September 20, 2011

Notebook: Tech shows discipline

The 2011 Texas Tech football team took another step in showing head coach Tommy Tuberville its an improved team for a year ago.

It appears the head coach's message about forgetting the New Mexico win last Saturday reached home and Tech responded with a good Tuesday practice.

"I thought it was a good day considering where we're at," Tuberville said. "A lot of times after wins on Tuesdays we drag around a little bit but I think we understand the sense of urgency. We're still a work in progress and still have a lot of guys trying to feel their way around not just in how to play but also in how to practice."

Nevada (1-1) does some things that Tech feels threatened by and the consensus is the Wolf Pack will be the best team the Red Raiders have faced up to this point in the season.

For starters, Nevada head coach Chris Ault is credited with inventing the pistol offense, a hybrid formation combining the shotgun with the single back offense. It's an offense that is becoming increasingly popular. The idea is there's enough space between the quarterback and the defensive front to evade a pass rush and it gives the running back a running start on a handoff.

The scheme has become a popular one across the nation at all levels of the game. Even Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown uses elements of the pistol formation.

Tech also is concerned about Nevada's foot speed.

"We'll get better execution (against the pistol) just because we've seen it since spring practice," Tuberville said. "They run some variations off of it. They're not just a pistol team. They're a lot like us, multiple.

"So you've got to be able to adjust to it and know you've got to play better each day and each week."

Things get tougher for the Red Raiders after Nevada. Tech opens up Big 12 Conference play against Kansas (2-1) in Lawrence, Kan., the game after Nevada and although the Jayhawks got steamrolled by Georgia Tech the team has two weeks to prep for the Red Raiders.

Tuberville said the key to this week is getting closer to perfecting technique. It's a work in progress that has to coincide with prepping for opposing teams now that Tech is past its lone bye week.

If Tech can continue to improve, it should be able to handle Nevada on Saturday night.

"We played well against (New Mexico)," Tuberville said. "But as I tell them, you're only as good as you're playing, not how you played last week. We've gotta get a lot better before we get to Saturday. We're play a lot better of a team and it's only going to get tougher as we go."

Bullitt: Nevada offense isn't tough to figure out

Nevada's pistol offense was once viewed as unorthodox and it's still a foreign concept for some schools, but safety Terrance Bullitt said it's not going to be difficult to read.

It's an offense Tech experimented with a lot this past spring and consequently the Red Raider defense got experience working against it. They know the reads.

"Coach Chad Glasgow and his staff do a really good job setting up the scout team," Bullitt said. "Coach Glasgow is a heck of a coach and he's giving us good lessons so I feel like we'll have a good Saturday."

Bullitt added the elements of the pistol that Tech doesn't employ will easily be learned in the film sessions. Each offense the Red Raider defense faces has its own wrinkles.

"It's not going to be complicated," Bullitt said. "We just have to get in the film room. It's a new week. I mean each week is going to be different. New assignments and we just have to get it down."

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