Texas Tech is holding their spring game, today at 3:00 pm at the Star. We’re making all efforts, despite traffic and everything else, to have a Staking The Plains meet-up before the game at around 1:30 (details of location at the link). I’ll be wearing a red STP shirt and will be the guy with two kids running around like they’ve gone mad (because this is what they always do). I can’t wait meet you guys and gals. As previously mentioned, if you are going to the game, the North Dallas Tollway is going to be shut down right before you would get to the Star. Please plan accordingly.
And don’t forget to set your DVR’s if you’re going to the game. The game will be on FOX Sports SW+ and will also be available via the FOX Sports Go app.
Before we get to the fun stuff, I have a bit of bad news. Former Red Raider footballer James Hadnot had a heart attack at his home in Lubbock and passed away Friday morning at the all too young age of 59. Hadnot was a terrific Red Raider, starting out as a tight end (and not catching a ton of passes) in 1976 and 1977, but was moved to running back in 1978 and 1978 where he ran for 1,369 yards and then running for 1,371 as a senior. Hadnot was named the Southwest Conference offensive player of the year in 1978 and 1979. You can read about Hadnot’s switch from tight end to running back from LAJ’s Don Williams. Hadnot said this in that article from Williams:
“Being in Lubbock is better than being in Houston or Dallas,” he said. “I just like it here, ever since I was recruited here as a freshman.”
Hadnot was drafted and played 4 years for the Kansas City Chiefs. Hadnot was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2005.
This is a big loss for the Texas Tech family. Think a good thought for Hadnot and his family. Rest in peace.
LAJ’s Don Williams writes about the trip today, which will entail a 6:30 am bus drive from Lubbock and then another bus drive back after the practice. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs discussed if this game would be a distraction:
Asked if he was concerned about players keeping their heads on straight, Gibbs said, “I am, but I’m also a firm believer I’d rather know the guys that are going to freak out in front of 60,000 people, because you will see the same thing in a small, enclosed space like that.
“Some guys will. You’ll see their true colors come out, and they won’t be able to handle the adversity. But that’s OK. I’d rather know here.”
The exposure is significant, not just from a fanbase standpoint, but also because there will be a ton of recruits coming in to see the product that is Texas Tech. It was reported that there were 50, but honestly, that number is probably bigger than that. Just go look at Emmett Jones’ twitter timeline where I think he’s re-tweeted a handful of players that will be in attendance. And there’s kids coming in from Louisiana as well. This is turning out to be a pretty big deal. A pretty big deal.
ESPN’s Max Olson has three things to watch for in the spring game and here’s the first one:
In their scrimmage last weekend in Midland, Texas, the Red Raiders’ defense put together a nice showing and won the day, forcing three-and-outs on the first four drives of the afternoon and finishing with a 50-36 victory in their spring scoring system. That has to be a good sign of progress, right? We’ve heard good things about Octavious Morgan and the newcomers in Texas Tech’s secondary, and the depth chart is now full of guys who’ve been playing in defensive coordinator David Gibbs’ system for multiple years. It’s certainly time for the Big 12’s worst defense to start making significant progress. A sharp, cohesive performance from that group Saturday would be nice to see.