Texas Tech concluded the public portion of its 2012 spring
camp Saturday with the annual Red/Black Scrimmage. And frankly, the scrimmage
couldn’t have gone much better if Tommy Tuberville had written the script.
Everybody had something to at least smirk about in this one.
Neal Brown was thrilled with the performance of backup
quarterback Michael Brewer. The redshirt freshman’s
showing went a fair distance toward convincing Brown that Brewer can take over
effectively should Seth Doege suffer an injury.
Art Kaufman continued to see good things from budding stars
Cornelius Douglas and Will Smith, and defensive end Dartwan
Bush gave indication of joining the constellation.
And Tuberville was surely pleased with the punting of Ryan Erxleben as well as the kicking of Ryan Bustin.
But of course, there’s much more to a football game than the
points noted above. How well did the Red Raiders do in other key areas? Let’s
take a look.
Did Defense Limit
Explosive Plays? The answer here is a rather definitive yes. Cornelius
Douglas, who looks almost too good to be true, played a practically perfect
game. He committed a pass interference penalty against Bradley Marquez, and was
beaten for moderate gains a couple of more times by Marquez, but almost
completely shut down Darrin Moore. Douglas made at least three textbook plays
on balls deep downfield. He went a long way toward limiting the explosive
At the other corner position Eugene Neboh
was almost Douglas’ equal. You just didn’t here much from the receivers he
The defense also did a good job of holding the running game
reasonably in check, although SaDale Foster looked
dangerous and broke off a few nice runs.
Exceptions were the lightning touchdown drive Michael Brewer
authored early in the second half, almost all of which came at Derrick Mays’
expense, and Javon Bell’s 60-yard tunnel screen.
Did the Offensive
Line Play Soundly? The answer here is a fairly definitive no, although the
o-line did play better as the scrimmage progressed. But early on, the offensive
line was a mess.
As has been par for the course this spring, the line
committed numerous penalties in the early going, mostly false starts with a few
holds sprinkled in. And pass protection was borderline atrocious as the defense
torched the tackles and bowled over the interior. Bottom line, the offensive
line was outmuscled and outquicked for much of the
Did Defensive Front
Seven Show Stamina? The answer here is a rather surprised yes. As long as
the first and second team defenses were in the game (until well into the fourth
quarter, in other words), the front seven showed little sign of sagging.
Despite being quite a bit smaller than the offensive line, and allegedly
lacking in quality depth, this group more than held its own.
Part of the reason for the front seven’s quality play was
the move of Leon Mackey from defensive end to defensive tackle. He not only
adds depth inside, but elevates the talent level as well.
In addition to Mackey’s welcome presence, Delvon Simmons had possibly his best practice as a Red
Raider, Dartwan Bush was a ubiquitous menace, Brandon Jackson was a threat, Will Smith was an elite player, and Sam Egauvoen, Blake Dees, Pete Robertson and Justin Cooper all
made nice plays.
Depth in the front seven now actually looks reasonably good.