Tech vows no more complacency

Saturday, October 31, 2009

There’s been a lot of “fat little girlfriend” talk out of Lubbock, Texas, this week.

In case you missed it, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach insinuated last week that his team’s 52-30 home loss to Texas A&M was due at least in part to his players’ “fat little girlfriends,” who apparently had spent the previous week telling their beaus how great they were and thus created a sense of complacency among members of the Red Raiders football team.

Lost in the fervor over Leach’s colorful choice of words, however, was the implication — warranted, team members admitted —that Tech’s players allowed outside distractions to become an issue entering a game against an underdog A&M team.

“When it came game day, there was just something you didn’t see in our guys’ eyes,” Red Raiders linebacker Bront Bird said. “I think we were excited to win the game, but we weren’t really excited to play the game.”

Entering today’s 2:30 p.m. matchup with Kansas University, meanwhile, the focus is on making sure the recent lack of concentration doesn’t repeat itself.

The Red Raiders (5-3 overall, 2-2 in the Big 12) will host a Jayhawks team coming of consecutive losses and a team they easily dispatched, 63-21, in Lawrence last season. Even with three losses and an uncertain quarterback situation, the Red Raiders will be significant favorites when the teams take the field today in Lubbock — meaning the game should provide a prime opportunity to display just how much they’ve learned from last week’s fiasco.

“That’s one thing, this week, that we’re definitely going to take control over,” said receiver Alex Torres, who has caught 41 passes for 481 yards this season. “During meetings, during practice, that’s one thing we’re going to be able to control. I think I speak for everybody on the team when I say we’re not going to let it happen to us again.”

Last week’s problems, players said, were numerous.

Players worried about what they were doing after the game. Players compared scores to determine how they’d fare against the Aggies. There was a severe lack of execution against a team that, on paper, Tech should have had no trouble against.

And the result was one of the ugliest Red Raiders losses in recent memory, one that dropped the team from the Top 25 and, assuming No. 3 Texas keeps rolling, likely cost them a chance at the Big 12 South title.

The good news, they insist, is that they’ve gotten it out of their system.

“I think we learned our lesson last week,” Bird said. “We can’t look at anything about what anyone’s done. It’s the Big 12. Anyone can beat anyone. They’re all talented.

“The way we got our teeth kicked in this last week,” he added, “we’ve got to come in here and have our mind right.”