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Tech coaches eye areas needing improvement

Posted: September 11, 2012 - 5:13pm
Texas State's Terrence Franks scores a touchdown ahead of Texas Tech's Sam Eguavoen during Tech's  58-10 win on Saturday  in San  Marcos.
Texas State's Terrence Franks scores a touchdown ahead of Texas Tech's Sam Eguavoen during Tech's 58-10 win on Saturday in San Marcos.
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With Texas Tech dishing out 44-6 and 58-10 whippings in its first two games, finding faults or areas for improvement might seem difficult.

Not to coaches, though.

For all the things the Red Raiders did well Saturday in a blowout win on the road, Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said he and his assistants made it a point in film review to show all the little things the Red Raiders did wrong.

“We’re not playing great football yet,” Tuberville said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. “We’re just playing good football, and good football is not going to win a lot of games this year. We’re going to have to play a lot better than good. We’re going to have to play, in some places, over our head.”

Such is the case for a team coming off a 5-7 season, picked ninth in a 10-team league.

The Red Raiders rank fourth in the nation in total defense and 12th in total offense, but at the expense of Northwestern State and Texas State.

Defensive coordinator Art Kaufman has watched his group give up no big plays in two games and score a defensive touchdown. On the other hand, Texas State’s 5-for-9 third-down conversion rate in the first half Saturday was nothing for the Tech defense to trumpet.

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown says his players are fulfilling three objectives he harps on all the time — play fast, play hard, play physical. Comparing game one to game two, Brown said, quarterback Seth Doege was more accurate, the offensive line played better and the Red Raiders had twice as many explosive plays. Their number of rushes and screen passes of 12-plus yards and other passes of 15-plus yards totaled seven against the Demons and 14 against the Bobcats.

But there’s more to it than that.

“This week, really over the next three weeks, we’ve got to improve in assignment and technique,” Brown said. “If we can keep playing fast, hard and physical and get our assignment and technique improved, then we’ve got a chance to be a very good offense.”

Defensively, the Red Raiders might not know just what they have until Big 12 Conference play starts with a game Sept. 29 at Iowa State.

The Tech defense has faced 110 plays so far, having given up no run longer than 16 yards and no pass longer than 25 yards.

Does that mean Tech defenders have been where they’re supposed to be every time or they’re leaving gaps that more skilled teams will expose?

“I think a lot of it’s we’re in pretty good position most of the time,” Kaufman said. “Probably the biggest thing that’s helped that is our effort in chasing the ball.”

Kaufman pointed to a screen pass in the first half of Saturday’s game that safety Cody Davis chased down while others were in pursuit.

“That wouldn’t have broken had we fitted up a little bit better, and that comes with learning to play the scheme,” Kaufman said. “We’ll get better as the year goes along of fitting up the scheme, but we’re going to have to, because with the people we’re facing, hey, one thing goes wrong, then it becomes a house call (touchdown).”

Tuberville said opposing receivers have been open a couple of times on deep routes, but the quarterback couldn’t get them the football.

Texas State’s only touchdown came when running back Terrence Franks circled out of the backfield and caught a 25-yard pass, going up the right sideline. The result left outside linebacker Sam Eguavoen holding his head in his hands.

“He had a problem with that all week,” Tuberville said. “(Scout-team quarterback) Keenon Ward completed it a couple of times in practice, and sure enough they ran it in the game and got it in the game. It’s just the recognition — just getting lined up and understanding what you’ve got to focus on.”

Even if coaches can detect flaws, safety Cody Davis said he and his teammates believe in what they’re doing.

“When Kaufman came in, it changed the whole attitude,” said Davis, who has been the team’s defensive player of the week each of the first two games. “I think you see that on the field. We’re having fun, flying around. The results are coming. We’ve just got to improve and keep that up.”

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College football

Who: Texas Tech vs. New Mexico

Where: Jones AT&T Stadium

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Records: New Mexico 1-1, Texas Tech 2-0

Last game: Texas 45, New Mexico 0; Texas Tech 58, Texas State 10

Last meeting: Tech 59, New Mexico 13 last year in Albuquerque.

TV: Fox College Sports

Line: Tech by 33

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I Guess I'm Just Totally Fooled

I probably need to quit happy hour.

I know the two little sisters we've played aren't too shiny. But one of them has a win over a D1 bowl team from last year.

Anyway, it just seems to me that Tech's defensive scheme, with infused new speed, and with some people well, is not too bad. Good enough to win a few Big 12 games. They're getting to the ball--not trying for a shoestring 20 yards downfield. Getting penetration.

Objective this week: Don't get anybody hurt.


@ facts

So facts im not sure whether or not to believe your new & improved outlook on texas tech sports but lets walk before we run. Would you agree tech would have been a MUCH better team last year if the turf gods didnt eat them up (minus that aggies dirty hit on stephens knee) with 16 season ending injuries to starters? Im not sure if any team in div 1 could compete with that.

In other words you say dont get anyone hurt, i agree(only the 2nd time). I think defensively tech is much improved up front, better rotation players and has matured as a team. Kaufman is a big part of that as well as another year under Tubberville and other coaches.


Play the Game!

Gentlemen - As one who is older than the dirt airborne on a spring day in the Hub, appreciate the moment. Don't be afraid to embrace the possibilities.  Every program is one injury from the would haves and should haves....  That is why we play the game!  Don't let the likes of stupid espn globbers like Ubben, "you must earn" respect since Tech only won 5 games last year, keep you from the highs of the moment. 

And Facts - never, never, ever give up Happy Hour!



@ fog

Your correct. This can be our year and very well might be. Hey, the 4 letter network that ubben works for has their agenda and i get that. I dont care on the other hand about their ratings, the LHN, I care about texas tech and beating the he!! out of texas & OU.

Yes we won 5 games last year. The facts are the last 2 years texas and texas tech have identical records(13-12). You earn respect by wins and Texas tech is set up to win because of what tubberville and coaches have done the last 2 years, redshirting players, recruiting, etc.. Tech is off to a very good start and like the team captain or face of the program Seth Doege says, "tech takes a backseat to nobody".

That having been said, facts has blasted tech since dec 2009. From his recent comments and BCG events, hopefully those negative statements about the administration, ad's, senators, governors, etc. out of his control, my control, your control, and whoever else can stop after almost 3 years after the fact... coyote is another story



i agree. We look better & hopefully it translates into wins.


The problem

The problem you have always had with me, bill is I deal in reality. I have a larger stake in this than you, after all I actually went to Tech and graduated. Therefore, its most likely when we lose, Im more disappointed than you. If theres a reason for the overall faltering of the program, I feel it needs to be addressed. Yes, youre correct, most of the things most Tech fans have criticized since "December 2009" are entirely, or at least mostly out of our control. You have always surmised wrongly,in your simple linear thinking that we somehow wish for Tech to lose or Coach Tuberville to be unsuccessful in matters on and off the field. I made no statements in any way condeming him in the fraud case or his wifes unfortunate accident. Your condecending attitude toward Mr Facts is comical. The notion that because he sees promise in this team, he has somehow transformed into some kind of Hancer convert in training. He has, in your words, had "therapy" which one can only assume is your cute little way of asserting that you and the likes of you (all 5 or 6 of you) have straightened him out. None of that, whether youre correct or not, changes the scenario which led us to where we are today. A promising football team that will get truly tested in Ames here in a couple of weeks. We all hope that the flashes of greatness shown against obviously lesser teams will translate into wins as the conference portion of the schedule moves forward. I hope that happens. I think at this point that it will. Obviously we are very talented on the offensive side of the ball and the defense is better especially against the run. In this post I havent insulted you. Lets see if you can respond in kind. That hasnt been your style to date. The raiders will further sharpen their teeth this week and I think Kenny Williams will go over a hundred this week. Tech 56 New Mexico 20.

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