Friday, May 6, 2011
Texas Tech spring wrap
By ESPN.com staff
2010 overall record: 8-5
2010 conference record: 3-5
Returning starters: Offense (5), Defense (8) P/K (0)
Top returners: RB Eric Stephens, WR Alex Torres, S Cody Davis, CB Tre Porter, CB Jarvis Phillips, S D.J. Johnson
Key losses: QB Taylor Potts, WR Lyle Leong, WR Detron Lewis, RB Baron Batch, DT Colby Whitlock, LB Brian Duncan, QB Steven Sheffield. LB Bront Bird
2010 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Baron Batch (816 yards)
Passing: Taylor Potts (3,726 yards)
Receiving: Lyle Leong (926 yards)
Tackles: Bront Bird (106)
Sacks: Brian Duncan (7)
Interceptions: Jarvis Phillips* (4)
Three spring answers
1. Quarterbacks all but settled. It’s not official, per se, but Seth Doege looks likely to slide into the starting spot as the next in a long line of Texas Tech quarterbacks. He has just one career start, but the junior is the most experienced among four Red Raiders quarterbacks vying for the job. He beat out Jacob Karam and Scotty Young this spring, and that figures to continue in the fall.
2. Defensive vision is clear. Texas Tech brought in new defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow from TCU, and he spent the spring installing his 4-2-5 -- a move away from the 3-4 under James Willis last year. That third safety spot, a nickel back, if you will, should be occupied by Terrance Bullitt, who drew praise from coaches for his effort during the spring.
3. More receivers found. The Red Raiders’ top two receivers, Lyle Leong and Detron Lewis, are gone, but Texas Tech did a good job of filling their roles during the spring. Alex Torres, Eric Ward, Austin Zouzalik and Darrin Moore are the starters, but there’s even more buzz surrounding backup Marcus Kennard, who showed up this spring from junior college.
Three fall questions
1. Is the secondary still a problem? Texas Tech’s secondary gave up more passing yards than all but two teams in college football last year. This offseason was about upgrading the pass rush and improving the speed in the secondary. It’s still early in Tommy Tuberville’s time in Lubbock, and his secondary is still young after injuries forced them to play last year, but we’ll see how much last year’s experience pays off.
2. How good is Seth Doege? It’s easy to assume Doege will step in and be solid, but will that be the case? Taylor Potts was a senior who had played for Mike Leach extensively. Doege is a newbie who hasn’t played extensively since his sophomore year of high school, after being sidelined by a pair of injuries. If Texas Tech’s offensive tradition is going to continue, Doege will keep it going. If it begins to decline, it will do it with Doege. My bet is on the former, but I’d caution assuming that’s the case.
3. Is the running game for real yet? Texas Tech isn’t known for its ability to run the ball, but Tuberville wants that half of the offense to be more efficient and more powerful moving forward. The Red Raiders have a good set of capable backs, and the entire offensive line returns. Does that mean the running game will get a boost?