Texas Tech Football Notebook: 2016 Schedule Released; Thanksgiving Night Opportunity

Texas Tech released the 2016 schedule and head coach Kliff Kingsbury thinks that the Thanksgiving night game is a terrific opportunity.

Be Thankful. This is an amazing piece from Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler, who writes about Chancellor Lee Adams, a young man who “turns 16 years old on Monday, November 16, 2015. Chancellor was delivered 10 weeks early after his mother, Cherica Adams was shot four times in Charlotte, NC. His grandmother and caregiver Saundra Adams speaks to Chancellor’s positive attitude despite suffering from cerebral palsy.” Adams is is the son of Rae Carruth, the former Carolina Panther receiver that shot his mother and is currently in prison.

That is a beautiful smile and his grandmother is a saint.

Texas Tech Releases 2016 Football Schedule. Texas Tech released the 2016 football schedule. You can go to the link for full details. Texas Tech does have a bye after the non-conference portion of the schedule, but then once conference play starts, there’s no break. Texas Tech plays five games in the month of October, three of them are at home (Kansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma) while in the month of November, Texas Tech only plays one game at home, the first game of the month, and then three straight games away from Jones AT&T Stadium, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor (in Arlington).

Behind the Scenes: Taylor A Big Body at Safety; Johnson to Linebacker. LAJ’s Don Williams updates us on S Christian Taylor, who has been playing scout team and defensive backs coach Kevin Curtis says that he’s a big safety that is aggressive:

“He played hard,” defensive backs coach Kevin Curtis said earlier this month. “He’s a big body, would go tackle, be aggressive. He made a lot of plays in the box. And he’s a good young man — a smart young man and mature. Those are all good things that can help your program.”

And LAJ’s Williams also updates on S / LB Jamile Johnson, and linebacker coach Zac Spavital says that if Johnson continues to gain weight, he’s up to 215 to 220, then a move to linebacker could be in his future:

“He’s probably more of an outside guy. To be honest, with spring ball you’ll be able to do some trial-and-error with him on some things and see how he would be in the middle, but just with him being a safety and the outside having some similarities, I think it would be a good start for him if we can get him there.”

Not a Throwing Team. DMN’s Michael DuPont with five things to know about the Longhorns and writes that the Longhorns really don’t like to run the ball, not even a little bit:

Few teams have thrown the ball fewer than Kansas State but Texas is one of them. The Longhorns posses one of Big 12’s more economical passing offenses, completing 55 percent of 208 pass attempts for eight touchdowns on the season. In Texas’ last five games, the Longhorns have totaled 24 more passing yards (700) than Patrick Mahomes in his last two starts (676). This isn’t an offense looking to catch you by surprise. Jerrod Heard has attempted 152 passes in 10 appearances this season but the freshman has accounted for 557 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns on 132 carries.

Big Opportunity. LAJ’s Don Williams notes that Texas Tech is willing to give up it’s Thanksgiving Day holiday for the opportunity to play on Thursday night

“I think it sets a unique opportunity to play on Thanksgiving night in front of the entire country at a place you haven’t won in a long time,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “If you can’t get up for that after having an extended period off, you’re probably in the wrong sport.”

Grant Chasing Crabtree. LAJ’s Don Williams writes that IR Jakeem Grant is chasing history, notably the historical numbers of Michael Crabtree:

Crabtree needed only two Biletnikoff Award-winning seasons to roll up his record 3,127 receiving yards, and Grant’s used all four to get to 3,059. Still, to be the career receiving leader at Tech will be saying something, considering how the Red Raiders have thrown the football, especially the last 15 years.

“That’s great,” Grant said, “going up to being beside one of the greatest to play here at Tech — one of the greatest players to play college football ever. It’s just awesome that I can get that recognition, to show the nation that I can do this and it doesn’t matter how big you are. It’s just a matter of how big is your heart and your will that you want to do it.”

College Football Playoff: Oklahoma and Iowa Are In. The College Football Playoff was announced and this week’s four are Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa. I always enjoy reading the thoughts of Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown, so there you go.

Esiaba on Special Teams. LAJ’s Don Williams writes about linebacker and special teams ace, Bobby Esiaba. I really recommend reading this because Esiaba sounds like a terrific kid who loves everything that goes along with being a student-athlete, he also knows three languages and an he’s happy to just be out there just playing:

“Man, the same thing that motivated me when I started: a chance to be out here and be great, really,” Esiaba said recently. “That’s it. I love being great.

“I love being successful in all my endeavors. I could credit that to my parents. They raised me this way. They’re hard workers. I got that from them.”

Miscellaneous. 24/7 Sports’ Chris Hummer has five things from Texas’ media day, including some injury updates on the Longhorns as D’Onta Foreman will not play and Chris Warren will see a lot of snaps as well as Kirk Johnson, a sophomore running back from California . . . FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman has 51 names to remember in this year’s silly season of the coaching carousel . . . Scout’s Chip Brown says that Jarrett Stidham has a broken ankle / fibula, so just trying to count here, he’s got a quarterback with a broken neck and now a broken ankle . . .


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