football

Notebook: All about the option

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TexasTechcruisedtoa44-6season-openingvictoryoverNorthwesternState
Saturday,butthingsaregoingtoheatupthisweekendagainstaTexasState
teamstillflyinghighafterpullingabigroadupsetofHouston.
TheRedRaidersareridingsomemomentumoftheirownfollowingitsdefensive
performanceagainsttheDemons--oneofthemoststatisticallyimpressive
outingsinprogramhistory.ArtKaufman'sunithasnotimetoreston
itslaurels,however,asitwillfaceaBobcatoptionattackthatwillchallenge
theteaminwaysNSUdidn't.
Saturday'sgamewillbeasignofthingstocomeforTech,asotherteamsonits
scheduleincorporatesomeoptionelementsintotheiroffense.
"Itgivesyouanideaofwhatyou'llface,"middlelinebackerWillSmithsaid,referringtotakingonamobilequarterbackinNorthwesternState'sBradHenderson."ButIfeellikethequarterbackatTexasState,ShaunRutherford,ismoreversatile.LikeIsaidearlier,juststayingdisciplinedinwhatyou'reassignedtodo."
Lastseason,theRedRaiderscouldn'tstoptheBobcats'runsthatwentoutsidethetackleveryeffectively,butaddinganextralinebackerintothemixinthenew4-3defensiveschemeasopposedtothe4-2-5schemelastyearshouldhelp
makethatalittleeasier.NorthwesternStatecertainlydidnotgainmanyyardsrollingoutsidethetackles.
Stoppingtheoptionisasmuchaboutbeingintherightpositionasanything
else.Lastyear,theRedRaidersfailedthattaskmoreoftenthannot.
"Wetalkalotaboutknowingwhatyourjobis,"first-yeardefensivecoordinatorArtKaufmansaid."Westressedthatinthespringandthroughfallcampandnow10daysoutwehavetoknowourjob.Youjusthavetofitintothesystem.YouknowwhatyourjobisandIthinkasthe(NorthwesternState)gamewentontheysawthedifferencebetweentheplaysmadeandtheplaysthatweren'tmade."
WhileTexasState'soffenseisdefinitelyground-centric,theytheBobcatswill
stilltakeshotsdownfield.
"They'reanoptionteamandit'sgoingtocomedowntoassignmentfootball,"Kaufmansaid."Everybodyhastomakesuretheytakecareoftheirjob.OurD-tackleswillhavetokeeptheirpadsdown.Theirquarterbackisanexcellentrunner.Whattheydoistheyplayrun,run,run,runandthentheygouptopandhityouwithaplayactionpassorsometypeofpass.Sowe'vegotourworkcutoutforus."
Bullitt'sinjuryisnotserious
LinebackerTerranceBullitt,whoplayedmostoflastseasonwithaninjured
shoulderthateventuallyrequiredsurgeryovertheoffseason,leftSaturday's
gameagainstNSUafterapparentlyinjuringthesameshoulder.
TubervillesaidMondaythatBullitt'sinjurywaslessseverethanfirstthought.
"He'llbefine,"hesaid."He'llpracticethisweek.Nostructuraldamageat
all,sogladtoseethat.Hewantstoplay."
[MoreRRS:
Leveland
DickensbreakdownTech'swinoverNSU]
Withconcernsaboutapotentiallyseriousinjuryalleviated,thesituation
turnedintoateachingmomentforTuberville.
"He'lltellyouhegothimselfinthewrongpositionreachinginsteadofmoving
hisfeet,"Tubervillesaid."Sohegetsanotherchance.Sonowhe'sgotto
becomemoreundercontrol,butit'sfrustratingwhenIfeltlikewejust
couldn'tgetabreak.ButlookslikewegotoneorTerrancegotone."
ThetypeofbalanceTubervillewants?
TheRedRaiderswerebalancedonoffenseagainstNSU,registering46rushing
attemptsfor179yardsand47passattemptsbetweenSethDoegeandMichaelBrewer
thatresultedin321passingyards.
Shouldfansexpectthiskindofbalancemovingforward?Maybenot.TommyTubervilleexpressedinterestingettingDarrinMooreandJavonBell
involvedagainstTexasStatecreatingmorebigplays.
"Weneedtomakemorebigplays,"Tubervillesaid."Wedidn'tdoalotontheoffensethisgame.Wewerealittlebitmoreconservative.WehadtwooffensiveprospectivestartersoutinJavonBellandDarrinMoorewhowillbebackthisweekandaddalittlefirepowertowhatwecando,alittlespeed.
"Butwewentintothatgametryingtobefundamentallyrightandtechnicallyright,doingtherightthings.Notputtingourtwoguardsintoasituationwheretheydidn'tknowwhatwasgoingon.They'remuchfartheralong.Wejustdidthatinprecaution.Wecouldhaveplayedanotherteamthat'sbetter,andIthinktheywouldhavedonejustaswell.Butyoujustgoinandtrytocreateanatmosphereofbeingpositiveandsomethingpositivehappened.Wehad500yards."
Stephenswilleventuallyditchthebrace
Onelastnoteregardingthereturnofrunningback
EricStephens.
Stephenssaidpartofthereasonhedoesn'tlookasfastthisyearisthekneebraceheiswearingonhisleftknee.He'sgoingtotrytopracticewithoutitafewtimesinthenearfutureand
maynotwearitingameslaterthisseason.
[MoreRRS:
PhotosfromtheRedRaiders'openingwin]
"ThebiggestthingwiththekneebraceisIdon'tgetfullflexionsoIcan'treallyrun.,"Stephenssaid."IfeellikeI'mscootingmylegwhenIrun.I'vebeenrunningwithitforacoupleofmonths,soIgotusedtodoit.Ijustwanttogetoffofit,becauseI'mabletorunalittlebetterwithoutit."
Hostileterritory
TheBobcatsandtheirfansareunderstandablyexcitedabouttheirupsetwinagainstHouston.
IthasbeencalledthebiggestwininTexasStatefootballhistory.
Tubervilledidn'tseemthatsurprisedbytheBobcats'success.
"TexasStatehasdoneitright,"hesaid."Theyputmoneyintoit.They'vehiredacoachingstaff,andthey'vehiredacoachthat'sbeenthereanddonethat.They'renotawannabe.They'reputtingtheirmoneywheretheirmouthis,andwe'rewalkingintoatoughsituation.We'llhaveseveralofthosethisyear,andwehavetolearnhowtodoit.Itwillbeagoodexperienceforus."
TechplayersadmittedtheywerealittlesurprisedthatFranchione'steamtopped
UH.
"Youcouldsaythat,"Smithsaid."Youwouldn'tthinkTexasStatewouldcomeoutasstrongastheydid.It'sawake-upcall,butnomatterwhoitis,wehavetocomeoutreadytoplay."
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