Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Change on the way at Texas Tech
By David Ubben
Texas Tech opened its season against Texas State and followed it with an off week.
In short, not a physically taxing kickoff, with half the Big 12 off for the season's second week.
Coach Tommy Tuberville took advantage, taking the off week to re-assess his team. He treated it like "spring practice" with three "physical" practices, including a scrimmage during the off week, rather than using the week for rest as others might midseason.
"Our players are glad it's over," Tuberville told reporters this week.
Now, it's 11 consecutive weeks of football for Tech.
A prediction? Variety. Perhaps 31 different kinds, beginning with Saturday's trip to New Mexico, who the Red Raiders beat 52-17 in Albuquerque last season.
"It’ll be a Baskin-Robbins type year for us," Tuberville said. 'We’ll have different flavors every week for our two-deep."
He's not kidding. Already, he added freshman Sam Eguavoen to join fellow freshman Blake Dees as a starting linebacker.
Jackson Richards stepped into a starting role at defensive end. Bradley Marquez and Eric Ward earned starting spots at receiver.
"We won’t look like the same team," Tuberville said. "That’ll change all year long."
Richards' spot came by necessity, after hyped juco transfer Leon Mackey suffered a collapsed lung and had to spend a night in the hospital after Texas Tech's opener.
The Red Raiders experienced plenty of turnover last season thanks to injuries, especially in the secondary. This year, youth and players improving at different paces may but the culprit of a constantly evolving depth chart.
"It did feel like a preseason game," running back Eric Stephens told reporters of the season opener. " Showed us a lot of areas that we need to improve on. So I guess it was kind of a good thing."