That is what Desmond Roland played like last Saturday in Ames, Iowa. He was ears up eager and wanting the football. He even admitted that after nearly breaking his first run of the day for the end zone he wanted to tell the coaches and his teammates to just give him the ball. Roland should have plenty of confidence and the Cowboys offensive line should have loads of motivation when it comes to blocking for him. Tech is not the best tackling team in the Big 12 and the Red Raiders allowed 277 rushing yards last Saturday. It can and needs to happen again.
2. Bring the Ear Plugs
I've been in Lubbock when it was impossible to hear yourself or the person next to you. The Kingsbury Youth are faithful followers of their full of swagger GQ head coach, so they will bring the noise and those costumes he ordered. This vintage of Cowboys have not proven they can win in a really nasty road environment. They will need to on Saturday.
3. Practice the Lubbock Leap
This is different from the Lambeau Leap in Green Bay which is done after the Packers score. This Lubbock Leap is done in order to score. Tech's corners are 5-7 Bruce Jones to the boundary and 5-9 Olaoluwa Falemi to the field side. Cowboys wide receivers Tracy Moore, Charlie Moore, Jhajuan Seales, Marcell Ateman and Brandon Sheperd are all taller and all need to be ready to out jump the mighty mites from the Red Raiders.
4. Pack the Swagger
Let's hope that last week's win over Iowa State added some extra swagger to the tank as the Cowboys will need it. Texas Tech actually lost some of its in Norman, but Kingsbury and his young and energetic staff know how to build it back in a hurry. Remember, Kingsbury got his swagger lessons from one of the best in Dana Holgorsen.
5. Plenty of Red Bull Right Before Kickoff
The best way to combat a rugged home-field advantage and stick it to an opponent that is flaunting some swagger is a fast start. I remember last season against Texas when Joseph Randle busted out that big touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. He said later that he had his first Red Bull before kickoff, and he had never felt like that. Pass out the Bulls and get that fast start to take Tech and their fans out of the game.
6. Don't Take Anything for Granted
Don't line up on the front line to receive a kickoff and expect the ball to be kicked over your head. The Red Raiders will do anything at any time. They will onside kick in the first quarter and they even have fake punt returns. Receiver Jace Amaro said that offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie had seven to nine wild trick plays and he hasn't used them all and he will spring them at any time. Pay attention and don't fall prey to a trick.
7. Have Walsh on Ready
I'm pretty sure that Clint Chelf gets the start again this week, and that's no problem as I hope Chelf is sharp and throws the ball well. He is capable but Gundy, who makes quarterback switches based on gut feeling, needs to have a sensitive gut on Saturday. If Chelf doesn't have it early then switch to Walsh. This is a game where there is no time to waste.
8. Grogan Has to Be Positive
The young kicker can't speak with the media, and I truly don't have a feel for him yet. But whatever happens, he has to be positive. It's been an up and down season, but play time is over and a kick may need to be hit to get the job done at Texas Tech. He needs to believe he can make that kick and then if asked, make it.
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