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Defense rallies to overcome Tigers

Posted: November 7, 2010 - 12:01am
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Texas Tech defensive coordinator James Willis celebrates a stop against Missouri during their NCAA college football game at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. (Miranda Grubbs/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)  Miranda Grubbs
Miranda Grubbs
Texas Tech defensive coordinator James Willis celebrates a stop against Missouri during their NCAA college football game at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. (Miranda Grubbs/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
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Texas Tech’s defense has been dogged for most of the season, and it was for the first seven minutes of Saturday night’s Big 12 Conference game against Missouri.

The Tigers scored on the game’s third play from scrimmage when Marcus Murphy broke loose for a 69-yard run in which the Red Raiders barely got a hand on him. Two possessions later, Kendial Lawrence wasn’t touched at all on a 71-yard touchdown run.

Just like that, the Red Raiders were down 14 points and seemingly on their way to a third consecutive loss at home. But just like that, their defense started playing some of its best football of the season.

Tech pitched a shutout after the five-minute mark of the second quarter and held the nation’s 23rd-ranked passing offense to its lowest output of the season by far. The Red Raiders also shut down Mizzou’s running game after the early going, which played a key role in a 24-17 upset of the 14th-ranked Tigers at Jones AT&T Stadium.

“I’m real proud of how we played defense after the first couple series,” Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. “It didn’t look very good. They’ve got a wide-open offense and really put us in a bind. They’re all over the field, and we had some mismatches.

“I thought our coaches did a good job of moving guys around and putting them on certain players so they could make plays.”

Tech’s play against the pass was especially remarkable. The Red Raiders entered the game allowing 317.4 passing yards per game — the second-highest total in the country — and had given up at least 336 yards through the air in each of the last four games.

But Mizzou quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed only 12 of 30 passes for 95 yards and no touchdowns. Tight end Michael Egnew from Plainview and receiver T.J. Moe, who were among the top 10 nationally in receptions per game, caught a combined 10 passes for 78 yards.

Tech’s young defensive backs, who allowed Texas A&M’s Jeff Fuller to post career highs of 11 catches and 171 yards last week, were credited with six pass breakups.

Tech tamed the Tigers’ passing game by dropping seven and eight defenders into coverage for most of the game, but still managed to slow Mizzou’s running game. After rushing for 243 yards on 22 carries in the first half, the Tigers ran the ball nine times for 17 yards in the second half.

“Most people don’t realize how many difficulties we’ve had on defense,” Tuberville said, “but that was about as good as you can play against that type of offense.”

The Red Raiders’ defense, which allowed a mere three first downs and 62 yards in the second half, was especially good when it mattered most. Missouri didn’t convert a third down until late in the third quarter and finished one of 12 in such situations, and it was 0 for 2 on fourth downs.

One of those fourth-down stops came in the waning minutes, after Mizzou had marched into Tech territory.

“We wouldn’t have won the game tonight,” Tuberville said, “had our defense not stepped up.”

 

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Never look a gift horse in the mouth...

Yes, Tech should be commended for getting good defensive results after they gave up 2 70 yards TDs on the ground in the first Quarter.

But, if Missouri's QB had been able to hit a pass over about 7 yards in the game, we'd have likely had a different outcome. He kept overthrowing guys who were open enough to make the catch.

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wanttostayafan's comment last week...

"And, by the way, Sheffield's performance yesterday, after finally getting let off the bench, is sure makingTuberville's first and most important coaching decision, who to be his starting quarterback for the season, look like he knows what he is doing, eh?"

Ouch. Enjoy your crow wanttostayahater.

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.

.

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Crow, a funny dish

You want to serve it by documenting the second team QB showed he wasn't the one with the right stuff... which is fair. But, only by luck did Pott's ridiculously bone headed INT on third down close to the goal when a field goal puts us up two scores not come back to haunt.

So, you really should pick your battles better. However, thanks to the pass defense ranked second to the bottom nationally having a QB who couldn't hit his receivers, Tubbs pulled out a much needed win.

Things that looked like better coaching. We could run the ball better. Things that looked like worse coaching, 2 loooong rushing TD's by Missouri in the first three possessions. How do we come out that unprepared or open to sharp eyed coaches on the other side?

Crow is far from a done dish by those banking on Coach Tuberville to be an improvement over what his predecessor could do.

When KSU can get ahead of UT by 39, there is little reason to celebrate a coach that lost to the Longhorns before a sell out crowd in Lubbock.

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"But, only by luck did Pott's

"But, only by luck did Pott's ridiculously bone headed INT on third down close to the goal when a field goal puts us up two scores not come back to haunt." It was tipped and redirected at the line. May not have been completed but wouldn't have been intercepted. Lineman's job to get that DE on the ground/keep his hands down. Rather than luck I'll give credit to the defense forcing Missouri to punt after the turnover. Potts didn't look too bone headed when he raddled off 3 TD drives of 82, 70 and 85 yds. did he?

"Crow is far from a done dish by those banking on Coach Tuberville to be an improvement over what his predecessor could do." Like beat Colorado in Boulder? or Missouri? 2007 #15 Missouri 41-10, allowed 422 yds. 2006 #23 Missouri 38-21, allowed 306 yds. 2003 Missouri 62-31, allowed 597 yds. 2002 Tech 52-38, allowed 445 yds. Average: 45-28 Mizzou and 442 yds.

2010 Tech 24-17 (#12 Missouri), allowed 355 yds.

What was it his predecessor did again?

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article is about defense, not tech quarterbacks

Hat's off to a great effort by the defense.

And the ability to play all 4 quarters.

I'm proud of 'em.

Now, do it again in Oklahoma.

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wanttostayahater

"When KSU can get ahead of UT by 39, there is little reason to celebrate a coach that lost to the Longhorns before a sell out crowd in Lubbock." 2009 Kansas St. 62 Texas A&M 14 Texas Tech 66 Kansas St. 14 Texas A&M 52 Texas Tech 30 2008 Texas Tech 39 Texas 33 Texas 45 Oklahoma 35 Oklahoma 65 Texas Tech 21 Comparing teams based on other games results makes little sense. Your boy leach reminded us of that often.

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Matodor 96

But, you wanted someone to eat crow for suggesting the headcoach was not making good decisions on who to start at QB.

So, tell me again how Tuberville saying he needed to start a new QB in week 9 and then deciding the new guy going in for the old guy is a bad idea after a quarter makes criticism of the coach for waffling on his biggest coaching decision inaccurate?

Starting a qb controversy in week 9 is smart? Letting there be the impression the team might have 2 starters in week 9 and beyond is smart? Have you heard the old saying that a team that has two starting quarterbacks doesn't have any starting quarterbacks?

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Obviously you (and many other

Obviously you (and many other Tech fans as evidenced by the cheering for Sheffield as he took the field) think Potts should be on the bench and Sheffield should start. Thats what happened. It didn't work. Tubberville tried what many if not most Tech fans (including yourself) wanted him to and now you complain about that. I guess there is no satisfying the ignorant. You really should change your username, wanttostayacomplainer, wanttostayahater, wanttostayaleacher. Not sure what fits best, but a Tech fan you are not. Potts didn't perform well at A&M and other times during the season, no question. But he has proven he is the starter for better or worse. If you don't like Tech's options for QB...blame leach.

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Blame Leach

LoL. The same Leach that used the same QBs to build a top 5 offense last year while Tubby uses them to spit and stutter along?

And, you keep trying to ignore you tried to feed someone crow about how the game made the coach look on his QB decisions.

The game I saw certainly didn't make Tuberville look smart on how he handled that.

Same qbs look worse. Batch, same running back has much lower production. The defense, allegedly Tubby's strong point as a coach is much lower rated.

Much worse in the win and loss department.

Yes, lots for fans who are not thrilled with the new coach to eat crow about.

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You cried for Sheffield and

You cried for Sheffield and got it with no success. Then try to dog Tubberville for making a decision you asked for. Childish. Tuberville replaced Sheffield for Potts and he rolled; best he's looked all year except for maybe Baylor. But that made Tuberville look stupid? "The game I saw certainly didn't make Tuberville look smart on how he handled that." The posts I read certainly don't make you look like you don't know what you're talking about. Yes, same QB's look worse...NO CRAP! New system, what did you expect? Potts sure didn't look worse last Saturday night though. Batch has much lower production? 130+ yards rushing says otherwise. Much worse in the win-loss department? Leach's 1st year 7-6, 3-5 in conference. We don't even have to win this week to match that. What argument are you going to bounce around to next? Why don't you find out what high school your daddy leach is volunteering at now and buy their T-shirt.

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Excuses, excuses

You still are dodging that attempt to make someone eat crow for the way Tuberville is coaching and choosing his QBs when the record for both is WORSE than the guy he is supposed to be an improvement on.

You want to talk about first years for coaching comparisions? OK! Lets remember Tuberville and his supporters claimed he was a conventional coach hired to WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. (Remember, that is what he told the press and players they needed to be talking about). So, lets compare him to the comp in the Conference who did that.

First, Mac Brown. The year before he arrived Texas was 4-7 and he turned that around in year one and went 9-3, played in and won the Cotton Bowl.

Bob Stoops took over an Oklahoma team that was 5 and 6 and went 7 and 5 and then 13 and O and won the Orange Bowl.

Tuberville took over a team that was 9 and 4 and a bowl winner. Something neither Brown nor Stoops had the luxury of being able to recruit behind. Got back 2 starting level QBs from one of the top offenses in the country. A senior rb starting for his 3 year, most of the recievers.

And you want to talk about how we need to give Tuberville time to put his scheme in place? Funny how the guys who are what you and Tubby brag he is here is making the team WORSE, not better. The real championship coaches did the opposite. They IMMEDIATELY made their teams better.

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