The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: February 12th

Softball wins their opener. Men’s tennis to take on North Carolina. Lots of football news, including three players being invited to the NFL Combine.

Softball

Texas Tech Wins, 7-3. The softball team beat UNLV 7-3 late last night.

“I think we never let up,” added Gregory. “We came out and took this game from the beginning and never let up. We were always looking for that extra base, we were always looking to create some pressure. We had kids taking extra bases when they saw balls in the dirt and that is what they are taught to do and that is what they did. When you start to trust your instincts the game gets really fun because all you are doing is putting pressure on constantly.”

Tennis

No. 14 Texas Tech to Take on No. 7 North Carolina. The men’s tennis team is to take on North Carolina in the first round of the ITA National Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Virginia. Texas Tech is undefeated, 10-0 on the year. First-serve is set for 8:00 am this morning:

“The goal is to get to the Round of 16 and beyond for the NCAA’s,” Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. “Most of the time, you don’t know what you’re up against. You may play a few teams in the Top 10 here and there during the season. At this event, we get to go play where all the Top 16 teams are. No matter if we play them or not, we get to sit for three or four days and watch the best teams in the country. We get to see what we’re up against and what we need to do well or do differently. Hopefully, we can go out, play well, play to our ability and show them what we’re made of.” Most recently, Texas Tech dialed up convincing victories over then No. 75 Clemson and Abilene Christian over the last two weekends. The 10-0 start for the Red Raiders is the program’s best dating back to the 2005 season when Tech ripped off 17 consecutive wins to begin that season.

Track & Field

Split Squads in Arkansas and Tennessee. The Texas Tech track and field teams will split up this weekend as they’ll be in Fayetteville for the Tyson Invitational and in Nashville for the Music City Challenge.

Lady Raiders Basketball

Play for Kay. The Lady Raiders whoo host their Play 4 Kay Pink game on Saturday, to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Yow was the former coach at NC State who passed away in 2009 after a 22 year battle with cancer.

Each starter will be introduced at midcourt with a survivor, and the Lady Raiders will wear a new set of pink uniforms on Saturday designed by Under Armour specifically for Texas Tech and the Play 4 Kay game. This will be the sixth consecutive season Tech has worn a special uniform in its Play 4 Kay game. The Lady Raiders have a 3-2 record when wearing the pink colors – including a 56-45 upset over No. 1 Baylor in 2011. These are just two of the ways survivors will be honored on Saturday.

Texas Tech Basketball

Williamson’s Talent. Nice look at the true freshman, C.J. Williamson.

Football

Three Invited to Combine. This is very cool and good, as three Red Raiders have been invited to the NFL Combine, Le’Raven Clark, Branden Jackson and DeAndre Washington. Jakeem Grant didn’t get the call, but there’s still time.

Texas Fires Defensive Backs Coach; Novell to Take Arizona State Job. This is sorta crazy as Charlie Strong is making staff changes, which is always strange to do this after signing day, especially letting guys go. Via Hook Em, Texas has fired their defensive backs coach, Chris Vaughn because of Vaughn’s involvement with Ole Miss from 2008 through 2011:

Orangebloods first reported that Vaughn, a well-liked assistant and considered a standout recruiter, was leaving the school. Horns247 then reported Vaughn’s ties to Ole Miss’ NCAA investigation.

It’s believed NCAA investigators have “a thick file” on Vaughn from his time as an Ole Miss assistant from 2008 to 2011, a UT source told the American-Statesman. The source said Texas officials have no reason to believe Vaughn did anything improper with the Longhorns.

And 24/7 Sports reports that Jay Norvell is likely to take a coaching position at Arizona State now that he’s been somewhat pushed out the door from a play-calling standpoint as Texas hired Sterlin Gilbert to call plays.

That’s three vacant positions for Charlie Strong to fill as I think he also has to fill a running backs position. Meanwhile, Kingsbury said last week that he thought that he would fill the remaining coaching spot this week.

No School for Louisiana? Via the Advocate, the Louisiana financial aid office may not have enough money to fund the spring semester for all of Louisian’s public universities. This affects Texas Tech because Texas Tech plays Louisiana Tech next season. There’s a huge likelihood that Louisiana figures something out, but what a scary situation.

Coaches Confidential. ESPN polled some Big 12 coaches about commits for other programs and there were two parts, favorites and the underrated players. Apparently, Jett Duffey was brought up quite a bit by opposing coaches:

Duffey, a three-star recruit who racked up countless honors as the top player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this season, was praised for his mobility and his arm, and repeatedly was called a “winner” by the recruiters we polled.

“I think he fits what Kliff [Kingsbury] and them do on offense perfectly,” one Big 12 coach said. “He’s kind of a mini-Patrick Mahomes. A little bit more speed, maybe. He’s got instincts and he knows how to move the pieces around on offense. He’s a baller.”

Derrick Willies is also mentioned there and Johnathan Picone is mentioned in the underrated link.

Zach Thomas Talks Education. Very good stuff.

Review Changes Possibly Coming? SI’s Stewart Mandel writes that the NCAA will allow conferences to set up a centralized war room to help officials make decisions regarding replay:

In a teleconference Thursday to discuss seemingly mundane changes to targeting enforcement that the NCAA Football Rules committee approved this week, secretary-rules editor Rogers Redding slipped in the real news. The committee will allow conferences on a one-year trial basis to experiment with a “collaborative” replay system, a la the NFL model, where senior-ranking officials working from a command center in a conference office can assist the often overwhelmed official on site.

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