Capt. Mike "No-Beard" Leach will bring his Looters of Lubbock down to Austin this Saturday for what many fans are calling a revenge game. With revenge games, come the possibility of having the ESPN Gameday crew grace us with our presence. Due to the lack of any other games of national significance, we get a chance to see Lee Corso have an aneurysm on national TV. Sweet.
With the ESPN 'Crew coming up to Austin, I would imagine the hype will get jacked up and I damn want to hear our fans turning the dial to 11 in the DKR. Game starts at 7pm, which gives us all-day tailgaters more of a chance to become more inebriated, which needs to be a game-day ritual for all. Even if you don't drink. Do it. Or at least be like a Lubbock girl and fake it. We trade in Erin Andrews for a Lisa Salty-nips, which is just exhillarating. There goes our media coverage. Thats a traveshamockery!
I do not want this to be a game that we see as a revenge-type atmosphere. Revenge isn't the key word. Something awful happened last year and we're not out just to get revenge. This is about annihilation. Its about taking back what is rightfully ours. This year, what we will have at DKR, is an Execution! I want a courtroom-style Boondock Saints type of ass-kicking, with everyone there to see and take note. Pirates of Lubbock...now you shall receive us!
The previews of this Saturday's game will be in 3 installments. After the jump we will look at the Offensive Skill Positions for the Raiders with looks at The Trenches tomorrow, and the Defensive Back 7 plus their not-so-special teams on Wednesday. Enjoy.
2008: THE BEST TEAM EVER. (Ole Miss begs to differ)
The Pirate Preview begins with a quick synopsis of last years' squad, which Techies refer to the best team ever in Lubbock. Tech had the early preseason hype in 2008, and actually backed it up, until the end of November in Norman. They took down our beloved Longhorns on a last second TD pass that we as Horns will never forget. I'm going to plead with y'all that we do NOT play the drinking game every time ESPN shows a clip of that play. We will be drunk before the end of ESPN Gameday. May that clip forever burn in hell!
While Tech did beat us at home, they got thrashed in Norman, barely squeaked out a win against Baylor in Lubbock and got embarrased by Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. For 2009, the outlook doesn't look nearly as bright as 2008's season promised. Tech lost key players either to the draft, free agency, or to law enforcement institutions. Folks like Crabtree, Harrell, McBath, Charbonnet, Vasquez, Williams, Woods are gone to greener pastures. Dixon is pulling a Billy Madison and is going back to the 3rd grade where he was tabbed "Most Likely to Knock up Mrs. Vaughn". Good for him! When he's not in school, he works part time taking away people's Miller High Life. (Thnx HJ)
Ostrich? Thats not a burger, that's a bird.
REPLACING GRAHAM "CRACKER-UNDER-PRESSURE" HARRELL: Cpt Leach's New 1st Mate.
Meet, Taylor Potts.
Nobody makes me bleed my own blood...nobody.
Taylor Potts is a 6-5, 218 lbs, JR from Abilene, TX and is the next system QB to play in Lubbock under Leach. He possesses actual potential to play one day in the NFL which is a first for Leach QB's. He has a very live arm and has been in the system long enough to know it by heart. His main weakness is mobility and obviously a lack of starting experience which will be HUGE walking into DKR with 101,000 screaming drunk fans. Expect Potts to make much more throws downfield than Harrell, yet also make many more mistakes (Alliteration bitches!) than Graham. So far this season, he has had one good game and one so-so game. Against paltry N. Dakota State, he threw for 400+ yards and 2 TD's but also threw 3 INTS against an awful NDSU secondary. However he seemed to bounce back last Saturday against Rice, throwing for 400+ yards and SEVEN touchdowns without a single pick. Even though it was against Rice and his receivers did most of the damage with their YAC, its still a nice stat.
The Projected Top-Backup QB should be 6-4, 175 lbs JR, Steven Sheffield. He gets most mop up duties and has been the number 3 QB for the past 2 seasons. He doesn't posess the tools Potts has, but knows the system in and out. After Sheffield, there are about 21 other QB's on scholarship. Worse comes to worse, they can grab a Tech Cheerleader and put her in pads. In Leach's system she would pass for 40+ TDs. What a stud!
Grade: B+. Potts is legit. His experience isn't. However, that has never stopped a Tech QB from tearing up the scoreboard before. The key to Tech winning games this year is going to be keeping him healthy. Their O-Line must do a better job of keeping Taliban Taylor off the grass, or Tech's season could easily go down the drain as Sheffield is nowhere near as polished as Potts.
LACK NEED OF A RUNNING GAME: Who prevails?
The Texas Tech running game has been a downfall for them for many seasons in the past. Last year however, they seemed to find a duo of backs that kept the LB's and Safeties in check opening up passing lanes. Even though they could only muster out an average of 114 yards a game, it was enough to get the job done. This year so far... not so much. Baron Batch is the returning ball carrier and was expected to be a pile mover for Tech. Baron Batch, a 5-11, 205 lbs Jr has dealt with injuries and a lack of consistency to start off the season against two very poor tackling teams in NDSU and Rice. In 2 games he only has 42 yards, averaging only a meager 3.1 yards a carry. His backups are Harrison Jeffers and Eric Stephens. Jeffers and Stephens are described as "electric" by Double T Nation, however, as electric as they may be...Tech is only gaining 92 yards in 2 games on 33 carries. And I thought we were had issues. More like a blown fuse.
Grade: C-. Texas Tech RB's actually have quickness on their side, as both Batch and Jeffers are 4.4 type guys, however their offensive system holds back their abilities. Still, Leach needs to let his guys run more and open up lanes in the passing game by keeping the Defense in check. Averaging less than 50 yards a game is not the way to do that. Tech then becomes one-dimensional and therefore MUCH easier to beat. Expect Texas to play this to our advantage and have one DE play contain and shadow the RB.
THE BALL-CATCHERS OF LUBBOCK--Re-planting the Crab Tree? Keep dreaming in your head boys.
Top WR Detron Lewis left Saturday's game against Rice with an un-disclosed leg injury. His status is unknown as Leach does not reveal any of his Bucs' secrets out the the press.
Tech has to replace all-world WR Michael Crabtree and his dimunitive little Elf, Eric Morris. In all reality is doesn't matter who else is on the field because both losses are quite key. Crabtree doesnt need an introduction nor an example of why he would be needed on the field tomorrow. We KNOW that. But losing Eric Morris can prove to be a problem as the little elf was quite the safety valve for Tech last year. People are expecting contributions from everywhere on the offense but no one has stepped up and taken the trust of Osama Bin Lubbock just yet.
Most likely to start, assuming Detron Lewis will play, will be:
-Ed Britton 6-0, 175 lbs SR
-Alex Torres 6-2 195 lbs rFR
-Detron Lewis 6-0 210 lbs JR
-Adam James 6-3 215 lbs SO
-Tramain Swindell 6-2 175 lbs SO
-Lyle Leong 6-1 165 lbs JR
-Corndog Douglas 5-9 193 FR
---and about 12 other guys who can catch a ball thrown 4 yards. Thats right, starting 7 Wideouts. Who needs an O-Line?
Yes...Corndog Douglas. Awesome
Layin on the mustard baby!
Grade: B+. Guys, this is Tech. You know they can throw and catch balls all day long and enjoy it thoroughly, but without Crabtree someone has to step up. I expect our defense, especially our secondary, to have learned ALOt from last years' game in Lubbock and will use this to our advantage. Its not like Tech has a size mis-match against us. We can handle them and we certainly will.
Tomorrow I'll take a look at the Offensive and Defensive linemen for Tech. Until then, Adios and Hook em!