Q: Is Darrin Moore playing/starting in the season
A: We have not heard
anything re: D.Moore, Williams, or Amaro, so until there is a statement made about their
status on the team, I am going to operate under the assumption (I know) that
they are expected to play in accordance to their position on the depth chart.
Also, I would say this.
You don't move Marquez to X from Z if you anticipate a long absence from Moore.
Q: What areas should fans most closely watch in the
season opener to get an idea of how this season may play out?
A: I'm taking the first 3
games as kind of one total audition. With all of the turnover and the emotional
toll of last year, it's easy to forget that Art Kaufman and company haven't
actually coached a game yet, so let's see what kind of adjustments they make
in-game and week-to-week. Keep this phrase in mind. Reasonable
marked improvement. There will be some bugs to work out. But if
you're doing a lot of things right (see below), then you have to take the
occasional busted coverage/ big play with the peace that this thing is
moving in the right direction.
In the first game,
I'd watch these 3 things on defense:
QB pressures: Who's getting
to the QB. You forced a total of 19 turnovers last year and only 5
interceptions. The pass rush gets better, this number goes up. Also, if you want to get the rush yards
down, sack the QB. These yards count for minus rushing yards.
3rd down conversions %: Tech allowed almost 48% of 3rd downs to
be converted last year. Enough said.
Rushing yards allowed: Last
year, the defense gave up 250+ to Texas St, and over 300 to Nevada. This number
needs to be under 150, especially against Texas St.
Q: How many carries and/or touches does Stephens get
in the opener. Can we look for him to
get the ball more as the season goes on?
A: According to Tuberville
during Monday’s Big 12 Teleconference he said we would probably see Stephens on
10-15 snaps in the game on Saturday, if he doesn’t start in the game, he will
be worked into the game early on. As the season goes on Stephens will get more
and more carries until he is back to full speed at game time.
Q: Is D. Washington redshirting or are they just
bringing him along slower than Stephens?
A: Per Neal Brown, the
starting job was between Eric Stephens and Kenny Williams, with Sadale Foster
in the mix as a change or pace-type back. He said Stephens is ahead of
Washington in the rehab because Stephens "pre-habbed"
the injury before undergoing surgery. The pre-hab
appears to be paying dividends.
IMO, it wouldn't be a bad
move to redshirt Washington if you could. Q. White's injury may not allow that,
but with Williams, Stephens and Foster, there aren't many other carries to go
Q: Javon Bell has been
getting excellent reviews as of late. Do you see him being a legitimate
playmaker this year?
Bell will be a huge contributor this season he joins Darrin Moore at the Z wide
receiver position, and there is no doubt, from what we have seen in fall camp
that he will be a key to the Texas Tech offense, he is fast, big and strong. He
is a lot like Darrin Moore in a lot of ways and will be fun to watch develop
Q: How will the passing game change to be more verticle to use our speed?
A: The passing game will
become more vertical to the extent Tech has Javon
Bell and a healthy Darrin Moore in the fold. We got some inkling of this early
last season when Moore was healthy. Doege threw the fade to him with great
success. Now that Moore is back, look for that facet of the playbook to revive.
Bell will be Tech's man
coverage-breaker. He's simply too quick and fast for 90% of college corners to
handle one-on-one. So if and when teams try to man Bell up, look for Doege to
throw the fly his way.
This duo should prove
Q: What is our biggest
strength and our biggest weakness on defense, and how will we try to play to
the strength and away from the weakness?
A: This is a
straightforward but difficult question. Truthfully, there is no single area on
defense that stands out as the strength. There really is parity between
the linebackers, corners, safeties, defensive ends, and even tackles. That
said, given the apparent absence of Lee Adams and Anthony Smith's continuing
recovery from the scooter incident injury, I'd have to rate the tackles as the
greatest source of concern. I really like Kerry Hyder's
athleticism and think he may surprise. I also believe Delvon
Simmons, Michael Starts and especially Leon Mackey, can get the job done. But
any injuries here create instant problems.
But DT is a weakness only in
the event of injury. I don't think Art Kaufman has any reason to
"hide" his DTs or to compensate for ostensible lack of ability.
Q: Given the disappointment of the last two seasons,
and the divide in the fanbase, do you think the
coaches will "run up the score" in the non-con games as a way to
generate some much needed excitement? If not... can we make them do
A: Running up the score
doesn't strike me as Tubs' way of doing things. And besides, would the fan base
really get excited because Tech hung 77 on Northwestern State? Hang 77 on OU
and you'll generate some excitement.