With 10 days left until the 2012 season opener, Texas Tech running back Eric Stephens made a run that looked remarkably similar to one in the 2011 season opener.
The difference was last year against Texas State, Stephens shot up the middle and ran untouched 46 yards for a touchdown.
Texas Tech players got a break from the heat Friday, the second of their five sets of two-a-day workouts. Throughout their late morning workout, it was overcast with the temperature at 69-70 degrees. It climbed only to 77 by mid-afternoon when the day’s second workout started. ...
Starting OG Beau Carpenter returned to full contact Friday after missing a week with a concussion. Starting OG Le’Raven Clark and backup C Tony Morales will remain out until Monday, head coach Tommy Tuberville said.
Safety J.J. Gaines was one of the standouts of Texas Tech’s Friday morning practice. During the early team period, Gaines made a quick break to knock a pass away from inside receiver Jordan Davis.
During the end-of-practice 11-on-11, he dropped a would-be interception — one that could have been returned for a touchdown in a real game — from Michael Brewer. Gaines came back two plays later and spiked a quick throw toward the underneath zone for inside receiver Jakeem Grant.
Senior cornerbacks Cornelius Douglas and Eugene Neboh have run with Texas Tech's first-team defense throughout spring practice and the first two weeks of preseason workouts. The top backups, though, have been up for debate.
Redshirt freshman Jeremy Reynolds and junior-college transfer Bruce Jones have been as visible as any of the backup corners in August, and they were the only two Tech coach Tommy Tuberville mentioned when asked Friday who had stood out behind Douglas and Neboh.
“Jeremy Reynolds has come on pretty good,” Tuberville said.
With Texas Tech two weeks out from its season opener, snaps in scrimmages will start to tilt more toward starters than backups. Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said he wants the first team to get about 40 snaps in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage, the second unit to get 30 to 35 snaps and the third string about 25 to 30.
Add in the kicking game, and the Red Raiders plan to go for 115 to 120 plays. The scrimmage, again closed to the public, is scheduled for 10 a.m.
During Texas Tech’s first week of preseason practice, the Red Raiders have worked on a variety of ways to get the ball to their small, quick receivers — especially slot receivers such as Jakeem Grant and Javares McRoy and flanker Javon Bell.
Texas Tech players can practice in shoulder pads Wednesday for the first time. The first two practices were in helmets, shorts and jerseys only, in keeping with NCAA rules. ...
DE Branden Jackson made one of the most eye-catching plays of Tuesday's practice from the defensive unit. Jackson intercepted a Seth Doege pass during the 11-on-11 team period. ...
Several defensive players made plays during the 7-on-7 period. S Cody Davis and CB Happiness Osunde intercepted passes, Osunde by getting underneath SE Eric Ward on a deep throw. S D.J.
Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown said last week he would have a better idea after a week or two of practice to what extent his players coming off major knee injuries can help this year.
So far, he likes what he sees from running backs Eric Stephens and DeAndre Washington and receiver Alex Torres, all of whom are practicing for the first time since suffering season-ending knee injuries in 2011.
“I can’t tell a whole lot of difference, to be honest with you,” Brown said after Tuesday’s workout.
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville says he doesn’t plan to be heavy handed with scooter usage in the wake of having two players involved in accidents while riding scooters this summer. Backup safety Austin Stewart ran into a bus on campus in late April, and freshman defensive tackle Anthony Smith suffered an ankle injury while riding a scooter on the eve of practice starting.
Tuberville acknowledged the bad luck, but said he has no plans to ban scooters when asked if he'd do so.
“We haven’t had a whole lot of problems,” Tuberville said.