2009 CFN Texas Tech Preview |
2009 Texas Tech
2009 Texas Tech
2009 Texas Tech
2008 TT Preview |
2007 TT Preview |
Interested in blogging about Texas
Head coach: Mike Leach
10th year: 76-39
Off. 22, Def. 26, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 19
Best Tech Players
1. LB Brian Duncan, Jr.
2. CB Jamar Wall,
3. QB Taylor Potts, Jr.
4. NT Colby Whitlock, Jr.
5. WR Detron Lewis, Jr.
6. LB Marlon Williams, Sr.
7. WR Ed Britton, Sr.
8. LB Bront Bird, Jr.
9. OT Marlon
10. RB Baron Batch, Jr.
2009 Record: 0-0
9/19 at Texas
9/26 at Houston
10/3 New Mexico
10/10 Kansas State
10/17 at Nebraska
10/24 Texas A&M
11/7 OPEN DATE
11/14 at Oklahoma St
11/28 Baylor (in Arl.)
Eastern Wash W
9/6 at Nevada
9/13 SMU W
9/20 UMass W
9/27 OPEN DATE
10/4 at Kansas St
W 37-31 OT
10/18 at Texas A&M
10/25 at Kansas
11/1 Texas W
11/8 Oklahoma St
11/15 OPEN DATE
11/22 at Oklahoma L 65-21
11/29 Baylor W
1/2 Ole Miss L 47-34
Everyone knows Texas Tech is going to throw the ball a million times for
a billion yards with a system that has been set in place and works well.
The quarterback is going to be groomed for a year or three and then will
be ready to go from day one when he turn comes up, the running backs
will all be quick, darting producers who can catch, the offensive
linemen will be gigantic and strong enough to hold off a pass rush for a
three count, the secondary will go with speed above anything else, and
the defensive front will be very big and will find one or two pass
rushers from the JUCO ranks to fill a hole. That's how Mike Leach has
set it up, and that's how Texas Tech has succeeded.
there's a question of whether or not the program can take another step
forward and if the formula can be tweaked enough to get better.
Everything came together last season with a veteran team that had
everyone returning, an all-timer of a wide receiver in Michael Crabtree,
and enough big moments and big plays to come within a game of playing
for the Big 12 title and, likely, the national championship. What else
can Texas Tech do? If a Big 12 title wasn't in the cards last year, will it ever be?
Leach will never get the players that Texas and Oklahoma can get, so it
has to be up to the system and the style. The problem is that, given
time, teams are going to start catching up to it. With a week or two to
prepare in the middle of the season, there's no way to adequately get
ready for the Red Raider attack. College kids, with all their other
responsibilities, simply can't do it, and coaching staffs just don't
have the time. So is should say something that Texas Tech has so many
problems in bowl games, when the opponents have had over a month to
focus and figure out how to handle the hurricane.
If Ole Miss
played Texas Tech on November 1st instead of January 2nd, would it have
been 47-34 Rebels? Probably not. Tech needed an all-timer of a comeback
to beat Virginia in the 2008 Gator Bowl, needed one of the biggest
miracles in college football history to slip by Minnesota in the 2006
Insight Bowl, and was shut down cold by Alabama in a 13-10 loss in the
2006 Cotton Bowl.
While some might say the Big 12 was exposed
and the bowl games prove that Texas Tech was overrated, Leach, one of
the most innovative head coaches in recent college football history, has
to come up with something else. There has to be some new way to prepare,
some new wrinkle, some new part of the puzzle to be able to get past
Texas and Oklahoma (and this year, Oklahoma State).
This year's team might not have what it takes to get the elusive spot in
the Big 12 title game, but it'll be better than many will think. No, the
team isn't giving up after losing Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree, and
several key linemen.
Taylor Potts will be shaky at times, but he
has the arm to put up huge numbers with a good backfield to throw to,
and a nice set of receivers that will be fine, but not as explosive,
without Crabtree. The defense will struggle at the corner and won't get
a great pass rush, a deadly combination in the Big 12, but the
linebacking corps will be fantastic.
Texas Tech will have
another good season, a better 2010, and will be a blast to watch. Now
the program has to show it has the potential to do more.
to look for on offense: An attitude. How many times do you think the offensive players and
coaches will have to answer questions about what life will be like
without Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree? How much fire will there be
to prove to everyone that Texas Tech football can still produce and win
without the two superstars? The nice part about it for Potts and the
receiving corps is that the pressure will be off from everyone other
than Leach. No one will expect last year to happen right away, but the
numbers will still be there. Remember, this is also the program of B.J.
Symons, Kliff Kingsbury, and Sonny Cumbie.
What to expect on defense: A desperate hope for a pass rush.
After losing Brandon Williams to the NFL and McKinner Dixon to academic
issues, the Red Raider line needs to figure out how to get into the
backfield on a regular basis. Daniel Howard has a great burst and could
be the breakout player on one side, while part-tackle, part-end Ra'Jon
Henley will be counted on in a variety of ways. In a dream world,
Brandon Sesay is half as good as his hype after coming out of the JUCO
ranks last year.
will be much better if ...
it can find a field goal kicker. Texas Tech was able to win the 2006
Insight Bowl and the 2008 Gator Bowl was from clutch kicks from Alex
Trlica (along with monster performances from Harrell). The team was able
to survive just fine without a good placekicker last year, but it got a
bad year from Donnie Carona forcing Leach to pluck a student from the
stands, Matt Williams, and give him a shot. Williams hit 2-of 3 field
goals, but he doesn't have much range and didn't have to hit a pressure
kick to save a game. The Red Raiders will lose at least one game this
year unless the placekicking is better.
Tech always gets dogged for its
non-conference schedule, and this is another one of those
seasons. There's a road game at Houston, and that's about it
with home layups against North Dakota, Rice, and New Mexico.
However, the Big 12 opener at Texas was thrown into
mid-September meaning the team had better be ready to fly after
the game against the Owls. While the trip to Nebraska will be
tough, the other two games against the North (Kansas State and
Kansas) are at home, and there's no Missouri. The Red Raiders
will try to gain a measure of revenge against Oklahoma in
Lubbock in late November, but that comes after a trip to
Oklahoma State. Helping the overall cause is a well-timed
off-week on November 7th before facing the Cowboys.
Best Offensive Player: Junior QB Taylor Potts.
Actually, he needs to be the best offensive play. Either WR Detron
Lewis, OT Marlon Winn, or WR Ed Britton could be the most talented
player, but Potts has to be the one who puts up the mega numbers and
holds up against the criticism of his coach when he struggles in his
first year as the starter. He has the NFL arm and the next-level upside,
but he has to be consistent. A quarterback doesn't need a cannon to
succeed as the Red Raider passer, but Potts has one. The offense can
open it up a bit more down the field.
Best Defensive Player:
Junior LB Brian Duncan. The leader of an excellent, unsung
linebacking corps, Duncan moved to the middle last year and turned into
the team's leading tackler. Excellent at getting around the ball and
always making the open field stop, he's the one all the work will funnel
to, and he'll get to everything else.
Key player to a
successful season: Potts. Last year the passing game had a
safety next behind Graham Harrell: Potts. Now, if Potts gets hurt or if
he struggles, it's uh-oh time with former walk-on Steven Sheffield the
next in line and redshirt freshman Seth Doege and sophomore Stefan
Loucks pushing for the No. 2 job. As is, if Potts has a huge year, Texas
Tech could finish second in the South. If Potts stinks or if he gets
hurt, all bets are off.
will be a success if ... the Red Raiders win nine games.
Considering the success of last year that might seem like a meek goal,
but it would be a major success for Tech to get through the season with
fewer than four losses. It'll take a bowl win to get to nine, and it'll
also take at least two wins against Texas at Texas, Houston at Houston,
Nebraska at Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma State in Stillwater, and
Oklahoma. Baylor is hardly going to be a pushover, too.
Sept. 19 at Texas. All the pressure is off. No one outside of the Texas
Tech locker room is going to think the Red Raiders have a prayer against
a jacked up Longhorn team looking for revenge after last year's loss.
However, that means Tech can be relaxed and let it loose in the Big 12
opener. This is the epitome of the puncher's chance game, and if Tech
pulls it off, all of a sudden the landscape of the Big 12 season will
2008 Fun Stats:
- Sacks: Texas
Tech 34 for 199 yards - Opponents 13 for 113 yards
touchdowns: Texas Tech 47 - Opponents 19
- Quarter by quarter TT
scoring: 1st 153, 2nd 155, 3rd 122, 4th 133