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.
Some of Texas Tech’s key players with concussion histories are going to be participating in preseason practice on a non-contact basis only. Nickel back Tre Porter and inside receiver Austin Zouzalik, both of whom suffered concussions late last season, are in red jerseys — meaning no contact. So is split end Eric Ward, who had a concussion last year during August workouts.
Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said they won’t hit until the first game.
“Kind of like we did in the spring,” Tuberville said. “They’ll wrap up, but they won’t have any head contact.
DALLAS -- What's that? Did Texas coach Mack Brown take a shot at former Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy?
No, of course not. But McCoy was such a smooth passer, Brown said Tuesday at Big 12 football media days, that the Longhorns' running game suffered when he left after the 2009 season. Post-Colt, Brown said Texas had to get its toughness back.
Last year was a start.
DALLAS -- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy obviously wasn't happy to hear about the recent string of off-field issues involving his former player, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Bryant's mother called 911 on July 14 and accused him of assault. Though Angela Bryant later decided not to pursue charges, Dez Bryant still could face disciplinary action by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
"It saddens me to hear negative things come out about Dez, and hopefully he can get it together," Gundy told reporters at Big 12 Conference media days.
DALLAS -- One of the hot topics in the Texas Longhorns' preseason camp will be which young quarterback, David Ash or Case McCoy, emerges as the starter. Texas coach Mack Brown, during Big 12 Conference media days Tuesday, pointed out that both ended last season with a big win -- McCoy against Texas A&M and Ash against California in the Holiday Bowl.
They also have a year under their belts with co-offensive coordinators Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite.
"So we're coming in in a much better place this year than we were last year," Brown said.
No matter which recruiting service a person consulted, Michael Starts from Waco La Vega was among the top couple of hundreds recruits in the nation last year.
Texas Tech running back Eric Stephens is "probably 80 percent" healthy in his comeback from major knee surgery, Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said, and coaches want to get him back into action before the first Big 12 Conference game Sept. 29 at Iowa State.
Tuberville said Stephens will practice on a non-contact basis in August, but "he'll be full speed for pass routes and running the ball." The senior running back is working out in a knee brace.
The Red Raiders have non-conference games with Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico before an open date.