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Tech focusing on blocked field goals

Lately, the best way to get Big 12 recognition for special-teams work is to line up against Texas Tech's field-goal unit.

Posted: October 19, 2011 - 12:29am  |  Updated: October 19, 2011 - 12:34am
Texas Tech's Donnie Carona has had three field goals blocked in the team's last two games, an area of concern for the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech's Donnie Carona has had three field goals blocked in the team's last two games, an area of concern for the Red Raiders.
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Kansas State defensive tackle Raphael Guidry was named Big 12 Conference special teams player of the week on Monday in much the same fashion as Texas A&M cornerback Dustin Harris won the award the week before.

Lately, the best way to get leaguewide recognition for special-teams work is to line up against Texas Tech’s field-goal unit. Harris blocked a Red Raiders field goal that was returned for a touchdown, and Guidry blocked two Red Raiders field goals.

Talk about embarrassing.

“After A&M, we kind of harped on it, and today we harped on it a lot,” Tech offensive guard Deveric Gallington said after Tuesday’s workout. “We did a lot extra, a lot more reps in it, so I don’t think there’ll be another problem with it.”

The blocked kicks would have been troubling in any event, but they were magnified by the outcome of the games. Tech lost the Texas A&M game 45-40 and the Kansas State game 41-34.

The Red Raiders were trying to cut into a 31-23 A&M lead when Harris burst off the flank and swatted a field-goal try that teammate Terrence Frederick scooped up and carried 65 yards for a touchdown. One of the two blocked kicks Saturday gave Kansas State field position at the Tech 46-yard line, from which the Wildcats drove for a go-ahead touchdown late in the first half.

“It’s very aggravating to know the field goals were a reason why we lost,” said Gallington, a starter both on the regular offense and the field-goal team. “We just look forward to correcting it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The blocked kicks have overshadowed what might otherwise be an encouraging start for Tech kicker Donnie Carona. Long known for a strong but erratic leg, the senior from Beaumont Kelly has made eight of 12 this season — eight of nine on the ones that weren’t blocked. And four of his successful field goals were longer than 45 yards.

Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has absolved Carona of blame.

In the A&M game, Tech’s edge protection fanned on Harris, though Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown said he thought Harris was offside.

In the Kansas State game, Guidry shoved his way up the middle to get within about 3 yards of Carona on each of his blocks. He powered between center and guard once and between guard and tackle the other time, and Tuberville said there was nothing tricky about either.

“They just out-physicaled us,” Tuberville said. “Bottom line, there wasn’t anything other than the (lack of) effort.

“Accountability will go a long way, and it’s not fun to go through when you’re going through it. But the importance now of every snap, I think every player understands that.”

Gallington said the breakdowns were fundamental in nature — something that started with bad hand placement.

“It’s little things, not paying attention to detail,” he said.

Tech’s special teams have been exciting — for somebody — ever since Tuberville took over. Eric Stephens was the Big 12’s third-best kickoff-return specialist last year with a 24.3-yard average, and Ben McRoy ranks third this year with a 27.9-yard average.

But now field goals have replaced onside kicks as the bane of the Raiders. Last season, Iowa State and Baylor returned Tech onside kickoffs for touchdowns in back-to-back weeks.

Tuberville said Tech’s field-goal protection can be cured by little more than better effort and concentration.

“We don’t have a lot of offensive linemen,” he said. “A lot of our starters have to play on that. Sometimes you get to a point where (you think), ‘We didn’t score that touchdown. Let’s kick this field goal, get to the sideline and get to the next series.’ But that snap is as important as anything else.”

To comment on this story:

don.williams@lubbockonline.com • 766-8734

george.watson@lubbockonline.com • 766-2166

College football

■ Who: Texas Tech at No. 3 Oklahoma

■ When: 7 p.m. Saturday

■ Where: Memorial Stadium, Norman, Okla.

■ Records: Tech 4-2, 1-2 in Big 12 Conference; Oklahoma 6-0, 3-0

■ TV: ABC (Suddenlink Cable channel 8)

■ Last game: Kansas State 41, Tech 34; Oklahoma 47, Kansas 17

■ Last meeting: Oklahoma 45, Tech 7 last year in Norman.

■ Line: Oklahoma by 25 1/2

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Excuses

It sure does seem that many of the team's problems come from not having enough speed, not enough talent, not enough linemen, injuries to players, etc. Every week there's another excuse. It was always thought that Tech scheduled an easy non-conference schedule to work out the kinks and gain momentum going into the Big XII conference games, but it seems we fly into the conference and land with a thud. It sure doesn't seem as though our players are progressing, but rather seem to regress as the season unfolds.

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running out of excuses

How about not having field goals and onsides kicks blocked ,worked on in the beginning of the season? When they are blocked and returned during the season and points are scored off them , its too late then, Iunderstand a team is going to make mistakes but when you are in close games like these you cant afford to make these kinds of mistakes.fumbles and interceptions are going to happpen in games but these are execution and coaching problems. Yes, you have young players, no doubt , but so do the other teams or thin on the line, the non conference games are supposed to give them experince. Do a better job of coaching from the top on down and stop making excuses and blaming these young men for your lack of coaching skills.

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Tubs blames the players each

Tubs blames the players each week. He should say "I'm a good, no great coach from the SEC so there is no NASCAR speed way I'm the problem. It's the players who are the problem. Not me."

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As I stated yesterday.....

it's embarrassment. Now they start working on blocking schemes.... after they lose not one, but two games back to back because of poor execution on special teams. This Tuberville is a real piece of work.

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Beating

I can' t wait for the beating we will receive this weekend in Norman. A 4 and 8 season is a good reason to make a coaching change.

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all wrong

all of you with the above statements are nothing but folks who wish bad for the team...are you all Leachers or something? Coach is not making excuses, he said in the story that we were out physicalized, which we were...and in an earlier statement he did state that the loss goes to "poor/bad coaching and playing". Making progress? Of course we're making progress. Everyone knows putting in a new system takes a couple of years...obviously none of you remember Leach's first two or three years. Our offense is sixth in the nation, and we are ninth in scoring....If you can't write something good or positive why are you intent on being nasty? Serves no purpose and makes you look real stupid.

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@wscott

The only reference to Leach is by you. Nobody is comparing Tuber to Leach. Everybody I know thinks that Tuber is incompetent and a lousy coach. I also believe he does not have an honest bone in his body and that he was promised the job while someone else still held the job. Typical for Hance and company.

With the exception of you, every comment on this article has pointed out what a poor and disappointing season Tech has had so far with little chance of it improving. I don't want Tech to be mediocre. More importantly I don't want Tech to be lousy.

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It is what it is

I want more than anything for Texas Tech to succeed, but if I have something to say, Im going to say it,if the coachs are not doing their job especially in this case, I will point it out,regardless. Poor coaching is not fair to these young men who work their hearts out.The coachs expect them to do their job, they dont have a voice in critizing their coachs, I do and will.

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Excuses

I guess everyone is tired of excuses. I wish we still had legitimate reasons like fat little girl friends. Now that was reasonable.

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Real Leaders look in the mirror!

True Leaders look into the mirror and say "what can I do to make this better?". Instead we have Tommy Turdville making excuses and blaming everyone around him. Step up Turdville, this begins and ends with you, the leader. Your current performance is pathetic, and all you have shown us is the ability to blame your players. Poor coaching on offense, and defense. Thus far you are 14 points shy of winning anything in the big twelve.

Thanks to "Big" Jimbo Sowell, Kent "Green Teeth Hance", and "Smiling Fat-boy" Guy Bailey for this debacle!

SUCK!

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@captniemo

I guess your right. No more fat little girlfriends like Leachturd used to say.

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@nashville raider

I guess you can't defend Tuber, so you run down his predecessor who nobody else is talking about. Good job big boy.

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@captniemo

So does that mean we can use fat little girlfriends? Just wondering Leacher.

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wscott...

I will look at current performance/results and compare them to the previous years performance/results. I would like for the team to be better in conference than they were last year at 3-5. So far they are 1-2. If they win more than 3 conference games, that might mean they are improving. If they win 3 or less, they are either stagnant or getting worse. Maybe this Big XII conference is tough to win in, but I've always expected the Red Raiders to be one of the teams that made this a really tough conference, not one that lowered expectations because of youth or injuries. Crabtree played on a very bad ankle/foot, and Harrell broke his hand in a game against Baylor. They still played, and they still won. The team never used those injuries as excuses, even if the fans knew of the injuries. Never had I heard a Red Raider coach say something like: “Obviously for us, we’re going to be a very young team coming in,” Tuberville said of the decision to cut a planned game against the Frogs that was scheduled for Sept. 10. “That’s really probably not the type of team we want to play right now.” Hearing that was an embarrassment, and was highlighted after TCU lost to Baylor, and again when they lost to SMU. Confidence in your players goes a long way in coaching. Athletes and students know when their coach or teacher doesn't believe in their abilities. They typically perform up to the expectations.

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Not Tuberville's Fault

It's not Tommy's fault. He didn't fire the winning coach without cause, then cheat the coach out of his pay, then deny the coach due process as described in the Handbook of Texas Tech. No sir. That was done by Kent Hance, John Scovell, Alan White, Jim Sowell, Larry Anders, and Dicky Grigg. Give credit where credit is deserved.

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this what tubbs does at every school

this is normal for him. A hint for this idiot don't go for field goals when you are more than 2 scores behind with less that 10 min left in game when your defense can not stop anyone that has won more than 1 game. yea and please quit you made our offense and a joke and if this is even possible made or defense worse going from bad to almost the dead last in the game.

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If lessons are learned in

If lessons are learned in defeat.............our team is getting a great education.

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long trip

A long trip going to Norman; a longer one coming home. Looks like a win against Iowa State, maybe, and that's it.

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what do you expect from this

what do you expect from this coach all hes ever done is get a job after a scandal. Where he was given an extremely good team and win until he had to stand on his own requiting and coaching ability and then he loses just like he is at tech. Will this guy ever challenge a call from the refs. pretty soon he will be blaming the other coaches and soon after that he will fall back on his good old stand by its all the fans fault.

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We're a 29-point underdog

29-point underdog to a team that in it's last game against Mike Leach was beaten by Mike Leach by 29 points. Accordingly, we're now 58 points worse than when Mike last played Oklahoma. Folks, you need to thank Kent Hance, Gerald Myers, John Scovell, Alan White, Jim Sowell, Larry Anders,Jerry Turner, Pat Campbell, Bill Dean, and especially "Cheat Him Fair and Square" Dicky Grigg. Remember: Windy Sitton WAS AGAINST THE CHEATING OF MIKE LEACH.

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We beat Oklahoma in 2009

We beat Oklahoma in 2009 LARGELY because the now St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford was out for the season with a shoulder injury, and we were at home. Our best team that we had in 08' was destroyed in Norman. As far as Tuberville's Red Raiders, you would be a fool to say that we haven't progressed in many areas. As stated before, our offense is doing well, Doege has has 6 games under his belt and faced two very good defenses in the last two, we've had several great offensive weapons emerge throughout the season, and despite what many people say, our defense has made stops when we've needed them in the clutch. This whole "blame game" that apparently the coaches are doing is ridiculous. Last time I checked, Tuberville wasn't the one that lined up on the field during those special teams mistakes. Every player on that field knows their position because if they didn't, he wouldn't have them in there. It's the players that have to play their part and up until the last two games we were fine. Oh yeah, and has anyone looked at our last two recruiting classes? Leach could barely crack the top 40 in his time at Tech, and Tuberville has us at 15 right now this year. The players will be here and our team is only going to get better. Big 12 title contenders next year.

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Thanks

Thank you to all those people that Suzy listed. Last time Leach took his best team ever to Norman, we lost by 44 points. Bookies must have more confidence in Tubby.

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Thanks again.

nashville raider, since you're making the comparison between the two, at the time, the bookies favored the Sooners by just of a touchdown. The Sooners are currently favored by just over 4 touchdowns.

rj, to be honest, I've never been impressed by a coaches recruiting prowess, but rather by the results on the field. But I guess what you're saying is Leach was a heck of a coach, as he was able to turn a subpar recruiting class into a #2 nationally ranked team. By you're standards, we should start to win multiple national championships with our recruits. Anything else would be proof of the inability to coach very talented students. You also mentioned that TT beat an Oklahoma team without Rams QB Sam Bradford, well the Sooners had current Heisman Trophy candidate Landry Jones while Tech had Taylor Potts. In any event, I don't know why anyone should compare Tuberville to the Mike Leach coached Red Raiders, it serves no purpose. A team should be judged from one year to the next, and as such, they do not appear to be a much improved team. They are currently 1-2 in conference with a high probability of going 1-3, while facing an uphill battle to become bowl eligible.

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