September 19, 2011

Tech ready to get back to work

The 36-hour rule was invoked Monday during Texas Tech football's media luncheon.

The Red Raiders had a day and a half to feel good about New Mexico, but head coach Tommy Tuberville said the Red Raiders were far from perfect in their 59-13 defeat of a struggling Lobo team.

Sometimes, a coach's job is to take off the rose-colored glasses for their players.

"If you play good like we did on offense, that's not going to carry over to the next game," Tuberville said. "Different defense to face, different type of personnel, different type of schemes. If you ever think you've gotten to the Promised Land, it's only a short trip to the next game, you find out pretty quick, you feel good about yourself, and things won't happen quite as easy. So, again, it all starts with being able to run the ball a little bit better. Offensive line protecting. If that happens, we do have good receivers."

There are also concerns on defense.

Tuberville said the offense is "here" holding his hand at about shoulder height and the defense is "down here", moving his hand down to about the middle of his ribs. The defense must make an improvement to take on Nevada, the inventors of the pistol offense the Red Raiders now sometimes try to emulate.

But there were things Tuberville liked.

For the second time in two games, Tech buried its opponent and the Red Raiders started putting it on New Mexico from the opening drive rather than late in the first half against Texas State two weeks ago.

The 2010 team struggled in that department all season long.

"We played a good game," the head coach said. "Obviously we had the best team. We had a chance to play good. The great thing about it is we took advantage of that. We didn't go out and kick it around… last year we had it going pretty good for us against New Mexico in the first half. Had a couple of touchdowns lead. All of a sudden they score twice right before we go in. They're back in the game. This time that didn't happen. When we came back out, we took advantage of our opportunities."

Tech took advantages of its opportunities alright.

On the way to the 59-13 victory, Seth Doege took over the NCAA record for the highest completion percentage in history for a quarterback throwing 40 or more completions in a game. He finished the game completing 40-of-44 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns.

Receiver Darrin Moore had another over-100-yard receiving day and running back Eric Stephens had 157 all-purpose yards on top of minor accomplishments across the field.

Doege said it's time to forget about those things.

"We want to execute a game plan every week just like we did against New Mexico. And it may not happen just like that. But now we know how it feels to where when we're in a rhythm and when everybody's doing their job and when everybody's focused and everybody's playing hard, now we know what it feels like and what can happen if we all do our job. So I think it was a good thing that we did field that so now we know what expectations are and how good we can be when all those things come together."

The consensus is Tech played good for a team playing its second game. But good teams will continue to improve and the Red Raiders want to be one of those teams.

"We want to execute every game as we did last Saturday," Doege said. "But the thing is we gotta get better every week, because every week everybody in the nation's getting better. And if we don't get better this week, then we're going to have a hard time executing our game plan. So we want to concentrate on every day going to practice and learning (Nevada's) scheme and trying to execute a game plan."

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