Texas Tech Football Notebook: Le’Raven Clark and Jah’Shawn Johnson Talk Oklahoma

Post Practice Interviews. You almost never see Le’Raven Clark speak, but he was made available after practice yesterday (and you would think that he wouldn’t be made available if he wasn’t going to play) and here’s the video of Clark and S Jah’Shawn Johnson. The entire media wasn’t there for Clark and Johnson, just Adam Doyle, the new reporter for Texas Tech:

And up next is head coach Kliff Kingsbury, where you can read most of the information in both of the notebooks. The one thing that didn’t make the notebooks is that Derrick Dixon is getting closer to returning and no real update on Jalen Barnes. Their absence has been odd.

Notebook I: Texas Tech Defense Looks to Pressure Mayfield. LAJ’s Don Williams has a notebook of all sorts of things:

  • Defensive coordinator David Gibbs said that his goal is to try to turnover the offense:

    “Our goal, like I said from day one, is to give our offense the ball back with a chance to win the game at the end,” Gibbs said. “We did that. I don’t care who we play. I don’t care what the score is. That’s our job. I felt like we did that. Got some turnovers. That was positive.”

  • LB D’Vonta Hinton got the start on Saturday and Gibbs said that Hinton is a Big 12 linebacker.
  • LB Kris Williams has been moved to defensive end to get some more playing time and Mike Smith wants another end on the line.
  • Eric Morris talked about how Oklahoma CB Zach Sanchez is a player to watch, especially after being named the defensive Big 12 player of the week last week.
  • Offensive line coach Lee Hays is not happy. Not happy at all.

    “I want to give Kansas credit,” Hays said. “I thought they did a good job up front. I thought their DC did a heck of a job, and I thought their kids were ready to play and got after mine. There was some effort, but the assignment football wasn’t where it needs to be.”

Notebook II: Texas Tech-Oklahoma Connections. LAJ’s Don Williams and Nicholas Talbot have the second notebook for the day (the first one was from Tuesday):

  • Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he’s not as close to Lincoln Riley, but is close to offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons:

    “I don’t know Lincoln as well as Bill and Dennis, but very close with those guys,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m happy to see their success. They were always great to me when I was a player here, Bill and Dennis, and they’ve remained friends. Lincoln was after me a little bit, but I’ve followed his career and he’s done a tremendous job.”

  • Kingsbury said that LT Le’Raven Clark is “doing OK”, which I take as a good sign, IR Johnathan Giles tweaked his knee, nothing major, and has been limited, and WR Devin Lauderdale is fully healthy.
  • RT Baylen Brown said that it doesn’t matter if he is on the riht or left side, but the offensive line needs to do a better job of communicating.

Johnson in the Right Spot. LAJ’s Nicholas Talbot writes that S Jah’Shawn Johnson has been in the exact right spot last week against Kansas and it brought him back to having the ball in his hands in high school:

“I kind of had a flashback to high school when I used to have the ball in my hands,” Johnson said Monday. “But, there was a lot of good blocking from my teammates to lead me there.

“It was very exciting. I like carrying the ball. I did some great things in high school with it in my hands. It was great to have that chance again.”

Sports on Earth’s Second Team All-American. Sports on Earth’s Matt Brown has LT Le’Raven Clark on the second team All-American team and he also has Texas Tech at #39 midway through the year.

You Guys and Gals are Hilarious. Yep, these are your comments and a perfect re-telling of the Kansas game.

Texas Tech and Oklahoma State to Kickoff at 2:30. Adjust your palm pilots and day runners accordingly.

Texas Tech on the Rise. ESPN’s Brandon Chatmon writes about the first half of the Big 12 football season and noted Texas Tech has exceeded expectations thus far:

Mahomes has been the key, transforming the offense (and entire team) with his ability to make big plays and maturity beyond his years. Another key has been Tech’s turnaround in turnovers with a plus-6 margin through seven games after a minus-13 in 2013 and minus-14 in 2014 during Kingsbury’s first two seasons. It looks like Kingsbury has gotten things back on the right track.

Conference of Quarterbacks. ESPN’s Max Olson writes that the Big 12 is a conference of good quarterbacks and the youngest of the bunch is Patrick Mahomes:

The same can be said of Patrick Mahomes, who has accounted for 2,852 total yards and 26 scores and elevated Texas Tech’s offense to another level as a true sophomore. He has evoked Johnny Manziel comparisons from Big 12 coaches for his ability to extend, escape and exploit defenses under pressure.

By QBR standards, Russell, Boykin and Mahomes are enjoying three of the top 10 seasons by a Big 12 quarterback in the past decade. They’re operating the top three scoring offenses in college football too.

Midseason Report. DMN’s Michael DuPont has his midseason report for Texas Tech:

Postseason prediction: 8-4, 5-4 Big 12, Russell Athletic Bowl appearance

The Red Raiders have a fairly difficult schedule ahead with no bye week until after they host Kansas State. Matchups with undefeated Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will test Texas Tech’s intestinal fortitude and a victory against either program will begin positioning the Red Raiders nicely for postseason play. Tech’s final three contests against West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas will present the Red Raiders with opportunities to mirror last season’s 4-8 outcome. For the Red Raiders to appear in the Russell Athletic Bowl, both TCU and Baylor would need to appear in the College Football Playoff.

There’s more there, so go check it out.

We’re All but Done With This. LAJ’s Nicholas Talbot writes about the Kliff Kingsbury and Baker Mayfield situation, as it appears that Kingsbury and Mayfield have both moved on (although Mayfield’s father called Kingsbury a punk in the summer according to Talbot):

“That happened two years ago, really, 21 months, something like that,” Kingsbury said before switching the questions direction almost immediately. “It’s two good football teams. I don’t want to take away from that based on that story line. So I’m excited to watch those two teams go at it.”

However, Kingsbury wouldn’t say the players had the same opinion.

“I’m not sure. They’re all buddies. Any time you play your former teammates, former coaches, you’re going to be excited on both sides,” the Tech coach said. “I don’t know how much motivation that will be, but I’m sure they’ll all be fired up to go against each other.”

Miscellaneous. SI has their mid-season bowl projections and has Texas Tech playing in the Cactus Bowl against Cal . . . LGG’s Chris Ross with the good, bad and ugly of week 7 in the Big 12 . . . also from LGG are the weekly Big 12 quarterback rankings . . . LGG’s Grant Thome with episode 3 of The Grant Application podcast . . . the DMN Big 12 power rankings . . .

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