Football

Texas Tech Football Notebook: Wells, Patterson and Yost Discuss Freshmen Stepping Up

Freshmen stepping up.

Spent the evening going through the press conferences so that’s how I spent my blogging time last night and this morning. A couple of non-press conference items is that the TCU game next weekend will be at 2:30 p.m. This highlight package was fun. Some before the game stuff that was fun and post-game stuff that was fun.

Head coach Matt Wells

* Win was good and tough for the players. Offensive line was the player of the game. Accountability off the field, including food and nutrition. Showed up at the end of the game and to get off the field on 3rd downs, that’s where toughness shined through. Converted when we had done that before. Making progress and a step in the right direction. The punt team inside the 15-yard line and McNamara punts it 87 yards and may never see that again. Flips the field.

* Injury Updates: 10 of top 44 guys were out, plus running backs were hurt. Hopeful that SaRodorick Thompson and Xavier White will be available and will know more later this week. Seth Collins had a fracture to the top of his shoulder and is out for the season. Hopeful we’ll have a decent amount of them back this week.

* Have briefly talked about and leaning towards coming back. Seth has had unfortunate circumstances and he’s a mentally tough guy and battles through and cares about Texas Tech and want to see him have a full season.

* T.J. Vasher, don’t see him being out long-term.

* Will go inside today and indoor and that’s typical Monday practice. Always go indoor on Mondays and see how it goes tomorrow.

* Rattler has sick arm talent and he flips his wrist and the ball flies. He moves well in the pocket and has big-time arm talent.

* Lined up to a tight bunch set correctly and taking things from a walk through, including the forced fumble. The offensive line did things that we haven’t done late in the Kansas State game and getting off the field. Adrian Frye made big catches in the wind.

* Henry stepped up and Erik had big catches, the 4th and 10 was big and the other one in the north end of the end zone. Miles Price. Dawson Deaton, Caleb Rogers. Tahj Brooks running in the 4th quarter. Demarcus Fields has played well, Leggett was steady. Schooler played his best game. Riko is a warrior.

* Eli Howard may be a byproduct of his condition, he can go hard and plays the game the way it is meant to be played. The sack was a huge play.

* Colombi needs to stack success.

* Not deep into preparations thus far, but Rattler is a confident quarterback and throws deep balls really well and calls an aggressive game.

* Covid-free, they would still play a lot. They all have a good look in their eye. Are they handling school well and are they in the meeting room, these guys are doing a nice job and they’ve handled it well.

* Austin is level-headed and mature and he’s taken a good step. In the 4th quarter against the wind he drove and battled through it. Proud of him and the punt team, they had a better day.

* 4th and 10 at the 33 yard line, was going to be a 45 yarder into the wind and that’s why. Didn’t want to do it into the wind, maybe would have been out of his range.

* Can’t have may 3 and outs and we shoot for 1 in a game, had we had 2 or 3 more, it strains the defense more. 8 starters on defense start on punts. Needed to stay on the field on offense, our offense wasn’t 3 and outs and key for the offense not to be like that.

* Focus is on pre-snap and reducing pre-snap penalties. And completely eliminating post-whistle, only had 1 last year and none this year. Work on tackling every Tuesday and Wednesday. Was huge.

Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson

* He would come from our 7-on-7’s, very talented with his arm and can make plays with his feet and has talented players around him.

* Just getting more comfortable for Schooler. He’s playing well.

* We’re trying to stay old on defense and have players that have maturity and a physical presence. Schooler caused the fumble and it looked like to me that he punched it out.

* Got a bit loose after the sudden changes on the run defense. We can get wobbly, but then we have stretches where we have 5 possessions where West Virginia didn’t do anything. Have to elevate focus when there is adversity.

* We did a nice job of keeping guys fresh, early in the game, but liked the play Eli made running down the running back and the sack, and we kept the players fresher. Using Tyree Wilson and Devin Drew, along with Philip Blidi backing up.

* Demarcus Fields, played his best game of the year, intercepted the ball at the end of the game. Can play zone and run support.

* Alex Hogan is about consistency, the big thing earlier in the week. Challenged all of our players. We can finish, it just takes an elevated focus.

* Troy Te’o is a walk-on and caught my eye with his explosiveness and strength. Continues to develop.

* Mims, Rambo, and the tight end are match-up problems. They are all explosive athletic players and with Spencer having the ability to make plays with his feet, just started studying Oklahoma and will focus on how to coral them.

Offensive Coordinator David Yost.

* Polk, Loic, and Holcomb, Rogers, those freshmen are key contributors and doing a tremendous job and still making mistakes. But just have to keep improving.

* It was a good start, there are things that Colombi can get better at and him watching it on his own and sees things he can improve upon. On the 4th and 10 he attacked the cover 3 they had on that play, he had a clean pocket and an open throwing window.

* Oklahoma is fast and physical, they do a lot of movement up front, they have a lot of experience in the secondary. We have to attack them with our tempo or with our calls and need to set the tone and pace from the beginning.

* A lot of people saw Tahj Brooks as a bigger back, but we saw him as a side-to-side cut back, his ability to make guys miss in space with a lateral cut movement. We thought he had that and have expected him to do that. He finishes the run as well and does well with protections.

* Really at that point, I don’t know if the idea of freshmen skill players came up. Tried to go back to the things that Colombi does well. Not play to the strength of their defense. Got away from the play action stuff, so was into quick game mode and getting the ball out of his hand at a high rate and if he doesn’t like it, he gets positive yards. We told Tahj that he can’t get tired or injured. Holcomb and Koontz did a good job of blocking and the line did a good job of straining and negate the WVU defensive line.

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