Monday, October 29, 2007

Maybe ABC can send their HD cameras to Austin...

Oct. 29, 2007
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech Football will make its eighth television appearance of the season when it faces Texas on Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC, the Big 12 Conference and network announced Monday. Lubbock residents can view the game on Channel 28 or SuddenLink Cable Channel 8. Those outside of the Lubbock viewing area should check their local listings.
Texas Tech (6-3, 2-3) enters this weekend's matchup at Baylor looking to rebound from two tough conference losses to Missouri and Colorado. Texas (7-2, 3-2) narrowly fought off Nebraska at home last weekend and face Oklahoma State in Stillwater this weekend, before hosting the Red Raiders.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mizzou Game Diary

As promised...I did write a running diary during the Missouri game. Unfortunately, I won't have internet at home until November 3rd when my new AT&T U-Verse is I'm just now having the opportunity to post it. So in 3400 words or are my thoughts on the game:

2:30 – Just finished watching the ABC preview show…ready for the game to start. It’s not going to be in HD…so I’m not happy…but we’ll get through this

2:32 – What the hell???? ABC is showing us the Ohio State/Mich State game!!! I called DISH and they said they can’t do anything about it!!! This is NOT good...

2:37 – Ok…breathe easy…the game is on now. Tech to kickoff…we’re wearing the lovely white tops/red pants combo (note to self...send e-mail to TTU Ath Dept that these should NEVER be worn for a TV game again!) . Glad to see Trlica put the opening kick through the endzone. Time to step up defense and not let Chase Daniel beat you with his legs early in the game.

2:39 – It only took two plays to see just how big of an impact Martin Rucker can have in this game. Man those fences sure are close to the sidelines. Is this a 1A high school stadium???

2:41 – Wes Welker introducing the TT starting lineups. As he just said, “If they (Mizzou) punt twice, we will win.” Just as I finish writing that, Chase Daniel overthrows a receiver and the Tigers are forced to punt. Fake punt...fumble…Mizzou recovers??? I see a Tech guy coming up with the ball. Oh well…replay shows ground caused fumble!

2:43 – Nice play by Colby Whitlock getting a sack and forcing Daniel to fumble. Daniel saw the sack coming but sure didn’t try to protect the ball. Too bad he got it back. Another big play by the defense to bat down a pass at the line. 3 and 4 man attacks are getting pressure on Daniel early. This is a good sign. Punt goes into the endzone…Tech starts on their 20 yd line.

2:45 – Is Wes Welker drugged??? Maybe he’s just not used to talking into the cameras because it sure seems like he’s never seen the script that he’s reading.

2:49 – Back from injury timeout. Graham sneaks ahead for a first down on 3rd and inches. I love seeing our offense have success with that type of play after the debacle that occurred last season against Texas. I don’t want to hear about “the great wall of Lubbock” all day from these announcers.

2:50 – Holy !@#*!@...if that’s not Déjà vu I don’t know what is. Graham’s passed is knocked WAYYYYYY up in the air by a defender (this time a defensive back) and Mizzou catches it and runs it back for a touchdown. Graham didn’t quit on the play and cut the defenders legs at the goal line as he was going in for the TD. Now it’s time to see the offense rebound and go right down the field. Let’s go Raiders!!!

2:57 – Don’t like seeing Shawn Byrnes limping off like that. That could be a bad injury. Nice catch by Crabtree to convert on 3rd down. Didn’t I read something from Scouts Inc saying that MC struggles with passes thrown above his head???

2:58 – My heart stopped for a second when that pass was batted into the air…fortunately it fell incomplete. 4th and 2 now at Mizzou 39…will Leach go for it??? Yes but Amendola can’t hold onto it. 7:01 left in the 1st quarter.

3:00 – In other news…Brown is in a nail biter against Cornell and they lead 31-28 late in the 4th quarter. Does it seem like Chase Daniel lines up REALLY deep behind center? He’s starting 8-9 yards behind the LOS.

3:09 – That was a new wrinkle seeing Martin Rucker lined up as the QB in an empty backfield. Sure hope that the Mizzou player isn’t hurt as that could be a a serious loss to them. 2nd buzzer malfunction on the replay pager.

3:10 - Lovely…3rd and goal at the 1 yd line. Tech misses the deep sack on Daniel but still stops him for a 3 yard loss. 21 yard FG is good. 10-0 Mizzou with 2 left in the 1st quarter. Defensive line continuing to get good pressure up front. We’re going to need that for 4 quarters today.

3:15 – Great kick return from EB. Also liked seeing Graham check down to a Woods run when Mizzou audibled their coverage. GH showing good poise in the pocket with the Tigers dropping 7 and 8 guys on a consistent basis.

--------Missouri 10 Texas Tech 0, End of 1st----------

3:20 – According to the announcers…Shawn Byrnes is out for the game. Not too big of a surprise considering how bad he was walking off. Well…we got through 1 quarter without a penalty before Vasquez moved early.

3:21 – Announcers worried about MC not getting the ball enough. It’s obvious that they don’t understand the TT system. Give it time…it will create opportunities for him during the course of the game. The backup center can’t hear GH calling for the snap and it’s a delay of game. The Zoo is rockin today…

3:23 – Update…Byrnes was carted off the field…but now he just walked back out on his own power and may be back in. Seriously…somebody tell them we don’t wanna hear about the great wall of Lubbock. Trlica’s 49 yard FG is way right….

3:27 – Mizzour WR Jeremy Maclin is back out on the field. We’ll have to see how effective he is though since the word is that he can’t raise his arm very well. YEAH!!! 3rd sack for the D-Line today!!!!!! 3 and out for the Tigers…punt goes into the endzone for a touchback.

3:32 – MC’s 2nd catch of the game gives him the NCAA record for receiving yards in a season by a freshman, surpassing the 1265 yards from USC’s Mike Williams in 2002. He follows it up with a 3rd catch right after that. Now the announcers seem to have newfound love for Crabs. Maybe there is a market for the “I Love Crabs” shirt that I designed before the SMU game.

3:34 – Danny Amendola with a HUGE catch in traffic to convert a 3rd and long and move the ball into Tiger territory. MC follows with a 6 yard catch across the middle. He takes a HUGE hit and fights for another 2 yards after that. He came up with some serious intensity. That is just another example of how much he loves to play the game!

3:38 – Graham goes down on 4th and 4 from the Mizzou 38. They did bring a 5th man and finally got some pressure on Harrell. 3rd time now that a drive has stalled inside the Mizzou 40.

3:46 – I know that Ruffin is telling these guys to make a play on defense. Keep playing hard and doing what you know best. Sure enough…they flush Daniel out of the pocket and Jamar Wall gets the INT in the endzone!!! WAY TO GO DEFENSE!!!

3:49 – Don’t forget about Ed Britton!!! Graham sees an opportunity with man coverage on the outside and no safety help…and he finds Britton for a 68 yd TD strike on a deep ball. Great job staying in bounds. I think I may have disturbed the old couple that lives downstairs with my yelling and jumping around. Hopefully I don’t have Dallas PD at my door in the near future!

3:52 – I’m glad this game isn’t coming in 5.1 Dolby Digital…because I don’t want to hear that damn electronic Tiger growl EVERY time that Mizzou has a big gain. The muffled sound I’m hearing now is more than enough. 3 plays…and Mizzou has taken the ball down to the TT 2 yd line. 1st and goal…2 short runs and the Tigers have a TD. 17-7 now with 5 minutes left in the 2nd…

3:56 – Thanks for the inspirational commercial from TT. I wonder if that’s why we don’t have the game in HD…because the school commercial isn’t in HD. Hmm…have to check on that.

3:56 part 2 – Shawn Byrnes has returned at center for the Raiders. Good news indeed as this will change the OL matchups and not require a double team in the middle. More Great Wall of Lubbock talk…has anybody else heard that nickname for the OL yet??? Maybe I just missed the boat there…

3:59 – Every time we have a 3rd down…I think their announcer is saying “3rdddddd Dowwwwwwwwn Fuuuuurrry.” Kinda reminds me of “3rd Down Thunder” at SMU earlier this year. Nice catch by E-Mo at the marker to get a first down and move the ball into Tiger territory again.

4:02 – Whoa…crazy play. Graham throws an INT on a confused play…but an OL guy (Vasquez??) knocks the ball out of Brown’s hands and Danny Amendola catches it. Tech ball back at the Mizzou 45 with a minute left in the 1st half.

4:05 – There sure seems to be a lot of confusion between GH and the inside receivers on their routes today. That’s the 3rd or 4th pass where there was nobody near the ball. Looks like some confusion on option routes between what the receivers and GH are seeing in Mizzou’s coverage.

4:07 – Alex Trlica hits a 45-yd FG with 22 seconds left before halftime. As bad as his first kick looked…glad to see him recover

-----------Missouri 17 Texas Tech 10, Halftime------------

4:25 – Whew…coming back down to reality. Tito’s sure helped out with that a little bit. Thoughts on the first half:
- (As Leach said on his way to the locker room) We didn’t execute offensively. Missouri didn’t do anything spectacular, we just failed to execute.
- The loss of Shawn Byrnes definitely hurt the offense. It required us to look at different blocking schemes and also caused problems with the snap.
- We saw some signs of life from the offense on the last drive (other than the misread by GH on 3rd down) and I expect that to translate into results in the 2nd half.
- I’m glad that Mizzou took a knee at the end of the half because it gave our defense a break. Poor Tigers…they don’t yet know to not let Ruffin have too much time to coach up these guys. I imagine that his speech went something like this, “We hit them in the mouth…and they went down…but they aren’t out. They came right back at us before halftime and kept throwing haymakers. We took the blows…survived…and now it’s time for us to own the field for 30 minutes!!! Let’s go back out there and OWN THE FIELD!!!”
- Graham looks calm warming up on the sidelines. This is important to me since he looked frustrated throughout most of the first half.
- Big stat of the first half…Mizzou was only 1 of 5 on 3rd down conversions.

Here comes the 3rd quarter…Tech gets the ball first…WRECK ‘EM TECH!!!

4:34 – Whoa…Tech goes old school. Graham under center, toss play to the short side of the field and Woods gains 5 or so yards for a first down. That’s a “wrinkle” from the Air Raid offense.

4:35 – Is Ed Britton going to be the unsung hero of this game? While going largely unnoticed in the first few games, he had a great game against A&M and now has a TD and a few clutch catches to move the chains on 3rd down.

4:39 – 3 times we turn it over on 4th down between the Mizzou 35 and 40. What is the problem for the offense in that area??? I think I like the idea of throwing deep past the area instead. Let’s try that again. Somebody tell this announcer to take his panties off and/or read up on the team’s that he’s going to be announcing a game for. I’m glad James Hasty is putting him in his place about why Tech will go for it on 4th down in those situations.

4:43 – The d-line have that explosion off the ball that we saw in the first half. That needs to change…and change now!!!

4:44 – Just showed the rushing stats. Tech has 19 yards on the ground…or less than 2 yds per carry. I know it’s still early in the 3rd, but why not abandon the run at this point and make them stop the pass.

4:46 – I’m not sure…but I think we got hosed on that fumble call. The refs did a piss poor job getting to the bottom of the pile and instead were trying to separate players that were diving onto the pile late. That’s the end of my officiating rant…and anybody that knows me knows I’m not one to rant about officials. That said…first and goal Mizzou. Make a play (again) defense!!!

4:51 – The defense is playing their heart out. Keep it up guys!!! Time for the Air Raid to move it and put another one in the endzone!!! Geez I wish my internet wasn’t down. I need something to distract me for a few seconds during TV breaks.

4:53 – Clearly a late hit on Missouri on the kick…correct call by the officials. Mizzou player down briefly.

4:55 – It took until the middle of the 3rrd quarter…but Tech finally used the “run offense” by throwing a swing pass out to Shannon Woods for a 7 yd gain.

4:56 – Ed Britton drops a sure first down on 3rd and 2 at the Mizzou 35…frustration ensues. KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE!!!

4:57 – It took 4 attempts…but we FINALLY convert a 4th down inside the Mizzou 40. Nice play E-Mo!

4:59 – Did we send any fans to this game??? I’m guessing they’re on the TV side because I’ve yet to see a section of red.

4:59 part 2 – Tech going for it on 4th and 4 at the Mizzou 24…pass deflected away…intended for Crabs. It still hit him in the hands…but that was only because it was deflected back behind him. The defense needs to stop the Tigers NOW!!!

5:06 – And now the Tech defense has panicked and forgotten how to tackle. Williams has the RB dead behind the LOS but tries to tackle him high…and instead the back gets 12 yards because nobody is there to help him. 3rd and 5 at the 1 for tigers at the end of 3.

-------------Missouri 24 Texas Tech 10, End of 3rd----------

5:11 – We got owned Mike…we got owned…

5:12 – Mizzou is already milking down the clock and it’s the start of the 4th…two plays took a full minute off the clock for them to punch it in for another touchdown. 31-10 now…and considering our offense's inability to throw and catch with any regularity…this one is over!

5:14 – In other news…Notre Dame has now given up on the blue and gold. They are wearing kelly green jerseys with mustard yellow pants. Sorry Charlie…it doesn’t matter…your team still sucks this year.

5:17- I flipped over to the Kansas/Colorado game briefly…it looks like their main game camera is coming from either Pike’s Peak or the Goodyear blimp. You can see 20 yards back and 30 yards past the LOS. Weird…just weird…

5:20 – With 13 minutes left in the game…I think this one is effectively over. Mizzou has been dropping into a deep zone all day to prevent the big play and now that’s all they have to do to walk away with a very convincing win.

5:21 – Going for it on 4th and 4 from our own 32…Amendola with a phenomenal catch right on the sideline at the 45 yardline.

5:23 – Oh well…it doesn’t matter…see my comment from 5:11 for further explanation of what is happening to our OL. There are 3 guys looking forward for someone to block while Harrell is being taken to the ground. And another sack…it’s now something like 4th and 40 for the offense…this is a downright pathetic showing by the offensive line in the 2nd half.

5:25 – Lovely…even when our special teams forces a fumble…we still can’t land on top of the ball and recover it. We’re able to salvage a personal foul on the tigers but that doesn’t matter one damn bit at this point.

5:28 – Our defense has quit…and we’re back to tackling forward again. Why we’re not commiting even a 5th guy to the run…I have no idea. TD tigers…yay…

5:30 – I’m going to go out on a limb and say that our offense is going to put up a meaningless TD or 2 now to make it look respectable when in reality their performance was nothing short of depressing. All it will do is give MC better receiving stats for the record books.

5:33 – Worst thing I’ve ever seen. I flip over to the end of the OSU game…only to see a girl (along with a guy) dressed like Animal and Warrior of WWF fame. The broad shoulders and braided her just did me in. I hope she was drunk or lost a bet…a BIG bet…

5:35 – Here’s a glaring stat…Texas Tech is now 1-10 in their last 11 games against ranked teams including today’s ass whooping by Missouri.

5:36 – Even though they aren’t throwing to him lately…glad to see MC still doing his part in blocking for Woods on these last two short catches. Wow…you know it’s bad when E-Mo is dropping wide open balls across the middle.

5:37 – And just as I say that…MC makes a half ass attempt at catching a pass on 3rd down and it gets picked off after Crabs tipped it into the air.

5:40 – Wow…that’s a crappy call on Tech. I’m with James Hasty on this one…the defender makes a legit hit (really a push of the shoulders) on Daniel that forces him to pitch the ball and he gets flagged for an illegal hit. Sad times indeed…

5:48 – Crabtree with a drop on a wide open pass over the middle. I had this thought after the Okie Lite game…but does MC not have the best hands in the game? His abilities are starting to remind me of Terrell Owens. Once you get the ball in his hands…he’s as deadly as anybody in the country because of his strength and athleticism.

5:49 – Glad to see Abilene High product Lyle Leong make two great catches on back-to-back plays to move the offense down the field.

5:50 – Wow….ANOTHER pick thrown by Harrell…his 4th of the day. These passes aren’t even pretty that he’s throwing.

As this game finishes up…I’m gonna make a few parting comments:

- The defense again outplayed the offense. That doesn’t need to be said…but I’m going to state the obvious there. They played really well for 3 quarters…and then frustration sets in when they realize that no matter how hard they try that the offense can’t get out of their own way.
- A pathetic Missouri defense owned Tech today. They gave 3 different looks today. The standard look was 4 down linemen with 2 LB’s playing spy/zone across the middle while every receiver was manned up in the secondary. In “pressure situations” (aka whenever Tech had 3rd or 4th and short in Mizzou territory) they lined up in Cover 0 and brought 6 or 7 guys every time. The 3rd look was the occasional blitz from outside while the DL would stunt inside to close the Tech OL spreads.
- Offensively, the receivers had a severe case of the drops. Missouri tempted Tech to throw the intermediate routes across the middle and we weren’t able to hang on to the ball…whether there was a hit delivered after the catch or not.
- Graham Harrell was frustrated with poor communication in the first half…and in the second half he spent most of the time playing with only 2 or 3 OL guys blocking for him. When he wasn’t getting violated in the backfield…he was unable to connect with his receivers. When he found an open man, there were many a dropped ball to be had. Offensively, this felt a lot like the TCU game…but with slightly better production. We moved the ball into striking distance but then there was absolutely no execution once the ball went into Mizzou territory.
3,300 + words…and there’s still not an answer for the performance we saw today. Maybe it was something that Mizzou did…but I tend to agree with Leach’s halftime comments when he said we failed to execute…plain and simple.

I must leave you now and pull it together…time for a steak, a cold beer…and then time out on the town with friends for the evening as I try to put this one aside. At least I have the Red Sox game to watch tonight…and a friend from Boston that’s here to root along with me!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Tech Uniform Count...

barring something unforseen this weekend in Columbia...the streak of 7 games with 7 different uniforms will end for the Raiders. However, expect a new streak of wins vs Missouri to start tomorrow!!!

Here's a recap of the different combos we've seen this year. Still missing are the black top/red pants and red pants/black top. Maybe we'll see those in the final two home games of the season???

Image Hosting by

Since tomorrow will be the first time this season that I've had the opportunity to sit on my couch and watch football on a Saturday...I'm thinking of doing "remote blogging" of the TT/Mizzou game live from the apt. Depending on who the announcers are for this one...I may use the XM Radio feed to pair with the evil non-HD feed coming through from ABC. Either way...stay tuned...maybe I'll work up something that's mildly interesting.

Now back to my regularly scheduled Friday afternoon "Siesta Under the Deska"...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Graham Harrell Stat Projections

So I had this in-depth thread ready to go where I was going to wow you with some thorough insight on the production we can expect to see from Graham Harrell the rest of the season. The only problem is...the data isn't thorough enough to make a prediction with any significant level of confidence. Here are some thoughts on my work:

1. NW State game caused problems with my model since he only played 2+ quarters...and the fact that they're a 1-AA team. With their numbers in the model, I projected GH to throw for 5331 yards. The only problem was that the confidence level was at 47.4% on the model.

2. After tweaking the model (removing NW St and adjusting accordingly) I was able to raise the confidence level to 54.2% and the yardage projection changed by 12 yards to 5343 yards.

3. I made one last adjustment to the model (giving more emphasis to Big 12 games, potential weather issues, etc) and the confidence level went down to 51.4% while the yardage projection increased to 5389 yards.

All told, this is the best conclusion that I've reached:

A straightline projection of Graham's numbers based on his performance through 7 games gives us a total of 5402 yards through 12 regular season games. While the confidence levels of my models were relatively low, it is moderately safe to say that Graham will eclipse the 5000 yard mark this season. As stated previously, my projections put him somewhere around 5350 yards with a variance of approximately +/- 100 yards.

Maybe I should've spent more time with advanced calculus and statistical modeling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Panoramic from the A&M game

While you wonder when I'll get the GH projections up (or maybe you don't wonder at all...) here is a panoramic that I shot last Saturday. It's not my best work...but it will do for now (click on picture for full size image):

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Big 12 Bowl Projections

I don't buy into these too early in the season...but now that the first set of BS rankings are out, I'll go ahead pass these along:

Brut Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 / 2 p.m. El Paso, Texas CBS
Projection: Texas Tech vs. USC

what's odd is that when I played with TT on NCAA 08 this season...I got them to the Fiesta Bowl where they played (and lost a close game to) USC!!!

Other Big 12 Bowl projections:

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Dec. 27 / 8 p.m. San Diego, Calif. ESPNProjection: Kansas vs. California
- Don't count on it. All things equal, I think they would select Tech, Missouri or Texas (if available) over Kansas.

Texas Bowl Dec. 28 / 8 p.m. NFL NetworkTie-Ins: Houston, Texas Projection: Colorado vs. Houston
- No disagreements with this one.

Alamo Bowl Dec. 29 / 8 p.m. San Antonio, Texas ESPNProjection: Illinois vs. Kansas State
- Again, I think they would take Tech, Texas or maybe even Missouri before KState.

Petro Sun Independence Bowl Dec. 30 / 8 p.m. Shreveport, La. ESPNProjection: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
- Something about Texas A&M being relegated to a bowl game in Shreveport gives me a good laugh this morning.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 31 / 12:30 p.m. Fort Worth, Texas ESPNProjection: TCU vs. Nebraska (No Pac 10 projected available)
- This one might be even more of a laugher. Two teams who were in the BCS mix before the season (moreso for TCU than Nebraska) ending up in a meanlingless bowl game at TCU. Nebraska's late wins over Wake Forest and Ball St look a lot more important now once you consider that the Huskers will have to win 2 out of 5 from the likes of A&M, Texas, Kansas, KState, and Colorado just to become bowl eligible.

Insight Bowl Dec. 31 / TBA Tempe, Ariz. NFL NetworkProjection: Michigan State vs. Oklahoma State
- I sure hope that this one happens. I don't want a game that I would care to watch to actually be played on New Years' Eve. Plus...I have a party planned at the W Dallas for that night!

AT&T Cotton Bowl Jan. 1 / 11:30 a.m. Dallas, Texas FOXProjection: Texas vs. Kentucky
- I think the Big 12 representative for this game will be decided by the winner in Austin on November 10th. When we bought our tix for this game last summer, I wasn't looking forward to this trip but given the improved Tech defense, the immergence of Crabtree, and the chaos that is going on in Austin...this game could have some serious bowl implications. Then again, I still think the Horns will have to win out to end up in the Cotton Bowl.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 1 / 8:30 p.m. New Orleans, La. FOXProjection: South Carolina vs. Missouri
- It's a nice thought...but it won't happen as long as Missouri's defense continues to give up 400+ yds/game. They've looked a bit better in conference, but their performance against mid-majors and 1-AA schools exposed this defense as being nothing above mediocore.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2 / 8 p.m. Phoenix, Ariz. FOXProjection: Oregon vs. Oklahoma
- Though it's a return trip to Glendale for the Sooners, it's not for the MNC game that they would love to have a shot at. Then again, the Boomers can't complain about the play of Frosh QB Sam Bradford as his future looks bright. Chalk this one up another Big 12 title for Mr Stoops.

The end is near on my research...but don't get too excited about the Graham Harrell projection information just yet!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

For those in the betting community...

Tech (+3.5) @ Missouri. Factor in that the home team is getting 3 points...this game is a virtual coinflip in Vegas.

Other Big 12 lines:
Nebraska (-2) vs Texas A&M
Kansas (-4.5) @ Colorado
BlowU (-28.5) @ Iowa State
Okie Lite (-3) vs Kansas St
Texas (-24.5) @ Baylor

Colorado game moved to 11AM on ABC

Oct. 15, 2007

LUBBOCK, Texas - For the third-straight week, Texas Tech fans can tune into ABC Sports and find the Red Raiders as Tech will take on Colorado at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Jones AT&T Stadium, the Big 12 Conference and ABC Sports announced Monday morning.

The television appearance will be the sixth of the season and the third-straight on ABC Sports as Tech faced Texas A&M on the network on Oct. 13 and will face Missouri this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Columbia, Mo.

The Colorado game will be carried on a regional basis.

Mike Leach said it best...(A&M game thoughts)

(from Saturday's post game press conference)

"I think the energy has picked up," Leach said. "Our team is starting to realize that it takes all the components working together to be a good team."

I can't agree more with this thought. While the offense did a great job making adjustments based what A&M did defensively (and then just flat out imposing their will upon the Aggies) it was again the Tech defense that defined the tone of this game. Once they showed the Ags (and the Tech offense) that they weren't going to be pushed around into another shootout with a Big 12 team, the game was essentially over by the middle of the 2nd quarter. A&M gained just under half of their total yards (42% to be precise) on the first 2 drives. They had two more drives where they moved the ball well but they ended in a missed FG (2nd quarter) and a turnover on downs (4th quarter). Great job offense...but the game balls start and end with the defense.

Yes I actually made it this far without saying anything about MC. I think this picture (from DTN) takes care of that for me:

One other enjoyable quote from Saturday, from DC Ruffin McNeill:

"They probably had a little bit too much to drink," McNeill said, chuckling. "I love our [fans], but they were chanting my name, a big ol' guy? An ol' school, half-bald guy? They must have been talking about a different Ruffin."

I've been working on a deeper look into Graham's passing numbers in my (likely futile) attempt to more accurately project his end of season statistics. I should be finished with it this afternoon unless these storms knock out the power for a bit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More love for Crabtree for Heisman

Two analysts on ESPN's College Football Live listed Crabtree in their Top 5 Heisman favorites this evening. Here's to hoping for another game of "consistent" production this Saturday for MC.

Crabtree at the top of Heisman voting???

This writer at sure has him there...

My Heisman ballot this week would be … I vote based on a combination of three things: Most valuable player, most outstanding player, and the signature player of the season. I might wildly change my mind weekly, but I’ll sort it all out at the end. 1) Michael Crabtree, WR Texas Tech, 2) Chase Daniel, QB Missouri, 3) Matt Ryan, QB Boston College, 4) Mike Hart, RB Michigan, 5) Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU

one other nugget of info...he has Harrell/Crabtree as the best player(s) that need to be included in the list of top stars:

1. Texas Tech redshirt freshman WR Michael Crabtree & Texas Tech junior QB Graham Harrell

First, let’s get this out of the way. SMU, UTEP, Rice, Oklahoma State, Northwestern State, and Iowa State. We’re not exactly talking about a murderer’s row of opponents so far. It doesn’t matter. If you’re going to give the Heisman love to Colt Brennan to start the year, then it has to shift over to Harrell after the junior completed 74% of his passes for 2,726 yards (454 per game) with 28 touchdown passes and three interceptions in the first six games. Last year, Brennan threw for 5,915 yards and 58 touchdowns in 14 games. If you project Harrell’s numbers out to 13 games (the regular season plus a bowl), he’ll throw for 5,906 yards and 60 touchdowns. He won’t hit those marks with the competition ahead getting tougher, but he’s still been amazing so far. But not as strong as his battery mate.

Redshirt freshman Michael Crabtree was one of the biggest receiver recruits Mike Leach had ever brought aboard, and if you’ve ever wondered what a top-shelf talent would do in this offense, you’re finding out. He’s 6-3, 222 pounds, physical, quick, and fast. And he also scores touchdowns. Gobs of them.

The numbers are beyond ridiculous. 70 catches, 1,074 yards, 17 touchdowns. To put this into perspective, his first six games alone would’ve made put him 17th in the nation at the end of last year in receiving yards. Only Rice’s Jarett Dillard, with 21, caught more touchdown passes last year than Crabtree has so far, and no one else had more than 15. You want bizarre? Project the numbers out over 13 games, and he’ll catch 151 passes for 2,327 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Porky guarantees victory in Lubbock!!!

Lane guarantees victory vs. Texas Tech

Texas A&M hasn’t won at Texas Tech since 1993. The Lubbock jinx is very much real, and a bunch of Aggies were asked about it at today’s news conference. Running back Jorvorskie Lane wasn’t putting up with any of that, though.
“We’re going to win in 2007,” Lane said. “That’s a guarantee. I promise you.”
Lane was then asked why he feels that way.
“It’s just that our team’s chemistry is so strong right now, ain’t nothing can break us,” the J-Train added. “From what we went through with that situation with Coach Fran and we were down 17 points last week [against Oklahoma State], it’s just a real big motivating thing right now.”
That was probably the biggest thing to come out of a rather mundane news conference inside Hagner Auditorium. It was thought that A&M might announce the results of its investigation into the "VIP Connection" today. But no.
A&M officials have made it clear they want to get each and every e-mail that was sent out over the last three years. School officials probably want to cross every t and dot every i before making an announcement.

Remembering Tech/A&M games in Lubbock

1995: A&M came into the game ranked eighth nationally but was already reeling from a loss to Colorado. Zach Thomas returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 14-7 Tech victory. Click here for the game story.

1997: On a typical windy West Texas day, kicker Tony Rogers from Plano watched a 47-yard field goal attempt kiss the left upright and bounce through with 19 seconds remaining, giving the Red Raiders a 16-13 victory. Click here for the game story.

1999: The Aggies had climbed to fifth in the Associated Press poll. But Tech coach Spike Dykes made a surprise switch by moving fullback Sammy Morris to tailback. Morris had 170 yards against the nation's top-ranked run defense in a 21-19 win. Click here for the game story.

2001: Tech's Ryan Aycock made a key interception in the end zone, and Joselio Hanson forced a critical fumble late as the Raiders won, 12-0. Just as in '99, fans stormed the field and tore down the goal post. Click here for the game story.

2003: Quarterback B.J. Symons threw a Big 12-record eight touchdown passes in a 59-28 laugher. He completed 34 of 46 passes for 505 yards. The Aggies simply couldn't keep up in a game that started late and ended at almost 1 a.m. Click here for the game story.

2005: Dwayne Slay's earth-shattering hit on Jorvorskie Lane forced an A&M fumble and broke open a tight game in the third quarter. After that play, Tech scored on its next six drives and rolled to a 56-17 victory. Click here for the game story.

Ramblings on the Iowa State game...

Well I made it home from Lubbock just before 10PM on Sunday you can imagine that my mind wasn't on writing about the game just yet. Yesterday about the only thing Tech/A&M related was the Vick Em shirt incident...and I started to post it multiple times but decided (along with many others in TT blog land) that it's received enough publicity and continuing to publish it would do no good. Then last night...we were all witness to this:

So now that the dust has settled here in my world...and I can write on my thoughts from Saturday. To preface this...we only stayed for just a bit beyond halftime before going back to tailgate and watch Florida/LSU so I didn't see anything beyond the first drives of the 2nd half...though we did listen to much of the game until the starters came out. I'll just write this out in bullet points...

- When was the last time the general consensus was that the defense outplayed the offense? It was very refreshing to see in person the changes I had read were taking place the last few weeks. On a consistent basis, receivers were hit when they caught the ball. The thing that excited me the most was our defense started gang tackling and actually driving guys backwards on multiple occassions. I'm hard pressed to think of a time when we've seen that level of aggression and drive from the defense under the former regime.

- While the last few years have been a bit different...the offense has re-established the Coach Leach standard of "We expect to score every time we have the ball" and it is almost a letdown for fans when the offense has to punt. I know it's hard to believe...but it's reality that teams do punt sometimes!

- Michael Crabtree continues to impress everybody who sees him. For me this week, it was his explosiveness the first few steps after catching a ball. I don't know why, but he always seems to find a way to get yards after the catch. My motto when Crabtree catches a pass is, "It's like Christmas 10 times a game. Every time he gets the ball you better be ready for a surprise!"

- After all of the new uni combinations we've seen this year, the red/red was kind of a letdown for homecoming. I'm still holding out for a red/black combo of some kind so maybe we'll see it against A&M this Saturday!

- If you get bored in the next few days and want to read a lot of things that don't make too much sense...head on over to the TexAgs forums to see what things they have come up with this time around. My favorite comments are when they talk about Tech being some barren, flatland. I'm sorry...but since when did College Station become a booming metropolis with rolling hills???

With all the talk about MC and his charge towards the NCAA record books...many are overlooking the phenomenal numbers the Graham Harrell is putting up. Right now, his numbers are superior to what Kingsbury did in 02 and on pace with what Symons did in 03. We'll look more into this later...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Back in the favor of the voters

Last week...Tech gets 0 votes in either of the major polls. Now after an average offensive (and very good defensive) performance against a bad Iowa State team...we see this in the polls:

AP Poll - 27 votes...good for #31 in the poll
Coaches Poll - 44 votes...good for #29 in the poll

As a side note...Aggot is 26 in the AP and 28 in the Coaches so after a good beating in Lubbock on Saturday afternoon...maybe Tech will break into the Top 25 for the first time this year...or maybe they'll win and go back to receiving 0 votes again. Who knows with the pollsters...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Kellen Tillman arrested for possession of marijuana

I think Seth over @ DTN sums it up best so I'll just direct you over to his site...

Monday, October 1, 2007

A&M game picked up by ABC for 2:30 broadcast

(from TTU Athletics Dept)

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech Football will make its fourth television appearance of the season when it faces Texas A&M at 2:30 p.m. CT Sat., Oct. 13, on ABC, the Big 12 Conference announced Monday. Lubbock residents can view the game on Channel 28 or SuddenLink Cable Channel 8. Those outside of the Lubbock viewing area should check their local listings.

Texas Tech (4-1, 0-1) faces Iowa State at Jones AT&T Stadium this weekend, before facing the Aggies. The Red Raiders and Cyclones are playing at 6 p.m.

Texas A&M is currently 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in Big 12 play, following last weekend's win over Baylor. The Aggies face Oklahoma State at home before traveling to Lubbock next weekend.

The Red Raiders have won nine of the last 12 meetings with the Aggies, but trail in the overall series 34-30-1. The Red Raiders also have won five of the last six games in the series. In the last two Lubbock meetings, Texas Tech has averaged 57.5 point per game, while holding Texas A&M to 23.0 points. Tech won last year's game in College Station on a final-minute touchdown pass from Graham Harrell to Robert Johnson, lifting Tech to the 31-27 win.

Other televised games include Texas at Iowa State (FSN, 11:30 a.m.), Missouri at Oklahoma (FSN, 5:30 p.m.) and Colorado at Kansas State (ESPN2, 8:15 p.m.).

5 games...5 different unis...

What will they wear this week for homecoming??? My vote is black/red or black/black. Will the red/red of last year become a thing of the past???

(click on image for full size photos)

Crabtree the superhuman!!!

Another game for Texas Tech...another 100+ yd game for Crabtree. After 5 games, here are his numbers:

60 catches
920 yards
14 TD's

A few points about his current production:
- The 14 TD's is a school record, breaking the mark of 13 TD's set by Jarrett Hicks in 2004 and equaled by Joel Filani last season.
- 14 TD's also ties the NCAA Freshman record, currently held by Jabar Gaffney (Florida, 2000), Mike Williams (USC, 2002), and Davone Bass (Hawaii, 2005). Expect this one to belong to Crabtree by 6:45 PM next Saturday.
- 920 receiving yards leads all NCAA 241 yards. He has gained 35% more than the #2 wideout.
- 60 catches also leads all NCAA 15 catches. Danny Amendola is 3rd at 44 catches.
- 14 TD's is 5 more TD's than the next closest WR and double that of the next closest Big 12 WR (Malcolm Kelly, Blow U, 7 TD's)

Here's the fun (and scary) part of Crabtree's production this year:

- He's currently projecting to these numbers:

156 catches
2392 yards
36 TD's

The NCAA D1 records are:

142 catches (Manny Hazard, Houston, 1989)
2,060 yards (Trevor Insley, Nevada, 1999)
27 TD's (Troy Edwards, La Tech, 1998)

While it's unlikely to assume that his production will continue at the same level against Big 12 opponents...if it did then he would own all NCAA single-season records as a freshman!!! Also, the NCAA record for catches by a freshman is 98 by Taurean Henderson of Texas Tech in 2002. Assuming he played out his eligibility, here's where he would project to over 4 13-game seasons (12 games + bowl game) with current 4-year NCAA record in parentheses.

624 catches (316 catches, Taylor Stubblefield, Purdue 01-04)
9,568 yards (5,005 yds, Trevor Insley, Nevada 96-98
146 TD's (50 TD's, Troy Edwards, La Tech 96-98)

Obviously, these projections are very far reaching at this point...but it wouldn't be totally out of the question to see Crabtree at least approaching many NCAA career records by the end of the 2008 season. The outlook is bright for the Red Raiders offense and Michael Crabtree over the next few years. With the Big 12 in chaos mode after BlowU and Texas both lost last week (remember that the loser of the RRR game this week will start conference 0-2)...there's no need to look ahead to 2008 just yet. However...I'll go ahead and drop in a friendly note that 10 of 11 starters will return in 08 with Danny Amendola being the lone starting senior.

I'll be back later with some stats on Graham Harrell and a look ahead to his projections.