Tech footballer Zach Thomas was inducted into the Pampa Harvester Hall of Fame and this is a really good article and worth your time, so make sure and read the whole thing.  Lots of quotes from Thomas who gave lots of credit to his high school coach and being a hard-working individual:

"When I came in from White Deer the first thing that was told to me is ‘Hey, you gotta work your way here. You don't just come in and step in and say I'm the prima donna here.' That was the message from Coach Cavalier. He had a great work ethic and he loved the fundamentals, and that's where you win. Fundamentals are the most boring thing you can do on a practice field. But it makes it easier when you take the field for a game. Most of all Coach Cavalier was also about your character and how you win with class and respect. He demanded that. I really loved that. So when I first got here he made me earn my position, and that was about respect. He held himself as a great example to all of us."

Miscellaneous. ESPN has their Big 12 freshman rankings and RB Justin Stockton is at #8 . . .