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August 15, 2011Texas Tech football went through its first intrasquad scrimmage Saturday and by all accounts it was pretty effective both offensively and defensively.
Many players put up impressive statistics during the 184-play scrimmage including quarterback Seth Doege who completed 21-of-37 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns and a defensive line that helped combine for 12 sacks on defense.
"A lot of good effort Saturday and today," head coach Tommy Tuberville said after Monday's second practice of two-a-days. "We worked on mistakes both practices and we've added a couple of things on offense and defense. We've still got a long time, a long way to go before our first game so we went slow and made sure the younger guys picked up what we're trying to do.
"Good day of practice today and an excellent one Saturday."
Tuberville said the offense started slow but got clicking later in the scrimmage. It was what he wanted to see for the first practice but the 'pick up' will have to be faster in the future. The responsibility is up to Doege.
Still, for a first scrimmage in the fall, offensive coordinator Neal Brown liked what he saw.
"It's different because he had never done it under the lights so-to-speak like those other two kids (Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield) did last year," Brown said. "I really like this group. We've got a lot more energy in this group, we've got a lot more speed in this group, we've got more depth and more competition in this camp than we did last year and all of last season.
"I'm really excited about coaching this group. They've been fun so far."
There's a lot to like on the defensive side of the ball too, according to defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow.
The entire defensive package is in and now it's just being tweaked around. That being the case, it's up to the players to get it down at full speed.
"We're playing faster with some things," Glasgow said. "We've had our whole defense in since the fourth day of practice now and now we're going back and going over the plays. Hopefully you'll see us play faster once we go and continue to get more reps at the same things."
Glasgow said he still needs to see improvement between now and the Red Raiders' first game on Sept. 3 in one-on-one positional battles and conditioning, especially out of the freshmen and transfers that haven't been around the program as long as the upperclassmen.
While an average defense will play around 70 snaps a game, Glasgow hopes he can find some younger players that can play around 15 plays to 20 plays per game.
"There's probably four or five of them at least that will come in and play significantly," he said.
Speaking of young players that the coaching staff believe in, there are a lot at the running back position between Ronnie Daniels, Kenny Williams and DeAndre Washington.
Daniels got the brunt of the carries in Saturday's scrimmage rushing for 43 yards on 10 carries, but Brown said Eric Stephens and Aaron Crawford are on the top of the depth chart. It is likely at least one freshman will redshirted this season.
"(The freshmen) have been showing flashes," Brown said. "DeAndre Washington, Kenny Williams, Ronnie Daniels, they've al shown flashes. They kind of change spots every day. It's really over the next week to 10 days, scrimmage on Saturday, scrimmage a little bit on Wednesday. Those will be big tell-alls in which running backs are actually going to play this year."
Maybe the best thing about Saturday's scrimmage and Monday's closed practice was avoiding the news regarding the Texas A&M situation. The Red Raider coaching staff has been pretty tight lipped about the situation going on in College Station.
"I haven't had time to even look at it or talk about it," Tuberville said. " People keep asking me what I think. Bottom line, I don't know the reason. I'm sure they'll make the best decision for them."