• Comment

Red Raiders plan more complex attack for 'Horns

Tech coaches hope their Texas counterparts are the ones having to make adjustments come Saturday.

Posted: September 13, 2010 - 12:28am
Back | Next
Zach Long
Texas Tech’s Bront Bird takes down New Mexico’s Kasey Carrier during Tech’s 52-17 win Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
Get your A-J Media Digital Subscription now!

At halftime Saturday night in Albuquerque, N.M., New Mexico had 17 points on the scoreboard, was approaching 300 yards offense and was at least making a game of it with Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders wound up running away and winning 52-17, pitching a shutout in the second half.

“We made some adjustments,” Tech defensive coordinator James Willis said Sunday. “Early in the season, a lot of times you don’t have enough stuff on film to really get a good bead on a team. They came out and did a lot of things that were totally off from what they did last year — the first game also.

“We kind of had to adjust as the game went on, and I think our kids on the sideline did a great job of adjusting. That’s what shows the maturity of a team.”

Tech, 2-0 after disposing of SMU and UNM, takes a big jump up in competition level in the Big 12 Conference opener Saturday against Texas, which is No. 6 in The Associated Press Top 25 and No. 4 in the USA Today coaches poll released Sunday.

Tech coaches hope their UT counterparts are the ones having to make adjustments come Saturday. The Red Raiders were able to win their first two games with fairly simple game plans. On Sunday, offensive coordinator Neal Brown said he’s had the full arsenal in for a while now, but hasn’t used all the weapons for two reasons.

“We wanted to play at a really good tempo, which we did both weeks,” Brown said. “Also, we wanted to keep it simple for the quarterback, which we have. But I think as you get into conference play, whatever you’re carrying you’ve got to show, and we will this week.”

There’ll be a contrast at quarterback: Tech has fifth-year senior and second-year starter Taylor Potts, who last year in Austin threw three touchdown passes and won former coach Mike Leach’s respect with the toughness he displayed after taking some vicious hits.

Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert’s first career Big 12 start will be in Jones AT&T Stadium with a sellout crowd and national television audience looking on.

But Gilbert, a former Parade Magazine national prep player of the year, appeared in 10 games last season as a true freshman. He played most of the BCS championship game after Longhorns icon Colt McCoy got hurt early. Though Gilbert completed only 15 of 40 passes for 186 yards, he hit Jordan Shipley for 44- and 28-yard touchdowns.

Willis was there that night, on the defensive staff for Alabama, which won the game 37-21.

“I know he’s young, but he’s a good quarterback,” Willis said. “I faced him in the championship game, and he did some good things, came out and gave them a chance to win.”

Texas coach Mack Brown said before the season that he wants the Longhorns to revert to a more powerful, downhill running game than they used during the McCoy years and, to some extent, the Vince Young era.

Willis figures they’ll be able to do that. He said the Longhorns have a strong offensive line and receivers who can stretch and spread the field.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” he said.

Brown said he was pleased with Potts’ performance at New Mexico, where he completed 22 of 34 for 293 yards. Potts threw two more touchdown passes to split end Lyle Leong, their fourth and fifth scoring connections of the season, and got the night started with a quick pass to Austin Zouzalik that went for a 55-yard TD.

Brown said he liked some of the plays Potts made when New Mexico blitzed.

“He did a good job on third down, and that’s the second week in a row,” Brown said. “If we continue to produce on third down like we have the first two games, we’ll be really good on offense.

“He missed a couple of throws, but I think for two weeks he’s been really, really consistent and he’s thrown the ball well. His fundamentals again, for the second week in a row, were really good. He got hit and fumbled, which was definitely a negative, but I thought he moved in the pocket a whole lot better than he has in the past.”

Potts is tied for second in the nation in touchdown passes and seventh in passing yards per game. Whether the Raiders can succeed against Texas depends on how well they protect Potts and on his playing another game free of interceptions.

“Our strength is passing the football; their strength is their pass defense and being able to rush the passer,” Brown said, “so it’ll be strength on strength, and we’ll see who the best one is.”

College football
Who: Texas Tech vs. Texas
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium
TV: ABC (channel 28; Suddenlink Cable channel 8)
Records: Texas 2-0, Tech 2-0
Last game: Tech beat New Mexico 52-17; Texas beat Wyoming 34-7.
Last meeting: Texas beat Tech 34-24 last year in Austin.
Line: Texas by 4

  • Comment
Comments (3) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.

D E S T I N Y!

Ok. We've done the things we were supposed to do. We are where we wanna be. Now lets just E X E C U T E and win this game. Lets show em just who we are and what we can do. Every man does his job and pulls together. Youve worked hard to be where you are and at this cross-road in your lives. Just beat the hell out of Texas guys!!! No talkin about it really. Just do it!!! Protect our house.

I say Tech by 15!!


@Flash Lite

Enthusiasm for the home school is always a great thing, and I share it with you. But let's not lose sight of the fact that Tommy Tuber has an extremely hard row to hoe, stepping into the top spot at a new school. Let's not turn against him if he doesn't manage to beat Texas "first rat out of the bucket" this year. Even great Coaches need a reasonable amount of time to come up to speed, and I believe Coach Tuberville will amply repay us for the investment of a season or two in waiting, if that's what it takes.

That being said ---Wreck 'Em Tech!!! Tear 'Em Up, Tommy T!!!



What happens the second half will decide who has the best team.

Should be a great one.

Back to Top