September 3, 2011

The Nickel: Texas State

Texas Tech kicks off the 2011 football season today, 6 p.m. at Jones AT&T Stadium hoping to improve on an 8-5 2010 season under head coach Tommy Tuberville.

There are a lot of questions that will be answered about the 2011 Red Raider squad in the first half of the season but there's no doubt some of the answers will begin to reveal themselves against the Bobcats.

Here are five storylines about today's game:

QUARTERBACK SETH DOEGE TAKES THE FIELD

Quarterback Seth Doege is finally poised to start a full football season since his sophomore year of high school in 2005.

Doege, a junior, might be the next big thing at Tech but expect him to have some first-year mistakes and make some questionable decisions in his first game as the starter. Fortunately, Texas State doesn't pose much of a defensive threat and Doege can get some confidence going heading into a rare Week 2 bye and then 11-straight games.

Expect Doege to have a pretty good game and to learn from any mistakes made.

THE 4-2-5 DEFENSE

Defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow makes his debut as the Red Raiders defensive coordinator and he's brought a defense that college football fans in Lubbock have rarely seen. The 4-2-5.

Glasgow's players have said the new defense allows them to play faster and do less thinking than they did under James Willis a year ago.

While Texas State shouldn't test Tech to its limits, pay attention to the Red Raider defense to learn whether the team really has a grasp on its third defense in three years or not.

THE TECH DEFENSIVE LINE

Red Raider fans should be excited about what they've heard about the Tech defensive line. Tomorrow the d-line should be able to back up the hype.

It is the rags to riches story for Tech entering the 2011 season. Last season's defensive line issues would have crippled any team and it certainly hurt Tech on the scoreboard last season.

With guys like Leon Mackey, Dennell Wesley and Delvon Simmons joining a line that could have been good barring the injuries, the Red Raiders' defensive front could be a problem for anyone in the Big 12 Conference and certainly a major issue for Texas State.

RONNIE DANIELS AND BRADLEY MARQUEZ CAN START LEGACIES

Running back Ronnie Daniels and wide receiver Bradley Marquez have the best chances of making a name for themselves in their first college game.

Daniels enrolled early and impressed all the way through the spring game, did the summer workouts and picked up where he left off on the gridiron during the August practices. Expect Daniels quickly start establishing himself as an every down back --much like Eric Stephens but with more of a power running aspect.
Marquez, meanwhile, impressed the coaching staff so quickly into fall camp he quickly started getting reps with the starting offense and he will split time with Darrin Moore at the Z receiver position today.

Marquez already might be the best route adjuster on the roster.

Look for the two freshmen to make some plays today.

HOW DOES THE SECONDARY LOOK?

Texas Tech's secondary was among the worst in the country a year ago but a lot of factors went into that.

Aside from a completely run down defensive line that struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, there was a lot of youth in the secondary. There still is a lot of youth but it has a season of experience under its belt.

Pay attention to the secondary and watch for improvement.

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