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Raiders ready to stem losing tide

Posted: November 9, 2012 - 11:36pm  |  Updated: November 10, 2012 - 1:23am
Texas Tech and Kenny Williams look to return to the win column against Kansas today.
Texas Tech and Kenny Williams look to return to the win column against Kansas today.
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When seven-point underdog Texas came into Lubbock and beat Texas Tech last Saturday, the Red Raiders’ season-ending five-game losing streak of 2011 flashed through D.J. Johnson’s mind.

The Tech safety quickly dismissed it as a crazy thought.

As a senior, Johnson said, he needed to stress to young players the essential nature of getting back on track in a hurry.

“We have three games left, and we have to make the best of them,” Johnson said. “We can’t have the same season that we had last year. We have a lot better squad, a lot better understanding, more leadership and everything. We’re just an all-around better team.”

Tech (6-3, 3-3 in the Big 12 Conference) is a 25-point favorite in its final home game today against Kansas (1-8, 0-6). The Jayhawks, who have lost 18 conference games in a row, could be the tonic for the Red Raiders’ two-game losing streak.

In addition to that, Tech has 18 seniors, and junior defensive tackle Kerry Hyder said they do a good job keeping everyone on the right track.

That’s what stands out about this year’s squad.

“Just experience,” Hyder said. “We’ve got great leaders on the team, and those guys are keeping us, ‘Play the next play. Play the next game.’

“Seth (Doege), D.J., Cody (Davis), those guys are great leading the team. We just try to follow suit with them.”

The seniors will be playing their final game at Jones AT&T Stadium today. Tech finishes the regular season facing Oklahoma State on the road and Baylor at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Though Texas was viewed as vulnerable last week, having barely beaten Kansas the week before, none of Tech’s three losses this season has been as seemingly unforgivable as some in 2011.

After its big win last year at Oklahoma, Tech got blown out by Iowa State, Texas and Oklahoma State, giving up a school record 66 points twice in three games.

An improved defense — ranked No. 114 at the end of last season and No. 18 currently — is the most obvious reason this season shouldn’t spin out of control.

Tech players also have said several times this season that team chemistry is better.

“I think what’s good about this football team is we really like each other,” said Doege, who has a chance today to become the fourth Tech quarterback with back-to-back 3,000-yard passing seasons. “It’s not just a bunch of guys that comes in this building, and all of a sudden they’re a football team. We’re a football team outside of this building.

“We still have a great opportunity to do something special and send the seniors out on the right note.”

Senior receiver Austin Zouzalik said Sunday players-only meetings to discuss what went wrong became a regular occurrence near the end of last season. Zouzalik said the 0-5 finish and strength and conditioning coach Joe Walker not letting up on returning players drove the Red Raiders during the off-season.

“We were reminded about the tailspin we went into at the end of last year,” Zouzalik said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt we’re not going to do that again. The way people come out and practice every day, we come out here with a purpose. Nobody’s purpose is to go 0-5, or 0-3 in the next few games, so I don’t worry about that too much.”


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What Could Have Been With 18 Seniors

Doege a senior with plenty of help. This was the year Coach X had marked in red. (The mention of his name triggers violent responses)

Coach X would NOT have gone 13-12 the last two years and you can add two wins to this season's total. As long as we're at it, you can add the following:

1. The winning of home games. 2. Losses when the other side gets 66. 3. The home loss to Texas last Saturday. 4. The home loss to Oklahoma earlier this year. 5. Home losses to OSU.

And now Tubs, because of Art Kaufman, is going to get the SEC job that was his purpose in coming to Lubbock.

There's more, but that's enough. What might have been.

Go Tech. Beat Kansas and Baylor and go 8-4.


RRFL et al

An eerie silence from the Hance crew this week. After lambasting other posters for not posting after a Tech win, rrfl is particularly quiet. Now, hes not the only one. Most of the regular contributors have been quiet. Looks like there would have been a consequent post remarking about how "Leachers" are now quiet during losses as well. Maybe not. As I prepare to head for sec104, I wonder how much different the Red Raider football landscape will look a year from now. If what facts says might be true. Will we be talking about Tubs record through October as the HC at Arkansas? Will we be talking about how well new Tech head coach Cliff Kingsbury is doing having learned how to win at Jones stadium from "Coach X"? Go Tech, Beat Kansas! I hate this wind.


after this game

can we now agree that tubby must go



lest 1:50 min go off clock now if we get ball back we go into over time

mess leach yet


the new norm

this is a great coach we have here we should offer him even more money than we ever gave leach. hes done so much for us no bowl games and losing records at home

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