Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Texas Tech prepares for life after Leach

New coach Tommy Tuberville implementing fast-paced 'NASCAR' offense

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, top, answers questions during a radio interview at the Big 12 Football media days on Tuesday in Irving, Texas.

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, top, answers questions during a radio interview at the Big 12 Football media days on Tuesday in Irving, Texas.


Note: This story is part of the 2010-11 KU football preview section that will appear in Saturday's Journal-World. Check back to throughout the week for a breakdown of each Big 12 team, including an in-depth look at KU's offense, defense and non-conference schedule.

Texas Tech’s reputation for being a pass-loving offense isn’t likely to change in 2010, even under new coach Tommy Tuberville.

“We’ll put our stamp on it, but we’re going to throw the ball around,” Tuberville said. “We’re going to throw it deep, and we’re going to be very fast. We’re going to be different, but, again, we’re going to be explosive.

“We’ll run the ball a little bit more. That will be the difference.”

Tuberville — replacing Mike Leach, who was fired last season after 10 years as head coach at Tech — said his optimal split would be 60 percent passes and 40 percent runs. Or even 65 percent passes and 35 percent runs.

He promised this, though: The Red Raiders would never be afraid to put the ball in the air.

“If we get into a game and find a team that can’t cover anybody, we’re going to throw it 100 (percent),” Tuberville said. “We’re going to throw it as many as we can. ... I think we can win games throwing the ball almost every down this year at Tech with the receivers and quarterbacks that we have.”

At quarterback, Tuberville will have to choose between seniors Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield.

Potts played in 11 games for Tech last season, throwing for 3,440 yards and 22 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.

Sheffield threw for 1,219 yards and 14 touchdowns with four interceptions in six games.

“I haven’t been around two quarterbacks like this in a long time,” Tuberville said. “They’re both very, very good athletically.”

Tuberville already has announced that he will not rotate quarterbacks, meaning one will win the full-time position in fall practices.

Both quarterbacks are coming off injuries. Sheffield broke a foot last year, then re-injured the same foot in spring practices. Potts, who has battled concussions, broke a finger in spring practices.

Tuberville said both were healthy for the start of fall practices.

Tech also boasts some of the best receiver depth in the conference. Senior Detron Lewis (65 receptions, 844 yards in 2009) and sophomore Alex Torres (67 receptions, 806 yards) both return, while senior Lyle Leong and junior Tramain Swindall also combined for 100 receptions and more than 1,200 receiving yards as third and fourth options.

In addition, the Red Raiders bring back senior Baron Batch, who led the Big 12 with 14 rushing touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

As crazy as it sounds, Tech’s offensive statistics might actually increase in 2010. Tuberville has installed the new “NASCAR” offense — a fast-break philosophy, which has the goal of running 100 offensive plays each game.

Defensively, the Red Raiders will be led by senior linebacker Brian Duncan and senior defensive lineman Colby Whitlock. Duncan led the team with 88 tackles last season, while Whitlock has been named All-Big 12 honorable mention each of his three seasons.

Tuberville already has the Tech players dreaming big.

“The first thing he told us was he was trying to win a Big 12 championship," Sheffield said. "That was something that never was brought up before."


sevenyearhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

“The first thing he told us was he was trying to win a Big 12 championship" ...

I'm quite sure they and Coach Tuberville will.

Anyone that can go undefeated in the SEC and win a few division titles has amazing credentials and experience.

This could be a situation very similar to Jon Gruden at Tampa Bay ...

Coach Dungy developed a great defense, but could never get them over the hump with offense. - Gruden was the "mastermind" who led them to a Super Bowl win.

Tech still has the "Air Raid" mentality, and now they've brought in a guy who knows defense - keep a very close eye on developments in Lubbock ...

11 years, 2 months ago

Gruden is also the "mastermind" who led TB to the crap team that they are now...

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Well, part of that was him bumping heads with then GM Rich McKay and bringing in "his guy" to rubberstamp everything he did ...

You know, kinda like Bob Frederick and Roy Williams.

Also, the Glazers are too distracted with Manchester United to be focused on the Bucs.

They're about as inept as David Glass, except they have money and are willing to spend it.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I personally think Tuberville is going to fail badly. Unlike his stops at Ole Miss and Auburn, kids don't grow up dreaming of playing for Texas Tech. Lubbock is a tough place to recruit to and don't forget that Leach was the offensive coordinator when they were scoring ridiculous amounts of points through the passing game. Tuberville had a couple of good years but you have to believe something was amiss when he couldn;t get interviews anywhere the past few years.

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I bet Coach Tuberville finishes with a better record than Gill ...

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Tech starts with SMU, then a trip to New Mexico ... we'll learn a LOT on Sept. 18th when Texas travels to Lubbock ...

Then they don't play another non-con game until Weber State and Houston on Nov. 20th and 27th.

They also have a neutral site game against Baylor in Dallas on Oct. 9th

Finally, Mizzou visits Lubbock on Nov. 6th ...

Tech visits Ames, Boulder, College Station and Norman this year.

I've been there, by Greyhound Bus, it really is the middle of nowhere!

TXRedRaider 11 years, 2 months ago

I only activated an account to refute the statements made by jaminrawk...Growing up in the state of Texas and partaking in one of our most valued traditions (high school football) I can say with plenty of confidence that many kids DO dream of playing for Texas Tech. Especially at positions like WR, QB, and OL, this is without a doubt the reason we've landed players such as Graham Harrel, Michael Crabtree, Wes Welker, etc. Kids from the fields of west Texas to the leagues in Dallas do want their chance to light up our Double T scoreboard, to say otherwise is quite frankly BS. Infact we just snagged two brothers who were committed to and redshirted at Virginia Tech. Aswell as a stellar receiver from out in Florida. Not to mention the top quarterback in the state of Texas (who took the reigns after yall's Reesing graduated). I am not arguing that the next few years could turnout difficult for us Red Raider faithful (seeing as though we are in the midst of a huge transition) but one thing must be remembered; we are returning more than half of our starters from last year! Anyways now that Nebraska and Colorado have bolted (cowards), we will have the opportunity to play eachother every year and I must say I have always enjoyed jayhawk fans. Yall are good people! Good luck with yall's season! Wreck Em Tech!

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