Sure Mike Leach runs a system at Texas Tech. We pass a lot... and we win a lot. Mike Leach hands our quarterback the keys to a finely-tuned red Ferrari every year, and every year we produce a big upset, a bowl-worthy record, and another league-leading offensive attack. Since the inception of the Big 12, Tech has never missed a bowl bid. As long as the quarterback keeps it in first and doesn't pop the clutch, the Red Raiders are in for an exciting season.
I will not even go farther than just mentioning how ridiculously rich the Longhorns' and Sooners' programs are and how many five star recruits they snag every year, because whining is for the weak. I say take your five star recruits and millionaire alum, because we will beat you nonetheless. We are the poor man's New England Patriots, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
As for the 2009 season, I predict an early loss to Texas, but it will be a high scoring bonanza. Sprinkle one more loss in there wherever you see fit, except for the OU game. We will beat the Sooners in Lubbock: mark my words. Now depending on how the cookie crumbles in the Big 12 South, Tech may be in for their first Big 12 title game appearance. Unless you are a die-hard Red Raider fan you are probably laughing at this seemingly impossible prediction I am making. Let me tell you why it will happen.
This year we have a more prototypical quarterback in the junior Taylor Potts. With a stronger arm and more mobility than Graham Harrell, plus a massive frame - 6'5" and 220 pounds, Potts is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the nation. We plan to stretch the field and if no one is open, Potts will dazzle with his scrambling ability. Expect Baron Batch to be the first legit running back Tech has had in years. He started the majority of last season and reminds me a lot of Michael Pittman with his tough down hill running. A plethora of receivers return this year, most notably Detron Lewis and Edward Britton.
Michael Crabtree will be missed but expect Lewis and Britton to step up in a big way. Both were starters last year, Lewis amassing 869 yards for three touchdowns, and Britton snagging four touchdowns worth 490 yards. Look for solid play from receivers Lyle Leong and Tramain Swindall as well. The line will be anchored by preseason All-American right guard Brandon Carter. He is a beast; just ask Brian Orakpo.
Our Achilles' heal has always been our defense. However, under new defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill the defense has made great leaps and I except Tech to improve even more this season. We are returning Colby Whitlock and Brandon Sharpe on the line. Plus, red shirt freshman Ryan Haliburton is expected to tear it up at defensive end this year.
We are solid at linebacker, returning two of three starters in Brian Duncan, Tech's leading tackler last year, and the extremely athletic Marlon Williams, known for his coverage abilities. It is no secret that our defensive backs will be our weakness. Ball-hawking senior corner Jamar Wall will bring experience to the secondary, and one of the fastest players in college football, corner LaRon Moore is expected to start opposite him. The safety position is wide open with Daniel Charbonnet graduating and Darcel McBath being drafted to the Denver Broncos. We should get some young, hungry players in at the safety position and see if they can be difference makers.
As for the coaches we still have Mike Leach, thank God. He is a mastermind and anyone who disagrees should just look at what he does ever year with 3 star recruits... He turns them into gold. Also returning is defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill—a man who turned one of the worst defenses in the Big 12 into among the best in a single season. This man is talented, and look for him to throw a lot of different looks at McCoy and Bradford trying to create mismatches. Our coaching is solid this year, and some would argue that is one of the most important parts of a team.
The great thing about this year is Texas Tech is flying under the radar. Last year, people expected great things and we delivered. Now it is time to shock the nation with another amazing season. The talk is all Oklahoma, Texas, and even Oklahoma State. Not much is expected from Texas Tech this year and that is just how we like it. Also, there are very few play-making seniors on the squad, so expect the 2010 season to even better than what occurs this season. Thanks for reading and Wreck 'Em Tech!!