The Texas Tech football squad is back in action after its Week 2 bye.
Offensive coordinator Neal Brown said the Red Raiders worked hard during the past week on improving things they should have done better in the 50-10 win against Texas State on Sept. 3, but it all comes down to playing looser.
A game Saturday against New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., should help in that department.
"We really worked on our tempo," Brown said. "I thought we could have played faster than we did especially early in the game against Texas State… We were so tight early and unconsciously playing slower than we do. In the second half, especially in the third quarter, but it's always on (Seth) Doege and (Terry) McDaniel.
"The center and the quarterback always control the tempo and I think you'll see a considerably better tempo. I think our guys will play loose. Positive energy and playing loose, not worrying about making mistakes early in the game."
Brown added playing the season-opener at Jones AT&T Stadium could have been the reason Tech played timidly in the first half. He suggested maybe the players wanted to impress their fans.
"Our guys tend to play a little bit looser on the road for whatever reason," Brown said. "I noticed that last year. I think they want to play for their home fans so much that and our fans expect explosive offenses, that's what our kids expect and what we demand. But I think sometimes they put too much pressure on themselves to make too much happen early.
"You only can play one play, you can't score a touchdown every play. It's never happened. So they've just got to kind of relax, let the game come to them and I think they'll have a little bit better perspective on the road."
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO
Brown and defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow talked about what they expect to see out of New Mexico on Saturday afternoon.
Both coaches expect the Lobos to go all out on their regional rival, especially considering a 52-3 loss against Arkansas set New Mexico back to a 0-2 record.
"I think they'll be aggressive early," Brown said. "They're playing at home, they've had some adversity. I think they'll play with more confidence against us than they did against Arkansas just because of the fact we're a yearly opponent and they've had some success against us. They'll be able to turn on the film from the last two years and feel good about some of the things that they've been able to do.
"Especially early they'll come after us and try to create some turnovers. Our kids better understand they're going to get their best shot and they need to relax. One play at a time."
Glasgow is extremely familiar with New Mexico having spent the past 10 seasons at TCU and a majority of those in the Mountain West Conference where the two teams have been annually paired up.
"Coach (Mike) Locksley has done a good job with their team," Glasgow said on New Mexico's head coach. "They've continued to go out and get more and more speed every year. They've got some receivers that can really run. They're really doing a pretty decent job with running the football. Their quarterback is a good runner and we've got to do a good job with tackling because he can hurt you when he pulls the ball down and tries to run with it."
BROWN TALKS ABOUT LEADERSHIP
The Tech offense has not shown as much leadership as Brown would like to see but it's a double-edged sword sort of thing. According to Brown, leadership is forged through adversity and Tech didn't experience much after the first half of the Texas State game.
There's only been one game for the Red Raiders thus far.
"Leadership is always your best players that have to do that," Brown said. "I feel like we've really got some players who can do that up front. Lonnie Edwards is never going to be a guy that talks a lot, but he's a great example guy. I'd like to see a little bit more leadership from Terry and LaAdrian Waddle, I think they're capable. Mickey (Okafor) is a guy that works extremely hard so he gives us leadership up front.
"We're growing, I don't think they're there yet. But I don't know anybody that has their leadership exactly where they want it in Week 2."