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Texas Tech arrives in Houston eager for bowl appearance

Red Raiders spent a warm Christmas Eve preparing for Friday's Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas against Minnesota

Posted: December 24, 2012 - 6:57pm  |  Updated: December 25, 2012 - 1:18am
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Texas Tech runs drills during practice on Monday at Rice Stadium in Houston. (Zach Long)  Zach Long
Zach Long
Texas Tech runs drills during practice on Monday at Rice Stadium in Houston. (Zach Long)
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HOUSTON — It certainly didn’t seem like Christmas Eve on Monday at Rice Stadium, where Texas Tech continued its preparations for Friday’s Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas against Minnesota.

Any hopes for a winter wonderland were destroyed by a warm, humid climate with temperatures nearing the mid-70s, but the Red Raiders weren’t complaining.

“It’s warm, there’s no wind, we’ve sweat a whole bunch and it’s a lot of fun,” Tech quarterback Seth Doege said. “It’s a great atmosphere to play football. Maybe not for Christmas, but we’re down here to play a football game, so it’s perfect for us.”

Monday marked exactly a month since the last time Tech played a football game, its last outing an excruciating 52-45 overtime loss to Baylor on Nov. 24. That loss dropped Tech from a potential third-place Big 12 finish into a logjam of four teams that finished at 4-5 in the conference.

But the time between games has seemed even longer given the change that has occurred since the Red Raiders last took the field. Tommy Tuberville left for Cincinnati, Tech hired and Kliff Kingsbury and Chris Thomsen moved into the role of interim coach, as players pondered how the overhaul would affect their futures.

But none of that, Tech players said Monday, has changed what they want to accomplish when they square off against the Gophers at 8 p.m. Friday inside Reliant Stadium.

“It’s been a ride,” said Tech offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle, whose hometown of Columbus is only about an hour and a half away from Reliant Stadium. “It’s had some ups and some downs, but like everybody says, you just have to go out there and give it your best shot and just roll with it. Things aren’t always going to go your way. It’s the way you come back from those things that shows what kind of man you are.”

Thomsen said practices for Tech have been “business as usual,” and Monday’s session was no different. On a day that had the feel of late summer, Doege likened Tech’s practice to an early fall workout, when players are still battling to impress coaches and fight for playing time.

“I thought it was a great first practice with guys competing,” the senior quarterback said. “I think part of it has to do with us being away from each other for five days. As much as we complain about football taking all our time, deep down we really love this game and we love being around each other. That was a big factor for us today. It was the first time we could be back out here and run around with each other.”

The Gophers, practicing about five miles away from the Red Raiders at St. Thomas High School, were especially appreciative of being able to practice on a warm, sun-drenched field the day before Christmas. Minnesota, after all, left behind temperatures that were nearing single digits.

“Being out here, with this weather, we got a lot done today,” said second-year Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, whose team went 6-6 and become bowl eligible one season after finishing 3-9. “We were able to practice our older kids, keep our younger kids afterwards, and we’re getting good work.”

Bowl games can often come down to which team can muster the required amount of motivation to bring its ‘A’ game after a significant layoff. The Red Raiders have the added challenge of preparing for a bowl game with an interim coach for the second time in four years.

The motivation for the Red Raiders? Righting the wrong of a promising season gone sour.

“We kind of ended on a bad note, and that’s not this football team,” Doege said. “That’s not how we worked in the offseason and over the summer. We want to send the seniors out on a good note and finish this the right way, the way it needs to be done.”

 

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3
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Just how many articles can

Just how many articles can you have on this, a third rate Bowl at that?

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hey 62.....

Why don't you try getting in the Christmas spirit? You might like it.

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.

.

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toilet bowl

Yeah, they are so eager to play the Toilet Bowl...not! What a disappointment.

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@mojo

You are correct. This is Christmas. We have been given a great Christmas Gift (A one way bus ticket for Tuberville to Cincinnati). We should combine this holiday with the last holiday and give thanks for small miracles and look forward to a prosperous and fruitful future.

Now if we can get rid of Hance, we will have a happy new year.

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Tubbervilles best recruits

If you believed the whole "tubster" spin from its inception, I hope you begin to ask the BOR for the resignation of Kent Hance.

This is the best 'the tubster' could have put together, and he jumps ship. Now, if you don't believe it was a fluke that tubby went undefeated (somebody else put team together) then here is more proof that 'the tubster' is more fluff than stuff.

By the way (BTW), I heard that if you get married at the Pastor Hance Chapel, you get season tickets for free. Not really, but it sounds possible that a narcissist would encourage something like this.

GO TECH, GO LEACH, GO KLIFF. Leach produced (NFL: Welker, Crabtree, Amendola, Harrell). What has 'the tubster' produced? Time to dump Kent Hance

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For all you goobers that wished for a white christmas,

bah, humbug. It's a sheet of ice here, only 19*, and that crappy snow won't stick together to make a snowman. Burrrr, wish I was in Houston also. Wreck 'em!

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Good Bowl Game for Tech

1. Lots of folks are playing in a worse bowl.

2. Reliant is a very nice venue--state of the art.

3. Our fan base can drive to the game--this allows us to eat far fewer tickets.

4. We'll win this game. Another bowl win for Tech--something that very rarely happened before Coach X showed up.

5. Kingsbury will get a lot of "play" in the game telecast--which will be good for business.

I just think this is a good bowl game for this team.

Go Tech.

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Facts you rock.....

I agree......and by the way the bowls will improve with time......I truly believe Kliff and Co. will get us to the Holy Grail.....a BCS bowl.

The future is bright indeed. All we need to do is give Kliff a reasonable learning curve and then things will take care of themselves.

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sraider, I agree. That's two, you're on a roll !!

I believe you're correct about the bowls. If Brewer pans out, this is very promising as we have some talent at the skill positions offensively. We've not seen him in meaningful action against bcs-conference competition, and I'm hoping he gets 20 minutes of running the offense Friday night, not just handing-off or kneeling down.

Your last sentence is where my concern lies. My view is a college head coach deserves 5 yrs (redshirt to seniors) unless it's a total "dumpster fire" and he doesn't have his recruits contributing (see New Mexico prior to this season). Kliff only has a 4 yr deal, and he agreed to it at the home of kh@nce. This makes Coach Kingsbury a target, of all the same vociferous haters, that have plagued our program the last 3 yrs. Also, he is not a recruit of Coach Leach, so their support is tenuous at best.

While y'all claim to KNOW Coach Tuberville was of flawed character and wouldn't have success, the fact is you didn't support the football program with positive energy, and didn't give him a fair chance. The fact of the matter is that he wasn't here, and had nothing to do with the Coach Leach/James Gang fiasco. The hatred of kh@nce is still on daily display in these pages, and will be motivation enough to "call for the king's head" should the next 3 yrs records resemble the last 3 seasons.

Also, there is no learning curve, as he's already displayed his capabilities as an OC. Name of the game is recruiting, and how well he and his friends/coaches do that will determine his head coaching longevity. I personally hope this is his last coaching job, and that he becomes Kirby's successor..... after he's become the all-time leader in Big 12 victories as a football head coach !! Guns Up !

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I gave

Tubbs a fair chance Pete. I really did. No one wanted him to succeed more that I did. I have some very close dear friends who I have had disagreements with about this......and I swore to them I'm not a Leacher (they were giving me a hard time about Leach's record at WSU).....I want Tech to win and I am behind our kids no matter who the coach is. However, as I told them in late October, I was waiting for Tubbs to "show me something." He was supposed to be a defensive guru.....I wanted to see that, over and above the players we had recruited. People can be "coached up" to a higher level; it happens all the time and we have always had to do this at Tech. It bothered me that we seemed so beat up and injured.....I wondered about the conditioning. He always seemed to be using that as an excuse......and his comments about the wind were laughable. That was like griping about the snow in Alaska.

I had a feeling, from the moment I heard he had been hired, that Tubbs would use us to get back into a FBS program. Never did I think he would stay. His track record hinted otherwise. I was surprised, to give him his due, at his last 2 recruiting classes. However it remains to be seen how good they really are.

Maybe learning curve was a bad term to use......yes the man is a very capable OC; he's never been the head of a major program before. However, Kliff strikes me as a quick study and he'll be rocking and rolling along in short order no doubt. I agree with you that recruiting is the name of this game and in that regard I believe he will be very adept at it. The 2013 class is very marginal from everything I've read. Hopefully he and his staff will be able to make hay with what has been left in the barn (assuming again that Tubbs had bona fide great recruits) and those future wins will make the recruiting trail a good one in the coming years.

I did not realize he only signed a 4 year deal. That concerns me too if the wins don't come big and fast enough. However, I for one like to think our glass is half full instead of half empty. I am betting we'll be in a BCS bowl 3 years from now......

Let's win Friday night and start a new era on the High Plains.......Raider Power......Wreck Em!!!!!!!

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Well, I have to admit that I too was ...

... sorely disappointed in the state of our defense. And though my defense of him/his staff was "give him a chance", I too figured he'd be gone to a bigger name program as soon as he had a really good year.

Neither Obama nor Bush seemed to generate the negativity that kh@nce does on this page, and that connection (meaningless to me) will be used against Kliff if results aren't immediate. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

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Maybe I can enlighten you.....

Here is what I think the mere mention of Hance's name does to some on this sight.....

After our (what we thought was anyway) our break out year in 2008 we kept hearing that Leach hadn't been offered or signed a new contract. Well that dragged on until January of 2009 I think it was.....or maybe December of 2008....the news had Leach leaving if he didn't have a contract in hand by a certain date. Bear with me; this was several years ago and I've slept since then.

The date was upon us and I was on the phone with a very good friend who is a Tech grad. We were lamenting what was going on then she looked at the web page and shouted "They've offered him a contract and he's signed it"......well we screamed and celebrated. This of course is/was the contract with the $800,000 bonus Tech will not honor.

Hance despised the fact that Leach was known to "shop around" for other coaching jobs and I'm sure since he's a control freak that having to offer that contract was a bitter pill. Plus he's tighter than Dick's proverible hat band. And I'm sure he was furious that Leach blew him off when he tried to control the football program.....think Jerry Jones at the college level.

Yes I know Leach shopped around while he was at Tech......why not. That is what successful people DO. When I was in corporate America I did the same thing......a very wise person told me after I graduated from Tech that you start looking for your next job the day after you accept a job. Companies have no loyalty; why should you?

Why not use your market-ability to raise your salary, bonus, etc? Again that is what Leach did. It never offended me. He was a hot commodity after the 2008 season. This is just good business practice.

I think Leach would have left anyway in another year or two......regardless of what happened with Adam James. I do think Tech owes him the money he earned. That is my opinion and will not be well received on this site. There is a group of people on this site who hate Leach. There is another who hate Hance. Hance is going to be around for several more years and I have heard he has done the heavy lifting to get us to Tier I status which is very commendable. Tier I will level the playing field with the want to be's in College Station and Austin. Reaching Tier I will forever shut the mouths of those who think we're a "cow college" on the Plains and should be content to play with the big boys but not beat them at their own game, either in the class-room or on the playing field.

No one on this site will ever be able to change the opinions of above said people. I can see both sides. Some will never forgive Hance for throwing us under the bus and hiring Tubbs regardless of what happens academically at Tech.

Since Hance has known Kliff since he was born that might make a difference if Kliff gets off to a rocky couple of years. Hopefully he'll come out next fall with Guns Blazing and the Jones will once again be a place where opposing teams dread playing.

Here's to 2013.....get your Gunz Up!!!!!!

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Coaches

The call for Tubervilles head started immediately after the Kansas game when he lied about the sideline incident. It would have come anyway after the Baylor game. I think Kingsbury will eclipse what Tuberville did and I hope he eclipses Mike Leach. But when you outright lie to the people out here, get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, its hard to forget or forgive when your boss and yourself falsely proclaim you to be a better man than the last.

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Enlightening review,

not anything I hadn't heard before, but thank you. I still don't get the unending bitterness, but then I've never been trusting of any of them since free agency, which is why I enjoy college sports more. Coaches come and go, I don't get wrapped up in them. And, kh@nce is/was a politician/lawyer, and although they're fixtures in our society, we'd be better served if term limits were in place so that they couldn't make a career out of public office.

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