The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: September 1st

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Campus Photos

Totally Texas Tech has some new campus photos before the storms hit yesterday, which rendered Lubbock a wakeboard optimal zone for a while.


Pretty good little deal.


LAJ’s Don Williams has one of his editorials, which we don’t get a ton of during the season, that head coach Kliff Kingsbury enters a very important part of his career with a mostly young staff. Williams notes that the assistant coach salaries are actually lower than last year and Williams notes that none of the assistants have a long track record of coaching other than Joe Robinson:

The payroll dip, though slight, illuminates a point: Overall, the Red Raiders’ staff is not much more experienced than the one Kingsbury assembled originally, the charter group in 2013’s average age being 35. Except for special teams coach Joe Robinson — 55, and easily the oldest assistant Kingsbury’s hired in four years — none of the newcomers has a long track record coaching in power-five conferences.

My sense is, when the staff turned over at five spots last offseason, three as the result of firings, Kingsbury had a hard time filling at least some of the positions.

Why? Tech’s pay scale isn’t bad, but it’s not way up there among power-five programs. Last year, according to a USA Today database, defensive coordinator David Gibbs was the 60th highest paid assistant coach in the FBS. Tech’s next highest paid assistant, Eric Morris, ranked No. 321. That’s out of more than 900 nationally that could be obtained, not factoring in many assistants at private schools.

No doubt that Kingsbury and the athletic department need to take a very close look at increasing the salary pool for assistant coaches.

Abilene Reporter-News’ Mac David talks with safety Keenon Ward about the state of the defense and how the defense needs to be better:

“We hear it all the time,” Ward said when asked about the defense lagging the offense — 12 of 13 opponents scored more than 30 points in 2015. “We know we are better. We have never been this confident as a group. We came in ready to show the nation what we can do.”

LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes about SFA quarterback Zach Conque playing for his father, Clint Conque:

Playing for his dad the past two seasons, Clint and Zach have developed the perfect balance between father-son and coach-player.

“For the most part we keep it pretty professional,” Zach said. “I do a good job of knowing he expects a lot of me as a quarterback but also as his son. … I try to go to his office a few times a week and talk to him as a father and not as a coach.”

The Big 12 is apparently down to 12 candidates for expansion, which is progress I think. Biggest surprise is that Temple is still part of the 12 as is SMU.

Inside Texas, wihch is a Texas-centric forum is trying to round out their coverage a bit and cover the Texas programs a bit more and they have a bit on Texas Tech’s remaining targets as well as commentary on those remaining targets. It appears that the focus from the UT perspective is that Texas Tech really needs to land DE David Anenih, who was recently profiled by Red Raider Sports.

ESPN’s Big 12 Blog Bros have three bold predictions each and I think I like Jake Trotter’s predictions the best.

RRS’s Will McKay has a Q&A with WR Dylan Cantrell, who is finally ready to get this party of a season started and it sounds as if the Death Star known as Patrick Mahomes is fully operational:

Q: Coming out of fall camp and into game week, where do you feel like you all are as receivers and an offense as a whole?

“The biggest thing this year is that we’ve got a lot of experience coming back, plus we’ve got some new guys that have added a ton of depth. There’s more depth at the receiver position now since I’ve been here than ever before. So we’re really excited about that. Pat, he’s on an all time – he’s just on a different level right now with throwing the ball, his knowledge of the offense, ability to make plays and just making those plays, him working all offseason just to become better with his pocket presence, so there’s no telling what he’s going to do this year. I’m really excited to get to watch that.”

Lots of terrific stuff there, including about how the team does “Speed School” before running where they work on mechanics and how it has made a big impact.

Miscellaneous . . . our pal, David Ubben, writing for Sports Spotlight picks this week’s games . . . Hook’Em’s Suzanne Halliburton (part of the Statesman) pick the 12 best players in the Big 12 and Patrick Mahomes is 2nd on the list . . . there are a ton of articles at the Daily Toreador sports section, more than I can link to this morning. I would also check out the Ruck Race photo gallery where it looks like the team is having a good time . . . DMN’s Brandon Soliz has five things to know about the Lumberjacks . . .


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